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Let's Sing Along!
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Let's Sing Along!

Ever since I was a small child, I have loved music!  My dad had a beautiful bass voice and sang not only in the church choir and the barbershop chorus but also in the car and around home.  We always knew he was in the area because we could hear his cheery whistling as he came up the walk or worked in the yard.

Dad came from a family who loved music.  Most of us played the piano and there was never a family gathering when we didn’t end the evening with a good old fashioned singsong.  And each song usually ended in laugher.   Such good fun!

You see, music is a powerful force when it comes to uniting people and evoking emotions.   Some songs can trigger us and bring tears while others give us inspiration to move forward

It is interesting how good songs usually have lyrics that reflect the situation of the songwriter and what is happening at the time.   Some talk of love, hurt, culture or pain – topics that are relatable.

Connie Kaldor, who is a popular folk artist has written many prairie songs.   I remember her telling a tale about how she had problems writing when she was happy.  With tongue in cheek she added, “Because of this I always keep a messed up girlfriend in my life so that I have material”.   But not all songs are based on tragedy.

Life has given each of us different experiences that we could use if we were songwriters.   Some eras would produce ballads while others would result in silly jingles.  There have been times for polkas and times for waltzes.  We might sing of loss with reverence or passionately chant words that reveal loyalties.  At times there would be rap and at other times, symphonies.

One of my favourite singers was Mamma Cass Eliott.  In 2010 she published a hit called “Make Your Own Kind of Music”.   The words remind each of us that we have the freedom and ability to make choices.  It’s not what happens to us that is as important as how we respond to it.  The chorus states:

You've gotta make your own kind of music

Sing your own special song

Make your own kind of music

Even if nobody else sings along

You see, sometimes you will be so unique that others will not be on the same song sheet.   They might even give you a strange look or unwelcome advice.  Sometimes you will respond with hope when others expected despair.   You choose the response. 

Always remember that you can create a tune and a life that makes your heart sing and your feet tap.

It’s good to sing-along with others at times but you need to balance that with the amazing and wonderful tune that is yours and yours alone.

Every day you live gives you a new opportunity to sing your own special song!

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About the Author

Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years...