Sing a Song of Protest                                            

“Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown”
                                                Bob Dylan                   
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Words. One of their many uses is letting others know when we don’t like something. Sending a message from deep in the soul or the hippocampus and making sure it reaches someone, somewhere. You can take action of course. Throw spaghetti at the wall, burst into tears or dance it out. But words do the job quite well.

Protest        

noun                                                         ˈ
prəʊtɛst/        1.a statement or action expressing  objection to something

Independent Press and nowadays Social Media can accommodate a wide range of voices and this is a good thing. But now that the amount of people speaking is so vast it almost defies comprehension, how do we know if people are still listening ? And here we fade away to a mumble if we even bother to finish that sentence.

Many of us have lived through the transitional phase from 2 channels on the television, to the digital vortex we now accept. So we can recognise the difference. But  young people are growing up in a world where it getting hard to hear yourself think. We are talking more, but are we being heard?

Over the last few hundred thousand years humankind have come up with a nifty way of being heard above the rabble of stampeding mammoths, clashing swords, and the din of factory cogs.

“…accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.”

Song

Singing is a deeply harmonious act. It fills an otherwise empty room, it unifies estranged elements of self and other, it opens its arms to retreating endorphins and lets them shine. And grow.  Singing is a brilliant way to express deep emotion while still looking relatively together. Singing is COOL. Kids get this.

Over the course of history many a narrative text has been put to the rhythm of music to help with the remembering. And this is where song becomes useful when we are trying to be heard. Singing activates a centre in your brain which helps you to remember the words. And those words carry the message. We repeat the song, we enjoy the song, we hear the message. We change the world!

Contrary to what Aunty Beverly or  your not so sweet-heart told you, everyone CAN sing. And you may start anytime. You’re an adult. Further to this if you have young people in your life, singing with them is a great way to spend time together. If you can’t agree on a song to start with why not try writing one?

Writing a Song?

In response to about the last 6 thousand years of discord on the planet The Lark Magazine is offering kids the opportunity to voice their opinion about an issue that moves them, in the form of a song. Some parents have already begun writing with and for their kids and you can listen to their songs online in the Reading Nest on the website. This is a growing archive of songs, audio stories and poetry recitals for kids to listen to and join with.

In the Current Issue of the magazine, The Lark looks at the Protest Song movement and the works of Nobel Prize winning poet Bob Dylan. Kids are invited to write a Protest song of their own and yes there are some great prizes to be won.

There has never been a better time to encourage young people to form an independent opinion, an informed opinion, and one they feel good about sharing with the world.

And once you get them thinking about things that move them…. it can be hard to get them to stop. You don’t have to be an already musician. You can be a wanna be, a never was, a starting today. So grab a vegemite jar , throw some rice in it and let’s begin.To Sing.

Yes.

In words of my kids’ favourite band, Canadian Percussive Maestros Walk Off The Earth,

“Sing it all away, my darlings.”

www.thelarkmagazine.net

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