Travelling to and from places early in the morning can be challenging. Whether you are making your way to work and are anxious about a morning meeting, or even making your way to an event, commuting can add a lot of pressure to your day.
But for one particular journey, one woman on an 8.30 am train from Fremantle to Perth set out to make the morning routine of commuters just that little bit easier. As regular commuters sit on the carriages, chatting to other commuters, listening to music through earphones, or reading their book, Bhavani Naea stands up and tries to grab the attention of the commuters.
She is holding a guitar and a clear wallet with sheets of paper in. She begins, ‘Good morning ladies and gentlemen’ and the commuters stop what they’re doing and look towards her. She continues, ‘I have a gift for you this morning. It’s a song and I’d love for you all to sing it with me.’ If you want to see more from Naea, follow her on Facebook.
She passes around the song sheets and encourages others to do the same. Once most of the carriage is engaged, she starts to play the guitar and walks her way down the centre. In another similar video, passengers sing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” during their morning commute.
She starts off on her own singing Bill Withers’ ‘Lean On Me’, and as she progresses and nears to the chorus, the other commuters also join in. The origin of Withers’ ‘Lean On Me’ narrates his struggles of growing up in a part of West Virginia, that is often referred to as Slab Fork.
Withers navigated his way through the loneliness of growing up in this desolate town, which as of late, is home to approximately 200 residents. The song offered comfort for Withers and dealing with his only personal experiences, but never imagined that it would help so many others. When dealing with natural disasters like the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti, hurricanes, and more recently, dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Naea acknowledges how these commuters come from different walks of life, and it is impossible to know the stories of what each person going through. Yet through the power of music, they join together in song and become united.