Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
or like vinegar poured on soda,
so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
It’s probably the most classic scene of the Big Bang Theory. Sheldon gets sick, and when Sheldon gets sick he reverts to a childlike state. He is unable to take care of himself and needs someone to step in and care for him like his mother did when he was a child. Of course, there are many, many ways that Sheldon his a child, but this one shines above them all.
Sheldon has convinced Penny to rub vaporub on his chest and now he would like her to sing him “Soft Kitty.”
For some reason, being sung songs when we are sick can help sooth our soul. It can make us feel a little less sick and bring us rest.
However, that’s not what the proverb is getting at here. Taking a coat from someone on a cold day would be cruel. Vinegar on soda causes it to bubble and steam. Singing a song to a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat on a cold day. It’s like pouring vinegar on soda. Singing a happy song to someone who is hurting ridiculous.
Yet so many people do that. You’re worried about something, so someone quotes “Don’t worry, be happy.” Or they quote Bible verses about not worrying about tomorrow. You’re sad about something and people send you Facebook forwards with rainbows and unicorns. And not only are they not helpful, but they cause you to foam at the mouth with anger towards the person.
When someone is sick, go ahead and sing them a lullaby. Soft Kitty if you’d like. But, when someone has a heavy heart, a song is not the answer. When someone is stressed out and overwhelmed with the worries of life, Soft Kitty won’t help. It’s like stealing their coat on a cold day.