O say can you sing

Jul 14, 2012

Today is Bastille Day.  I was reminded of this because one of my friends sent me this link to Youtube.  I’ve added a link at the end of this post.

Many of my friends deeply believe in the national motto of France – “Liberte, egalite, fraternite/ Liberty, equality, fraternity”.  These friends are diverse enough that how they might define that or achieving those ends might be by opposing means.

But there is no denying that they believe these core values.

This clip reminded me of the sense of unity one can feel when singing as a group. If you ever went to camp, you may remember this, even if all you remember is the group moan or physical eye-rolling that went on when you sang a dumb song.  Or perhaps the time when you were teen and sang with your favorite group – boy band, church choir, opera chorus.  The form doesn’t necessarily matter.

Still from Casablanca, “La Marseillaise”.  Warner Bros., 1942.

On occasion I enjoy the current, stylistic renditions of our National Anthem – the cadenza, all those “extra” notes that are added by soloists can really show off their skills.

But I miss the rousing group-sing-feel of us singing the anthem together.  We changed from participants to observer.  We become critics of the performance instead of the singers of words that are supposed to express meaning.

For today I’ll enjoy watching this clip from Casablanca.  I might even look up the words to La Marseillaise and at very least hum along.

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