Musicking Heals Loneliness

Singing in Mesopotamian marshes

I was watching the YT video by my favourite globetrotter Eva zu Beck the other day, and her experiences from Iraq. At one point her guide Abo Haider, an old fisherman and peasant, starts singing and then explains his motivations:

When I sing, I feel that I’m not alone.

That my life is luxurious and comfortable.

When I’m singing, I feel comfortable with myself.

This is from a man, who lives in the marshes of Mesopotamia – the cradle of our civilization some 12,000 years ago! His words got me thinking about how musicking, in his case singing, helps him deal with loneliness, while alone in his boat in the vast area of the Iraqui marshlands. 

Here is another quote from the internet, that ilustrates importance of musicking on one side, and an ill-understood function of music on the other:

Headphones on – World OFF!”

Do you see the difference?

To make it clear what I mean – the old fisherman sings while working alone, so that he doesn’t feel lonely. On the opposite side is ‘a guy’ who needs to put headphones with music to exclude the rest of the world from his or her life. To be alone!


Photo: Screengrab from the video by Eva zu Beck

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