Of all the things that technology makes possible, one of my favorites is that people who are miles apart – sometimes, even countries apart – are still able to sing together.
There are lots of virtual choirs out there delivering professionally-produced performances, everything from show tunes to traditional hymns. Nothing can truly replace a live choir experience, but the virtual versions are a good substitute.
A fun new trend, an informal approach to this remote communal singing action, involves sea shanties. Not long ago, a person in Scotland, Nathan Evans, posted his a capella version of The Wellerman on TikTok. Soon after, people all over the world were adding their voices, creating several variations on the first version. Since then, Mr. Evans has added more shanties, and more variations have been created, and now there’s a whole new awareness of and appreciation for the music.
I, too, want to sing and dance when I hear these shanties; they’re a good way to get the day started. Part of the fun is knowing that, somewhere out there, other people are also humming along and living the experience. I’ll never meet them, but we are each part of a larger virtual community.
Here’s to technology and the gift of being able to sing together, regardless of the distance between us.