This Christmas season, I had the pleasure of providing live music for the inmates at the Calgary Remand Centre.
It was a bit of Christmas music, and a bit of whatever they requested (if I knew it – I had to skip the Ozzy Osborne). But I thought it might be fun see how the prisoners felt about having live music, and share a few of the comments I got through the institution. These were on comment cards prisoners filled out:
“That lady made me laugh! She had a nice voice and I want to thank her for coming to play us music.”
“Thank you for the concert. She should have been a comedian.”
“I hate being here at Christmas and was feeling pretty shitty about it. Going to the concert and listening to the music made me feel a bit better. I felt that I was kind of accepted for a change.”
“Our performer was a lot of fun and it felt like she didn’t care we were inmates.”
“Thanks for making us feel happy at Christmas. The whole nite was no judgement and I liked that. I also thought it was funny that that lady played a lot of songs about jail. She was fun.”
“Thanks for working late to give us a concert boss. Thanks for the food and the music, Jackie cracked me up and made me forget I was in jail for a second.”
So apparently they enjoyed it as much as I did. And it didn’t hurt that I knew my Johnny Cash – thanks Johnny.
Goes to show you the power of live music – and that everyone is human, and needs to be treated like one.