Today’s Musical Monday selection has been played at community gatherings across the U.S. since its release in 1964. They are no doubt still Dancing in the Street in Philadelphia celebrating the Eagles' Super Bowl victory last night.
Dancing in the Street, recorded by Martha and the Vandellas in two takes, became one of Motown’s signature songs.
Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the hit #40 of the 500 greatest songs of all time. In 2006, the Library of Congress preserved Dancing in the Street as part of the National Recording Registry.
Written by Marvin Gaye, William "Mickey" Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter, the song was inspired by watching people playing in the water from open fire hydrants in the Detroit summer heat.
Despite its origins as a carefree dance single, the song took on a different meaning during the U.S. Civil Rights movement. Dancing in the Street became an anthem for social change during urban protests and riots.
There have been other interpretations of the song from artists such as The Grateful Dead, Van Halen, and most notably David Bowie and Mick Jagger, who teamed up in 1985 to record the song for charity.
“It's an invitation across the nation,
A chance for folks to meet.
There'll be laughing, singing, and music swinging,
Dancing in the street.”
~Martha and the Vandellas, Dancing in the Street
Dancing in the Street evokes a feeling of joy, change and community. As we age, it is more important than ever to remain connected with others and celebrate life!
What and how we celebrate might change with experience, but expressing joy and living each moment to the fullest should be a constant throughout life.
Remaining connected to friends, family and community interests are vital to a fulfilling life. Sharing experiences, celebrating milestones and supporting others are proven routes to happiness.
Whether you are celebrating a Super Bowl victory in America, donning a mask for Carnevale in Venice or watching a Lion Dance in Asia, take time to revel in the street!