Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Karaoke songs make fitting tributes to the loved ones we've lost

On a June karaoke night at La Galería, local author and writing coach Eva Hunter and her friend David sang Seven Spanish Angels for fellow writer Wayne Greenhaw, who died unexpectedly during surgery. Eva hadn't sung in front of a crowd before, but the loss of a loved and respected colleague was enough motivation to conquer the usual first-time jitters.

On July 23, when recording artist Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment, her songs received more requests than ever at karaoke venues around the world. There is something about music that brings people closer, consoling us and helping us to accept our grief and pain, especially when we're singing together.

Today I received this note from my friend Amy in Minneapolis, whose brother Terry died in his sleep of a heart attack at the age of 47. Amy writes, "My brother Terry loved karaoke and was, in fact, out singing Karaoke the night before he died. My 83-year-old father wrote his beautiful euology, which included lines from the last song he ever sang… Come Sail Away by Styx:
A gathering of Angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope and this is what they said
They said, ‘Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me’...."
And then Amy writes: “I know how much you love karaoke—the next time you are out, I’d love it if you could sing that song for me, for my brother, as I am not a singer. It would mean a lot.”

Of course I will. And I'll bet Terry's gonna be singing right along with me.

1 comment:

  1. As we approach El Día de los Muertos, November 2, 2011, this story couldn't be more relevant, and I hope you'll read it!


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