The reasons why are legion. We are insecure about our voices. We don’t know the words. We resent being forced into an activity together. We feel uncool. And since we’re out of practice as a society, the person who dares to begin a song risks having no one join her.
This is a loss. It’s as if we’ve willingly cut off one of our senses: the pleasure center for full lungs and body resonance and shared emotion and connection to our fellow man. When the crowd at Fenway Park sings Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” (in an inexplicable Red Sox tradition), there’s really nothing comparable to that feeling of 30,000 people stepping down three notes in giddy unison, “Oh–Ohh–Ohhhh.”
I mean, not for me of course, but…
Some people, some, know my enjoyment when it comes to sacred harp singing. It is communal – it is lovely – it is powerful. When are those of us in the West going to realize we all need somebody to lean on… (or sing with, as the case may be)