This little song, “Sing,” first written for Sesame Street in the early ’70s, spawned many covers and gained lots of popularity–and for good reason! It’s one of my favorite “kid-friendly” songs because it has a great message, not only for kids, but for artists of all sorts. Check out the lyrics, below:
Sing a song
Sing out loud, sing out strong!
Sing of good things, not bad;
Sing of happy, not sad…
Sing a song
Make it simple to last your whole life long!
Don´t worry that it´s not good enough for anyone else to hear;
Sing a song!”
The bolded section above is the most important part of the song, for me. “Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear; just sing.” We singers–and for that matter, all of us artists/creative people–can get so wrapped up in worrying whether our gifts are “good enough” for the world that we strangle the creativity within us. It’s hard to put aside criticism and the fear of other people’s judgments, but it’s far worse to never even be creative for your own sake. “Sing” is a simple reminder to just enjoy our creative gifts, whatever they might be, and not to worry about what other people will think of our efforts.
Do you have a favorite song, quote, etc. to inspire you when you get discouraged about your creativity? Share it with me in the comments!
How old is the traditional Western music scale? Well, according to the discovery of “the oldest known song” on a few clay tablets in the Middle East, it’s a lot older than musicologists once thought! Check out the videos below to hear this haunting melody from 1400 B.C.-era Syria:
The Oldest Known Melody (lyre portrayal)
And here’s a MIDI version of the tune:
The Oldest Song in the World (MIDI version)
The first person to translate this song, Prof. Anne Kilmer, discovered it in 1972 after years of research and work on clay tablets unearthed in Syria during the 1950s. One of the tablets, written in the Hurrian language, contained complete words, music, and performance instructions; she found that it was a religious hymn to the moon god’s wife, Nikal, and was likely sung with accompaniment provided by a harp. Many people have since recreated it using modern musical notation and instruments, as the first embedded video above demonstrates.
This discovery changed much in the study of music history; it proves that “Western” music scales predated ancient Grecian culture, which was previously thought to be where modern music got its start. Amazing, huh? (And even more amazing, we can actually experience a tune from so long ago, hearing it just as its original listeners did!)
Amaranth Publishing Article
The Oldest Song in the World: WFMU’s Beware of the Blog