One of the things we do to celebrate is to sing. We sing on state occasions and for birthdays; at football matches and at Christmas. It’s something we do together.
But singing on your own isn’t so much fun, and you certainly can’t make harmony with just a single voice. We need a band or a choir or a crowd to feel we are part of something bigger than just us.
In the early days of the Corona virus lockdown in Italy, people were opening their windows and singing to each other across the streets, from balcony to balcony. That was their way of saying that they weren’t forgetting each other and that they realised how much they needed each other. In Stanhope and the Weardale villages we don’t live at such close quarters and much of the time we are keeping apart because we are afraid of catching the virus from one another.
But we need to keep in touch when we can’t get together, and it’s good to look forward to the day when we’ll sing together again. The birds are singing, the lambs are playing and one day we’ll join them. Till then each of us needs to practise alone for being part of the bigger world one day.
On the verge of World War II, the poet Berthold Brecht wrote this brief Motto:
In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will be singing
About the dark times.