Go ahead, walk out into the street. Take a good look around. Every grown-up you see — every last one — was once a child. Incredible, no?
Every child has a favorite song. A record they’ll spin over and over, a melody sung by an uncle or aunt, a tune they heard around the campfire that they keep inventing verses to.
This week, we’re asking you to reach back into your own memory vault, and find a song that you sang as a child.
It might be a traditional “children’s” song, or it might be a tune you overheard on the radio. It might be jaunty or melancholy. It might have a story, or silly words, or no words at all. It might bring you back to a specific place and time, or it might just feel familiar for reasons you don’t recall.
That’s it. Sing a song from your childhood. (You mean the super-silly one that just popped into my head? Why yes, that’s the one.)
It’s good to have options. Here we offer ways that you can meet this prompt right where you are; or, alternatively, ways you can challenge yourself more deeply with it.
Option A: Dive right in. Spend a moment recalling your childhood: your house, school, neighborhood, friends. Is there a soundtrack to your memory? Swiftly, sing the first tune that pops into your head. Don’t wait for the perfect song. And don’t go back and look up the melody or lyrics, tempting as that might be. Just sing whatever you remember. If you can’t recall how the rest goes — make it up! (This is a vocal improv prompt, after all.)
Option B: Choices. If Option A seems a little overwhelming, never fear. Take a look at this colorful list of children’s songs. Scroll down until you find one that moves you. Use the lyrics to prompt you. Your track might just be a solo a cappella rendition; or you could layer if that’s your thing.
The steps are as follows:
- Step 0: Sign up for a free SoundCloud account here. Join the SSS group.
- Step 1: Record yourself singing for two minutes.
- Step 2: Upload to SoundCloud and post the track to the SSS group.
- Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow singers. (Play nice!)
Deadline: Your tracks should be uploaded by midnight wherever you are on Monday, September 8, 2015.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about the length of one side of a children’s 45 rpm vinyl record.
Description: It would be awesome to include a short description of where and when you sang your piece.
Title/Tag: When uploading to SoundCloud, put “[sss-childhood]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-childhood” as a tag. This will help us find it.
Group: Once the track is uploaded, click on the “Add to group” button below the waveform and make sure to select the Society for Spontaneous Singing group. (This option will only appear if you have already joined the group! So do that now.)
Linking: You are welcome to include this info in your description:
This track is a reply to “SSS Prompt 32: Childhood.” More on the Society for Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org .
Thank you, sweet singers!
Jascha & Amado