The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has a reputation for responding to tragedy in the way it knows best: Singing to articulate their feelings.
A video they posted to TikTok performing a traditional Irish blessing in memory of the lives lost in Uvalde, Texas, has had over three-quarters of a million views.
In it, members of the chorus rest a supportive hand upon each other’s shoulders as they perform.
@sfgaymenschorus SFGMC sings in solidarity and remembrance of the victims of Uvalde, TX. #uvalde #change #singing #choralmusic #lgbt #irishblessing ♬ SFGMC sings Irish Blessing – San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus
“We are heartbroken and shaken by the senseless and preventable act of violence in Uvalde, TX, yesterday,” reads a caption on the video.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the families and loved ones of those affected by this tragedy.
“While we offer this song in solidarity, we know that thoughts and prayers are simply not enough. From Sandy Hook to Pulse Nightclub, to countless other mass shootings in this country, we have seen this happen time and again.
“Something has to change.”
“When words fail us, that’s when we sing.”
It then goes on to list the names of those killed.
The tragedy took place Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. A lone 18-year-old gunman killed 19 elementary kids, most around ten years old, and two teachers.
The gunman, Salvador Ramos, shot and seriously injured his 66-year-old grandmother before setting off for the school. Ramos was later shot by authorities at the school. However, questions are now being asked about why police did not engage with him sooner. It’s believed Ramos was holed up in a classroom for up to an hour before authorities stormed the building.
Many have thanked the SF Chorus for its simple tribute.
On TikTok, one user commented, “As a Columbine High School survivor and choir student, this brought me to tears because of its sheer beauty. Thank you. You are amazing.”
Another said, “I’ve held it back all day. As a K-6 Music teacher, I’m thankful for your beautiful singing. Weeping in Canada for lives lost to gun violence.”
Another summed up the feelings of many: “For those of us who have no idea what to say, you sang it for us.😔”