The Power of Song (a film recommendation)

i cried, in a good way, as i worked on a new song today. That happens sometimes and reminds me, whenever it does, just how powerful music can be. When inspiration, melody, and lyric all line up just right – and it always happens unexpectedly – the cup, to use David’s phrase, “runneth over.” The song will be on the new recording that i’m working on at present. i don’t know that anyone else will be moved to tears, but i like to think that, if a piece of music gets me, it just might stir someone else’s heart.
Speaking of the power of music, might i recommend a documentary, one that will inform, inspire, and move you? “The Singing Revolution” is about the quest of the small Baltic nation of Estonia, overtaken by the Soviet Union in 1939, to gain its independence during the second half of the 20th century. Central to that struggle are the songs of the people, and the role that singing played in their eventual return to sovereignty.
“Singing together was our power,” said one of the persons interviewed in the film. And for Estonia, singing together literally meant singing together. At a well-known festival ground, a choir of 30,000 performed each year (and, i gather, still performs) to a massive outdoor audience which joins in on familiar songs. The documentary gives some idea of how beautiful the singing must be but i imagine the real thing is breathtaking.
The film is history (culminating in a tense, remarkable standoff between Estonia and the USSR that, i’m sad to say, pretty much escaped my notice when it occurred in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s), it is heart (sadness, fear, courage, hunger for freedom and affection for ancestry all come through clearly), and it is music (the energy and joy of the people as they sang and sing is, by itself, tear-inducing).
i’ve heard myself say a lot in the last couple of years that i won’t leave home unless work requires me to do so. i think i could be tempted to buy a ticket to Estonia just to hear that massive choir someday.