Ever been somewhere and heard someone just start belting out lyrics to a song? If not then you might need to walk around a bit and just listen to the sounds of the city around you. Some folks do this to amuse themselves, some do it just to show a zest for life that others can’t understand, and it’s true that it can make some people appear a little strange. But when an entire park gets in on the action it’s something amazing as this video shows. Bon Jovi is a name that is still known to a lot of people since he was at one time one of the hottest performers in the world and today he’s still considered to be one of the greatest performers ever. His hit song Livin’ On a Prayer was without a doubt one of the best songs from the 80s and one that can still get people going. Dave Paulson of the Tennessean explains the story behind this song in an interesting way. This is undoubtedly one of those brief moments in human history that goes uncounted by many either because it’s misunderstood or isn’t deemed to be important since not enough people are noticing. In truth, these are the moments that we really need to notice since they’re among the most important around given that people come together for something that appears to be so innocuous and yet is a unifying gesture that can be used as an example that people can and will participate in something that brings them together in a very odd but comforting way.
Having said that, how many reading this wish they could have been in that park at that given moment? Personally I would have loved to have been on the bench with the originator of the song so as to share in the experience up close and personal and be able to hear the park guests singing it back as a single unit. Of course it wasn’t perfect on anyone’s count, trying to match Bon Jovi at his own song is kind of difficult when it comes to getting it right and sounding absolutely on key, but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s a moment in time, however brief, that a group of people, that could be completely opposed in their ideologies, came together for something that had no bearing on who they were, who they voted for, and what they believed, just to enjoy a song that people happened to like. When you think about how rare that is and how many times it might happen across the country, or the world for that matter, it’s a little saddening since it means that as a species, not as one race or another, not as one cultural group or another, humans are divided in a way that’s kind of disconcerting since we focus more on our differences than anything. We’d rather argue and fight over ideals and a past that we can’t control, change, and that we have nothing to do with any longer than enjoy the small moments in time such as this. There’s nothing defeatist or cynical about the words being written, but there is a deep longing for people to wake up and realize that sometimes enjoying these small moments and finding a way to get people to enjoy them with you is more important than obsessing about our differences.
Look around at the people gathered in this video, there are so many different individuals that one can’t help but notice. And yet when the man on the bench starts singing there are definitely those that look up, interested perhaps but not ready to sing aloud, until someone has the courage to raise their voice along with the singer’s and join in. And then the small miracle happens and others begin singing as the park suddenly reverberates with the sound of one of the most unlikely songs to think about while strolling through the park, but also one of the most inspiring a person could think of in that moment if we’re being honest. Bon Jovi songs have always had a certain measure of power to them not just because of the fact that they came out in the 80s, not because people have remembered them throughout the decades, and certainly not because he’s always been considered the best in the business. It’s hard to explain entirely, but for one reason or another Bon Jovi’s songs are inspiring because there’s strength to them, there’s a unity that reminds us that we’ve all got problems, we all have issues, and we all have to work through them. Dan Weiss of Billboard would hopefully agree. But coming together in a way, finding unity in something as simple as a song that can be sung by so many at the same time, now that’s nothing short of amazing. Seriously, how badly would you want to be there in that moment, just to be a part of that small miracle?