A long, long time ago, before many of you were born, Coca-Cola screened a television advertisement featuring the song, “I’d Like To Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony)”. The song became a world-wide hit and was recorded as a single by the New Seekers and the Hilltop Singers.
I was seven years old in 1971, but I still remember this song as though it were yesterday. And the sentiment (less the commercialism) is still applicable today — I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.
When we sing in harmony, we don’t sing the same note, we sing a different, complimentary note from the same key. Sometimes the result makes the music brighter and happier (a major chord) or deeper and darker (a minor chord).
Harmony is often referred to as the vertical aspect of music, distinct from the horizontal melody line. When we harmonize with someone we add an additional, supportive sound that swells the original voice beyond what they could achieve on their own.
Harmony is not about similarity but about diversity. If we are to live in harmony with each other, we need to open our eyes and ears to the beauty and complexity of our differences.
A life lived horizontally may well be a good and useful life, but a life lived vertically is so much more. When we take our solo voices and add them to the song of humanity, the tune becomes rich and vibrant, strong and expansive.
It’s a tune that could transform the world.
I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land
Are you old enough to remember the Coke ad and 70’s fashion?
This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge.