At Common Good Radio, we support singing. Singing is an important activity for human living, not just for the sake of the song, but the song gives us a mystical grounding and focal point. At Common Good Radio, we lift songs that many voices sing – so you can sing along. Song offers us a moment of unity in the face of chaos and helps soothe a hurting soul. Music and song helps to build bridges and join hands, finding that which is common between us through our differences.
Singing songs of a culture or family shares and preserves it stories, expresses ideas and feelings in ways that speaking them alone does not do, and further, singing is something that engages the whole body through its breath, a source of life, the ruach (spirit-breath) of Hebrew scripture. Singing is something you can do without a metal mouthpiece, wooden instrument and strings or anyone else around you. Your body produces the sound and you can shape it anyway you are compelled.
Singing is a social activity that when sung in community of others –like in a faith community, shares a sense of something unique, together. Singing in a faith community articulates an awareness of God and a relationship to/with God. Singing binds people together. It is like prayer spoken aloud by the body of faith in this way.
There are many arguments about the growth of electronic transmission of music which suggest that we sing together far less often in community or home because we don’t have to – others do it for us and so we only have to listen to take it in. And to a degree, this is true, I think. However, we do and can sing along. And it is important.
I don’t think I could have ever learned to sing outside my specific cultural context of music that was flooded with acoustic, folk music if there had not been radio and records to bring to other songs that I have learned to sing and delight in my entire life. My children will tell you that particular music ran from Stevie Wonder to Laura Nyro to Al Jarreau and Ella Fitzgerald, because I would play it really loud and sing full tilt while making dinner and the girls would sing and dance with me while setting the table. Music, the listening to and singing of it, binds me to other people and cultures and sounds that I have learned to love.
This is one reason we play music you have never heard of before on Common Good Radio - to introduce you to sounds that are new, exciting, express the same notions of love, kindness or the actions of peace, with various rhythms and voices. Music is a spiritual resonance with the world and it makes us happy – bringing that which is aching to expressed with melody, texture, rhythm and lyric – out of the body and into the world! Sing with us and know it is one of the great loves in your life! We can and will find ways to live together with a sense of respect for our differences and joy in our unity!
Blessings for the common good,
P.S. Listen below to the podcast from Rabbi Joe Black, religious leader, husband and father, as he explains a bit more about what brings us together as a human community.