What the Song Looks Like

January 2, 2009 @ 10:41 pm | Filed under: ,

A commenter (named, delightfully, Jane Wiley) on my recent Signing Time post asked:

Melissa…have you heard about “Sign Art” the interpretation of music through sign language…
Sign Art is a beautiful way to see a picture… of a song… through the interpretation in sign language…

Several years ago, Scott called me to the TV to watch a clip from a Pearl Jam concert DVD he was watching. “Trust me,” he said. “You’re going to love this.”

As usual, he was right. I stood transfixed as a young ASL interpreter accompanied the band in a performance of “Given to Fly.” Her movements are lovely and captivating, lifting the song itself to a level of beauty I would never have associated with Pearl Jam.

I found the clip on YouTube so you can see for yourselves. (Parents with younguns looking over your shoulders, be aware that Eddie Vedder drops an F-bomb at minute 3:28—with a bit of sign language of his own).

    Related Posts


5 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Kathy says:

    This isn’t about the Pearl Jam video.:-) Wasn’t Jane learning Greek at one point (or maybe she is still)? I searched the archives and didn’t see anything. When you have a moment could you please share what she used? My 11yo daughter is just dying to learn Greek and I’m starting my search for a program/book/guide here. Thanks so much!

  2. J says:

    Many years ago, the graduating Eucharistic Ministers sung-signed to John Lennon’s “Imagine” at my high school graduation. They looked like angels in their white graduation robes. So amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. Thanks for the clip.

  3. J says:

    In other news . . . have you checked out the many versions of “Hard Knock Life” in ASL posted on Youtube? Too awesome.

  4. angela says:

    A couple years ago, I spotted someone signing at a Living Stones retreat (back when K and I were newbies in the world of sign) and I had to approach her. Since then we’ve become fairly good friends and she has taught me so much that I can sign most words at church while the worship band leads the music. There is no better feeling than realizing that you know all the signs to a song!