If you had happened to be passing by our house early this morning, you might just have heard me singing in the shower. "Doe, a deer, a female deer," I carolled above the noise of the gushing water.
"Me, a name I call myself," I continued, tunelessly, as I towelled myself dry; then: "That will bring us back to doe!" - pulling on my clothes. Mr B suggested, kindly, that
I shouldn't. Go back to doe, that is. On the basis that there was nothing even approaching a Musical Sound, let alone The Sound of Music about my early morning performance.
Mr B and I have joined a choir, hence my practice session in the shower. Our choir is called "Singing for Pleasure" which is why it appealed to me. Mr B asks whose pleasure it is for, the singer or the listener but I choose
to ignore the question as being one of those for which no answer is needed. Mr B asks a lot of such questions.
Mr B enjoys a good sing-song. Show him
a karaoke machine and he'll be up there, doing his Elvis impersonation and singing "Teddy Bear" at the top of his voice. I am much less of a show-off. To my mind there are only two kinds of singer who should perform at karaoke evenings, the really amazing
songbirds who will wow the whole crowd into rapt silence - or the truly dreadful, out-of-tune croakers who are so awful that everyone loves them. I'm thinking of that scene in "My Best Friend's Wedding", do you know the one I mean?
As we registered for our session, down at the Community Centre, I was asked how I sang. I replied, honestly: "Not very well." This was the wrong answer. I was
supposed to indicate whether I was a soprano or an alto. I decided to be a soprano, on the basis that if I were an alto, I might have to sing harmonies - and, having so, almost certainly inaccurately, categorised myself, I settled down with all the other
sopranos. I think Mr B was quite pleased that he could sit at the other end of the room from me among the men who could sing in loud, booming voices and probably wouldn't get criticised because our choir, like most choirs, needs All The Men It Can Get.
Well, it was great fun. We filled our lungs. We did vocal exercises. We trilled this little ditty about how having a cheerful smile on our face would
make our singing better. The person next to me had the most beautiful voice, and I kept hoping that, when our conductor looked our way in search of the songstress, she might just think it was me. I kept a cheerful smile pinned on my face, just in case.
Secretly, and I would only admit this to myself (and you, my loyal readers) I have to say that my voice was probably even worse than I thought it was, last time I played
SingStar with the grandchildren. However, our conductor says we will find ourselves singing better and better each time we come. This is definitely Something To Aim For.
We sang songs I knew and songs I didn't know. Among the latter was a truly wonderful example of Victorian melodrama called "The Goslings." This was about two goslings who fell in love, but the male gosling went off alone to see the world,
returning to find that his true love was about to end up on the dinner table.
"Then up he went to the farmhouse. "Where is my love? he said.
But the farmer's wife she seized a knife and cut off his little head.
And she served him up with his true love, on a dish so deep and wide,
So though in life they were parted, in death they were side by side."
They simply don't write 'em like that these days...