August 2022 - Singing the Slogans

Singing The Slogans

Singing The Slogans 

Read how two Dutch fellows have fellowship and fun in making recovery music, and share their joy with others

Sing the Slogans and Learn Them by Heart

In 2018 an SA/S-Anon couple traveled around our region with their workshop “Slogans Save Lives.” They shared how they use both Slogans and Traditions for their everyday recovery, both individually and as a couple. Music and humor gave the workshop a light touch. We sang some recovery songs that were handed out on paper. 

More and more I’ve come to see the value of Slogans. They are simple and spot on, whereas I tend to complicate things. They are little capsules of experience, strength and hope. Rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration make them easy to remember. I enjoy turning them into songs. They make great titles too.

Two sheets of Slogans that my former sponsor gave me came in handy when, at the 2019 Madrid International Convention, the motto turned out to be “Living The Slogans.” In my song “Living The Slogans”, * the verses consisted solely of Slogans. 

Easy Does It

In this one, the verses describe how it used to be when my ego was in charge; the chorus puts forward the challenge of turning a “trigger to hate” into a “trigger to pray.”** Once, at a time when I was wavering in my sobriety, I happened across John Lennon’s “Run For Your Life”, and felt I could turn it into the voice of my ego trying to keep its hold on me as I try to recover, and out came “Run For The Wild Elephant.”*** 

Let Go and Let God

At the recent “Supporting Women in SA” online event, we sang “Living the Slogans” together. With unmuted microphones it sounded like, “Let Go, Let God” from homes all over the region; it was a moment of great joy and unity. 

In another song called “Let Go and Let God”****, we set these concise, alliterating words to a swing rhythm. It was recorded at the Nashville, Jan 2020 International Convention entertainment night, and mixed by a fellow musician. 

Some songs quote from our literature – “Trudging The Road Of Happy Destiny”, “The Eighteen Wheeler”, “Just For Today”, and “The Promises.” In other songs, we set program prayers to music -“The Serenity Prayer”, “The Eleventh Step Prayer”, and “The Seventh Step Prayer” – a great way to learn them by heart! “The SA Serenade” is a song of praise for the program and the fellowship and is used for celebrating sobriety anniversaries.

This Is a “We” Program

Marcel and I played together for the first time at a Dutch recovery day in 2017. He had only just picked up the bass guitar and was practicing until he had blisters on his fingers. Since then we haven’t stopped sharing this great form of fellowship and have built up quite a repertoire. 

Slogans that really fire my imagination are “Easy Does It,” “Keep It Simple,” and “Progress Not Perfection.”

We meet quite a lot of fellow musicians at national and international events. At the “Walk to Freedom” workshop which celebrated “2022—Year of CFC”, an SACFC servant, from his home in the US, joined in song with me and Marcel in the Netherlands, and together we solved the problem of internet sound asynchronicity by playing in turns. 

… Love Can’t Wait to Give

Singing chants with a few great fellows at a recent Dutch-speaking Convention, I was overwhelmed and moved to tears. Surprised by joy, the tears refreshed me because, for a period up until then, I had been suffering from a poor connection with my Higher Power. 

We’ve had the pleasure of playing with singer-guitarists, percussionists—from castagnettes to cajón—and lately with a fabulous fiddler, who joined us with a minimum of rehearsing! 

With An Attitude Of Gratitude,***** I thank my HP, sponsor, groups, sponsees, and check-in partners for sharing their recovery with us. I thank my buddy Marcel for his enduring enthusiasm and sense of fun; I thank all you fellows for playing, singing & swinging along; I thank that Trustee who advocated that music be played at events and finally, I thank y’all for listening.

This Is a “We” Program: recovery songs are a joint effort and a shared joy. 

Following now is the recording of our song “Living the Slogans.”

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Marcel S., Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Ben V., Leiden, the Netherlands

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