Monday, August 24, 2009

Not that Kind of a Show

This past Thursday was my first rehersal with the Rockin' Solidarity Labor Chorus led by Pat Wynne at City College. The group is mostly comprised of Bay Area activist adults, many of whom have sung with the Chorus for over a decade. Everyone was quite friendly and eager to lend a hand - an ear? - to the few newcomers. After a several warm up exercises (ex: "me me me me me me me me MEEEEE!"), we jumped into the songbook. The Chorus is presently preparing for a Labor Day Weekend performance of Pete Seeger music. We sang "If I Had a Hammer" by Segeer and Lee Hayes, later sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary. We sang "Round and Round Hitler's Grave" by Lampell, Seeger, and Guthrie and "66 Highway Blues" also by Seeger and Guthrie.

Pat Wynne introduced two new songs to the protest music canon: "Blue Cross" sung to the tune of "Blue Skies" by Frank Jacobs ; and "Single Payer" sung to the tune of "Solidarity Forever" by Arnie Passman. I am truly a talentless singer (you won't hear me sing a note higher than "Gold Dust Woman" at karaoke) but I experience such deep feelings of joy and pride from singing this beautiful, SECULAR, political music! An undeniable connection to the history of struggle exudes from the booming voices of the choristers. San Francisco has officially made me soft.

I'll be out of town for the Labor Day show but I believe there is something scheduled for October 6th in Berkeley (of course!).


Heather said...

Ruby Fuerza, your last entry was on August 24th! What is going on in yer verld?

Solidarity labor chorus? Is M. Pike with you? I hear she does a great monotone bass.

RG said...

this is so wonderful. i also experience those feelings. when you come back to ny let's have a "rise up singing" potluck. heather, you will play the triangle and refrain from homophobia