As I watch the horror of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, I am deeply moved by the people singing. So often during times of despair throughout history we hear “group sing”, i.e., we saw people singing together in Italy across their balconies, through activism when marching during civil rights, after terrible tragedies of bombings or mass shootings, as well as when inspired by grand speeches in town squares.
What is it, I wonder, about “the Song” to bond people together, to give promise, to inspire in the face of hopelessness?
On the Biology Stack Exchange I found several opinions offered by researchers, academics, and students who inquire. Singing binds people together. Singing apparently has an evolutionary basis as well as a biological basis. Singing causes solidarity.
People seem to sing when they are in emotional pain. People sing when they are remembering various bad as well as happy experiences in their life. People sing when inspired through deep physiological and psychological impulses of their emotions. People sing alone as well as in groups, when out in clubs, as members of church choirs, through karaoke, when in love, when broken-hearted, when happy, when sad, as a therapy for their souls.
You don’t have to be a good singer, or you may be a trained, talented soloist. USC’s Margaret Schaper said, “Singing is the cheapest therapy you can find.”
Today I feel particularly grateful for the power of “the song”.
I am so happy that our human experience, as well as our human biology has somehow created “the song” for us through our evolutionary experiences, our biologies, our physiologies, our psychologies, our emotions, our soulful needs, our love interests, our spiritual selves, our memories, our thoughts, and our other primitive impulses, and well manicured socialized behaviors.
Singing is magical and is uniquely suited only for humans to have fully developed speech, voice, and brain systems to accomplish a complex range of vocal expressions to give us hope, and optimism, love, or sorrow to connect each pitch with a soulful expression.
I feel a deep gratitude as well as joy for “the song”.
I love the fact that we all may share through song, for free!
What do you feel when you hear groups of people united in song?