Some thoughts …
I’ve been reflecting on what evidence there is that singing actually changes anything. Obviously it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg question. Does the song shape the change, or does the change , already in the air, shape the song? Either way, songs are a powerful way of spreading a message of change and of making people feel part of something bigger than they are. Songs can also commemorate and celebrate stirring historic events, and I’ve included some of them here.
I’ve put some examples below that I find inspiring, for starters….. I’d love to hear about yours.
MILCK’s song for the Women’s march following the election of Donald Trump in the USA
Barack Obama singing Amazing Grace at the funeral of Clementa Pinckney in 2015
Sydney Carter’s great song about the Peasant’s Revolt : John Ball, sung here by John Boden
Leon Rosselson’s song World turned upside down, sung here by Billy Bragg
Rosselson again, singing his own song Palaces of Gold
Joan Baez singing Jose Martin’s Guantanamera – a folk song that became an anthem of the Cuban Revolution, then a song for peace and unity at the time of the Missile Crisis in 1962
With excellent timing, Radio 4 has a series about singing together at the moment – do take 30 minutes out to listen