For my thesis, I looked for evidence that music, singing in particular, has important effects on our well-being. One of the main reasons for my interest in this activity (and not sport, for instance) was the repeated observation that it is a phenomenon used by groups of people in so many different social situations, happy and sad. Almost like a default way we revert to, every time we really need to express and share emotions with others, good and bad.
We sing at weddings and birthdays; we sing at a wide range of cultural celebrations; we sing at funerals and other mourning ceremonies. And we use the ability to sing when we want to demonstrate togetherness in protest. I find that absolutely fascinating!
Today, Portugal time, hundreds of Portuguese citizens, including professional and amateur singers, will gather in front of the Parliament to sing this song. It roughly translates to “Wake up”, and it was the way two female singers and a music teacher found to contribute to the biggest civil movement Portugal has witnessed for the past 38 years.
In one voice, they will be saying “we are up and awake; austerity is not the solution; we are ready to work together, for ourselves and for our society, but no longer willing to be stepped on, robbed from our lives and watch our country disappear. You are where we put you; You are there to work on our behalf, not against us. So START WORKING NOW!”
I wish I was there too!