The right song at the right moment can change history.” — Pete Seeger
Just days after what has probably been the most contentious election in my lifetime, I was gifted with a ticket to go hear my friend’s mom sing in the New York City Labor Chorus. There was no place I would rather have been. The chorus was celebrating 25 years of singing the songs of the struggles of workers the world over, in addition to contemporary and traditional folk music. Pete Seeger helped form the group back in the day, and it was the above quote of his that ended the show. When all the choir members donned union caps — representing more than 20 labor unions — and sang Bread and Roses, I was deeply moved. The power of song. The power of diverse communities. Solidarity for economic and social justice. There is a lot that is right with the world. I have seen this chorus many times, and if you ever have a chance, I urge you to do so as well. Better yet, join them. You don’t have to be a union member to do so. You just have to want to sing your way to a more just world, and to keep these powerful songs alive. Singing in community will change you — and the world — for the better. It always has.