Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sing Out, Dont Cry

When I was a kid, my parents and a group of their friends got together to form a Latin-American service club. They had monthly meetings in Spanish, big dances and functions, and an annual Queen contest. I use to fall asleep at these things on sofas or under tables.

The members of the group were like an extended family. We worked on each other's back yard projects, brought food when someone died, and even had occasional sibling like squabbles.

But, one of my favorite activities of the group was the singing. What started out as a spanish church choir, evolved into a weekly sing along of Mexican folk songs. There were guitars and an accordion and the occasional violin. I can remember hearing my God-Mother strumming along and singing at the top of her voice with a joy that even angels would envy.

The apex of every sing along was always when they sang Cielito Lindo. Most people recognize the chorus,
Canta no llores
Porque cantando se alegran,
Cielito lindo, los corazones
 which I translate to

Sing out don't cry
For singing brings gladness,
heavenly loveliness and heart 

As a child, I didn't understand the words, but I could sense the sentiment.

These days I attend a different sing along. It's called Jerk Church. We get together on a weekly basis to sing folk and drinking songs. There are guitars, libations, and food, and shenanigans and there's even an accordion and the occasional violin.

The Church is made of a great group of folks that works on each other's back yard projects, and have occasional squabbles. And even though I'm away from this Church a lot, I'm always welcomed back like a prodigal sibling, with occasional caressing. (See what I did there?)

When I was first introduced to the group a couple of years ago at Burning Man, I couldn't figure out why it was so immediately endearing to me.  But this morning, I woke up with Cielito Lindo in my head, and it became immediately clear.

Jerk Church is a great thing to behold, and if you want to see it for yourself, you have a chance tonight. There will be a sing along, cue card girls, libations and probably some shenanigans. Hope to see you there and if you come remember to Sing Out, Don't Cry.

No comments: