Are song circle songs stories?

The assignment was to choose a movie song or story and use Kurt Vonnegut’s  approach to the structure of a story to illustrate its story arch. So I chose a Singing circle song and, using a green screen, had my friend Robyn film me showing the arch of the song on /Vonnegut’s graph. This was a process and a real hoot to do. We jumped right in with a quickly dyed sheet (thanks to Carol) and  learned as we went.

here is Carol trying to get away before the picture is taken. And one of me practicing…..For some reason Robyn stayed behind the camera….

Then I edited a recording of the song over the video. It has a rough finish, but it gets the point across. The video editing was done in VSDC which took some learning. Again, a lot of clicking with very little result until I found a tutorial on You tube. It is amazing that once you learn to do one thing, the rest sort of becomes intuitive. The sound was added from Audacity. I did not work too hard on getting the sound to mach the video…just wanted to give an idea of what it sounds like.

The challenge was to fit a singing circle song into the Vonnegut model. Are singing circle songs stories? Not really. Not in the sense that they have much of a story arch. They are more like the snapshot of the story. Song circle songs tend to make a statement of truth rather than telling how the writer came to the truth. There is plenty of story implied. And there is sort of a trust in the singers that some sort of life living has happened to lead to this statement.

I chose Awake because it has at least some sort of time progression in it….”Rise, rise now and awake, awaken from your slumber” implying that you have been sleeping. “Come to remember who you are”….You have forgotten….you have lost yourself….”Who you are” To me this repetition implies that you can remember who you are. You can find your way back to yourself….Perhaps with the help of the awaken-er.  So , for me this song goes from the depths…from a place you need awakening from to the height of you will now remember you are!!!. I know it’s stretching the Vonnegut line…

….But there it is. In song circle we know that each of us is on our own journey and we choose the songs we sing as a reminder of that journey. Each person has her own favorite song that resonates with her story, with where she is right now along her own story. Maybe you are still asleep, waiting for someone to come along and help you find yourself, or maybe you are helping someone awaken. Or maybe this song doeas not resonate with you right now…

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