Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Indeed, if you take “universal” to mean more than earthly, just think back to the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” where tones of music were used to communicate with visitors from another planet.
Sometimes, people try to communicate through songs the things they cannot say directly. As the late Jim Croce said, “Every time I try to tell you, the words just come out wrong, so I have to say I love you in a song.” And who would want to be the person Adele was sending a message to when she wrote “Someone Like You”?
Delivering messages in song has been happening since the beginning of language. In the 20th century, singing telegrams began to be offered by Western Union. Telegrams traditionally had been associated with delivering news of deaths and other tragedies. However, on July 28, 1933, Western Union was asked to send a telegram to singing star Rudy Vallee. Sensing the opportunity to change the image of telegrams, the company’s public relations director, George P. Oslin, asked an operator named Lucille Lipps (you can’t make this stuff up, people) to sing the message over the telephone. And thus was born the “gram” genre, which includes everything from kiss-a-grams to gorilla grams to strip-o-grams.
Now there is a new way to communicate a message in song. A singer/songwriter/poet and a professional vocalist have teamed up to create Singvitations™, which combine customized invitations with songs.
The Singvitation team works with you on choosing a song that fits the theme of your event, which can be anything from a milestone birthday to a save-the-date to a corporate affair. You wind up with personalized lyrics and a keepsake in a CD case – and undoubtedly a huge first impression on your guests. Visit their website to learn more – here is a link to a sample (be sure to select the “sound on” option).
I hope the company is successful even as CDs are losing ground to downloaded music files – my brand-new MacBook Pro doesn’t even have an external drive to play CDs. I worry about the same problem as people increasingly move toward electronic invitations and announcements, rather than printing them on paper. We’ll both figure it out, I’m sure.
As they point out on their website, “it all starts with the invitation.” That’s something that will never change, no matter what form the invitation takes.
What do you think about the idea of musical invitations?