It was a Life List item inspired by this video that I posted on my Tumblr account back in January. I was so moved by the sound of voices of strangers coming together to make one happy moment, and I was jealous. The good kind of jealous (we call that “inspired” I think!), so I set out to make my own. I posted here on the blog and on Craigslist, calling for strangers to sing with me in Prospect Park on Saturday, April 10.
I got a few emails from complete strangers saying they wanted to come (the event had made it to a few other blogs around town), but I don’t think any of them actually did. Maybe they couldn’t find me? Lesson learned: just publicize the exact location; we ended up setting up in the stone gazebo for the acoustics. I was really concerned with phycho people showing up, but Prospect Park on a sunny Saturday is so bustling it probably wouldn’t have mattered.
Friends showed up, though! Kelsey and Dennis came with their little girls, my friend LuLu showed up, Rob’s oldest friend Jared came, which was good because he was an excellent song-leader, Gavin drove up from Baltimore with his guitar and he and Rob were my musical duo, Greg ‘n Erica showed up with Oliver the wonderful Basset hound, Nicole came, and our friend Nat came, too.
I thought, “Eh, sing-a-long with friends. GOOD ENOUGH.” but, of course, this is Brooklyn. If you stand around singing, people will join you. STRANGERS WILL JOIN YOU! You can see them in Nicole’s video; scruffy-but-dashing English fellow next to me? Women with babies strapped to their fronts? The ladies in work out gear? ALL STRANGERS! So, mission accomplished.
We sang Every Rose Has It’s Thorn first. I didn’t want to at all, but Rob and Gavin ganged up on me with pleading eyes about an hour before, so I relented. It turned out to be a good warm-up song. We moved onto Tiny Dancer which is NOT that excellent of a sing-a-long song, I think, because the melody gets monotonous. Next was 500 miles which is really fun – everyone brought their A-game with the faux-Gaelic accents – and we finished with Hey Jude.
If you are printing up the lyrics of Hey Jude for a sing-a-long, be sure to write something along the lines of “not yet!” in between the verses because people will be over-eager to start shouting “better, BETTER AHHHHHHHHHH!” before all the verses are finished.
This little guy cried every time a song ended; he wanted more singing! I wanted his cool dinosaur hat.
A whole lot of people asked if we did this every week. Rob suggested a once-a-month “Second Saturday Sing-a-long”. Universe, I leave you to it to organize, and if you do, I will totally be there. This was so fun.
All the photos here, minus the last two, were taken by Erica. Thank you!
I was hoping for a more mellow year than 2004 was, but if January is any indication, it’s going to be a wild one. There was so MUCH going on: with jobs, with guys, with friends.
This is my January ’05 in music.
1. They Jem
2. Burnoff The Mobius Band
3. Sing for Absolution Muse
4. 20 Minutes Blatt is the New Black*
5. Liar Rollins Band
6. Mr. Brightside The Killers
7. Lithium Nirvana
8. Where Is My Mind Pixies
9. Volcano Damien Rice
10. Tender Blur
11. Ka-Boom Dark Lotus
12. The Next Time I See You, I’ll Break Your Nose Again Amber S.**
13. Stranger Presidents of the United States of America
Bonus Track: Happy Birthday to Yao!
“Hidden” Track: Save Tonight Eagle Eye Cherry
*unsigned college band.
**me! (duh.) If I’m ever famous, I’m going by “Amber S.”