Taking the train to Oz: a surprise Monday-morning singalong for commuters

Australia isn’t particularly tornado-prone nor does its amazing wildlife include flying monkeys, but all the same, one of the country’s nicknames is Oz. A group that’s part performance art and part social movement brought a bit of Oz to a commuter train in Western Australia.

It was a chilly winter day (by Australian standards, anyway) and the 7:51 express train to Perth was filled with bleary-eyed Monday morning commuters. As usual, they were keeping to themselves, staring off in to space, reading, or glued to their phones. But then the “Liberators” hopped aboard. They’re a group that aims to create “inspiring large scale participatory acts of kindness, dance and human connection in public places designed to involve communities in positive shared experiences.”

After introducing themselves and inviting everyone to join them in a singalong, the Liberators handed out sheets with the lyrics for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Then the ukulele player started strumming: this wasn’t Judy Garland but instead something more along the lines of the version created by the late Hawaiian musician Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole. After getting over their initial surprise, the passengers began to let their guard down a little and really got into the music. There were smiles all-around, making it another successful mission for the Liberators.

As Michelle, one of the Liberators who took part described the event: “We had a few of the Liberators help get the ball rolling, however more than 60% of the passengers who sung along were complete strangers. We sung the entire song, progressively gaining confidence and participants as we went. When we finished an uproar of positive emotion, claps, cheers and smiles came streaming from the people.”

What did you think of this Monday morning pick-me-up? Would you have joined in if you’d been on the train? Let us know in the comments at Facebook and be sure to like and share!