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    31/May/2019

    Singing: The Key To A Long Life by Brian Eno, November 23, 20085:00 AM ET, Heard on Weekend Edition Sunday. Podcast available at https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/wesun/2008/11/20081123_wesun_14.mp3?orgId=1&aggIds=4538138&p=10&story=97320958&siteplayer=true&dl=1.

    I believe in singing. I believe in singing together. A few years ago a friend and I realized that we both loved singing but didn't do much of it. So we started a weekly a capella group with just four members. After a year we started inviting other people to join. We didn't insist on musical experience — in fact some of our members had never sung before. Now the group has ballooned to around 15 or 20 people.

    I believe that singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness and a better sense of humor. A recent long-term study conducted in Scandinavia sought to discover which activities related to a healthy and happy later life. Three stood out: camping, dancing and singing.

    Well, there are physiological benefits, obviously: You use your lungs in a way that you probably don't for the rest of your day, breathing deeply and openly. And there are psychological benefits, too: Singing aloud leaves you with a sense of levity and contentedness. And then there are what I would call "civilizational benefits." When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capellasinging is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That's one of the great feelings — to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue.

    British composer, artist and activist Brian Eno was a founding member of the rock group Roxy Music, and has produced recordings by Talking Heads and U2. Eno's latest album, "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today," is a collaboration with David Byrne.

    Eno's Group-Sing Song List: Can't Help Falling In Love; Love Me Tender; Keep On the Sunny Side; Sixteen Tons; Will the Circle Be Unbroken; Dream; If I Had a Hammer; Love Hurts; I'll Fly Away; Down By the Riverside; Chapel of Love; Wild Mountain Thyme; Que Sera, Sera; Cotton Fields.

    With thanks to Nicki Johnson for sharing a friend's post.