Yes, lets! Because by singing together we get strength to keep on working for a better world and our national anthem is out of date!
The community sing-along movement is thriving the the US as it is in Scandinavia. There is a difference in the choice of songs though. Here in Finland and in Sweden the songs sung are traditional songs and popular songs but in the US the songs which are popular at sing-along community gatherings are mostly what we would call folk songs and protest songs – with a song leader with a guitar, a banjo or an autoharp. In 1973 Peter Blood put together a songbook called “Winds of the People” and Peter and Annie Patterson published the sing-along songbook “Rise Up Singing” (with 1,200 songs) in 1988. In this New York Times article Peter and Annie tells about the sing-along movement in the US. We participated in these sing-along get-togethers in the beginning of the 1980s when we studied at Pendle Hill in Philadelphia and I never forget the community spirit which they created and the strength they gave.
There is a two-day Mid Winter Singing Festival featuring community sings that tend to draw 400 to 500 people each night in East Lansing, Michigan. Annie and peter are coming to Finland this spring – maybe we can arrange a community sing-along!
Something we would need in Finland! I remember how we almost always on the sing-alongs sang Song of Peace – an adaptation of Finlandia by Jean Sibelius. People often asked me if it was Finland’s national anthem. I really wish I could have said “YES it is! Because the song describes the kind of world we envision when we sing together!
Lyrics to Song Of Peace (Finlandia) :
O gods of all the nations
A song of peace for lands so far away
This is my home, a country where my heart is
Here grew my hopes and dreams for all mankind
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mineMy country’s skies are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight shines on clover leaf and pine
But other lands have sunlight too and clover
And skies are ev’rywhere as blue as mine
O hear my prayer, O gods of all the nations
A song of peace for their lands and for mine
SONG OF PEACE with (Peter, Paul and) Mary
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