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The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010


Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Singing

Dear Jon Carroll,

Your column referring to singing reminded me of how I too love to sing. I can carry a tune and stay on pitch. I sing in the car, walking along and even when I am swimming, I sing in my head.

I get to sing regularly and loudly as I go to church on Sundays, one of the few venues for corporate singing in our time. I suspect some people sing the Star Spangled Banner when they go to baseball games. A few people who are really good singers join choral groups which are expensive and rigorous. There is not much singing in bar rooms anymore.

Once I lost a bet and had to go to a Grateful Dead Concert and was very impressed with how many people sang along with the late Jerry and the boys. Since there were no words displayed anywhere I was sentenced to listen. At Christmas time lots of people go caroling, some go to sing-a-long Messiahs and churches are pretty full of singers at that time of year.

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, had his congregations sing a couple of rousing hymns to shake off the dust of the world, open their throats and hearts, deepen their breathing to prepare for the hearing of the Word.

One banker member of Trinity Episcopal where I was rector for twenty years said, “I sing in the choir because “I need a good shout at least once a week.”

Keep on singing, in the dentist chair and all,



Anonymous Harry Kelley said...

A few years ago I had to have my bladder looked at. This involves putting a camera into the bladder. There is only one natural access. Having a camera inserted through your penis into your bladder is a terrifying prospect.

When the doctor started the procedure I had a moment of panic and then responded in the only way I knew how: singing at the top of my voice. The singing made me and the doctor laugh. She said, "That's a new one. Maybe I'll suggest it to other patients."

I grew up in a singing culture: West Virginia. The diocesan delegates there just voted for blessing same-sex relationships. I don't know if there's a connection, but I have every intention of believing that there is.

9:29 AM  

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