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Accentuating the positive with #SongsOfComfort

For a moment of diversion from difficult news, we have another look at -- and listen to -- some of the music being posted across social media using #SongsOfComfort. Jeffrey Brown has our selections from Yo-Yo Ma’s ongoing project.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Next tonight, we have another look and listen to some of the music being posted across social media as part of #SongsofComfort, for a moment of diversion from difficult news.

    Jeffrey Brown has culled selections for our ongoing arts and culture series, Canvas.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Two Italian boys playing Coldplay's "When I Ruled the World."

    Fans of the young fiddlers offered this moment of sheer joy to the Songs of Comfort project. The artistic response to the coronavirus crisis was started by famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, a way to try to soothe souls amidst such uncertain times.

    Ma himself continues to post songs on social media, including this one he had once performed on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," now for children forced to stay home.

    And the response from around the world continues to pour in. A bit of blues from Reggie Garrett in Seattle, thrilling ways of performing together remotely, as from the Roma, Texas, varsity mariachi band.

    It's just one example of the many young people who've joined the Songs of Comfort effort. There's also plenty of accentuating the positive in these times. Some sing it quite literally. Often, it's not so much to what being played, as the very act of playing for others.

    A woman posted this video of her young banjo-playing neighbor. He was taking a break from online classes. She was grateful, she wrote, to have her spirits lifted.

    Neighbors being neighborly in new ways, here, one in his yard, another on his deck, a third on a roof, the video rough, the music smooth.

    And in a fashion that's now become more popular, this Toronto opera singer took to a balcony to sing an aria from "La Boheme." The celebrated West African singer Angelique Kidjo offered a love song. And this man played "Over the Rainbow," by request of his best friend, his wife.

    There's also a strong and growing expression of love and respect for health care workers. Dan Erdman said his song "Sunset" is for them.

    And on a final note, there was Lindon Beckford, an orderly at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

  • Lindon Beckford (singing):

    Give it up, give it up for health care workers.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Co-workers wrote how he's used his voice to comfort patients and colleagues for years, and now more than ever.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Jeffrey Brown.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Love all this. Just be careful about playing that violin on the roof.

    We do hope that, if you have art to share, you will join us. Upload your videos to Twitter, to Instagram, or Facebook using the hashtag #SongsofComfort.

    We will be watching and we may use them in the future on air and online at PBS.org/NewsHour.

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