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Music is everywhere this time of the year. Sacred and secular sounds of the season permeate our homes, cars, markets, stores and places of worship. How can we not sing along?
Christmas carols, songs that appeal to children’s Christmas spirit and novelty songs — some naughty and some nice — help make the season “merry and bright,” as one traditional song reminds us.
There is more to music than meets the eye, or the ear. An article in “How to Be Well” by Frank Lipman, MD, introduces an idea about the worth of singing, an idea to latch on to and apply to our own lives.
The article mentions wisdom from an Ayurvedic healer who thinks of music as a tool that facilitates harmony, an experience of wholeness and an instrument for healing in those who raise their voices in private or public song.
Think about this powerful idea for a moment. Here is something all of us can do, whether we are tone deaf or gifted with a lovely singing voice, to make our minds and bodies actually feel better and to eliminate feeling “alone or inconsequential,” as the article states.
Some people are squeamish about singing because they think their voice is not pleasant. If you are one of these people, do not worry about that; sing anyway. Belt out a Christmas song in the shower or along with the car radio when you are alone. You know the words. Go ahead. You will feel great.
Sing along with Jose Feliciano as he sings “Feliz Navidad,” the most joyous secular Christmas song, according to many.
Sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” or “The Little Drummer Boy” to the children in your life. They will be charmed.
At a Christmas party, outdo all the others by singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and getting all the words just right. Try hamming it up a little for a few laughs.
Sing in a church or community choir or try out for a singing part in a local production of a musical. You might get hooked on singing great music, even if you are an amateur.
When you are at a concert, sing along when the opportunity presents itself. You will probably have a smile on your face and another one in your heart.
It might not be Christmas until you sing along with the corny novelty song, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” by Randy Brooks. Do not let this one get away from you this year.
Sing around a bonfire; sing at the kitchen sink; sing in the rain; sing in front of the fireplace; sing at karaoke night; sing your heart out and feel good.
Sing all those Christmas songs at church and let the ideas in them fill your spirit and give you a feeling of connectedness to others.
John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement within the Anglican Church, wrote in 1761 his “Directions for Singing.” Of the six directions left by Wesley, the fourth is worthy of mention here. Wesley wrote,“Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep, but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more ashamed of its being heard than when you sang the songs of Satan.”
And when you get a chance, sings along to the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah” for an experience that will leave you joyous and energetic. Be sure to follow tradition and stand as you sing this one.
Just sing, sing, sing this season for joy, harmony and healing.
And sing all the year long. Someone might sing along with you.
Sanda Baucom Hight is retired from Wilson County Schools after serving as an English teacher and is currently a substitute in Wilson County. Her column focuses on charms and ideas for a fuller life. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.