While the rest of America was home, glued to their TVs and fighting off depression, I was in Essex for Sea Chantey night at the Gris with friends. We all felt guilty and maybe a bit edgy, thinking about all those people in Boston who had been warned not to congregate in any groups for fear that some sick individual might seize the opportunity to hurt more people while we stood shoulder to shoulder in a packed bar singing along with strangers. But there’s nothing that makes you feel better than beer and “The Wild Rover.”
But I’ve written about Sea Chanteys before, and I’m not here to tell you about it again. Last night something special happened. A man handed us an edible arrangement and told us to take a piece and pass it on. It was for good luck, he said, because it was for state trooper at the end of the bar — the state trooper that just last week had been shot.
Yes, while so many people were home watching video of first-responders bravely running into danger to help those wounded by the Boston Marathon bombs, we were engaged in a sing-a-long with one of Connecticut’s finest. And as it turned out, he was a fan of a song called “Bound for South Australia” and doesn’t have a half-bad singing voice.
It was really a pretty awesome moment, and I was glad we hadn’t decided to just stay home. One of the best things about Sea Chantey night is the sense of community. It sounds lame (and more earnest than we usually are at The CuT) but when you’re in a room packed with people, all of them singing along, or banging on tables, and generally having a great time you’re reminded of how great it is to be alive, enjoying the simplest pleasures imaginable. If you’re ever feeling down, or like maybe people are more trouble than they’re worth, head down to the Gris on a Monday night and have some fun with your fellow humans.
As the night came to an end I was a little sad that they didn’t do one of my favorite songs, which seemed especially apropos that night. So I thought I’d share it with you (try to ignore the off-key audience members).