Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rough Side of the Mountain

Tuesday night at the Estelle Unit I had one of the most enjoyable "share" nights of all the time I've gone into prisons.

"Share nights" are nights at which the men get up and "share" (not my word for it) what they want to. A song, a poem, something about their personal history, a passage from the Bible, a message, whatever.

This night quite a few men shared a song. While I've been at share nights in which one or two men shared a song, this night four men individually sang songs, and the quality was unusally high.

First, there was a professional-quality performance of "Bridge Over Troubled Waters." Absolutely incredible performance.

But the song that caught my attention, was an a capella rendition of "The Rough Side of the Mountain." You can hear a version of the song here

The man started singing by himself. Soon, a number of men (and volunteers) were standing, clapping in syncopated rhythm. A little while longer, and a few additional men who obviously knew the song were singing background, and joining in the chorus.

I had never heard the song before, and it was a great treat.


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