Things are starting to get dead serious, down at the choir. This morning, our conductor announced, in true Gareth Malone style, that in just four weeks time we will be Giving A Performance.
Mr B says we are simply not good enough to take part in a performance. He doesn't mean that the whole choir is not good enough, at least I don't think so - he means that "we" are not good enough, as in "he and
me". I consider this defeatist in the extreme.
OK, so we can't hit all the high notes all of the time and our voices are somewhat reedy (I think that's the musical expression for the faint caterwauling
that inexplicably emerges from my mouth) - but what I lack in musicality, I more than make up for in sheer expressiveness.
You should see me singing Love's Old Sweet Song. "Once in the dear dead days
beyond recall..." It'd break your heart, seeing the soulful expression on my face. Truly. And by the time we got to the bit about life's dim shadows falling, well I was almost able to squeeze out a tear, I was feeling that depressed.
Though I say it myself, I'm pretty good at tragedy.
I'm even better when we move onto the songs which require a bit of a swing. Take that old favourite "Anything Goes. "In olden
days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, now heaven knows, anything goes." Just a couple of lines but the expressions on my face will take you through a whole range of emotions. Starting, of course, with a slightly cheeky smirk to
depict the "glimpse of stocking" - by the way, did you know it's apparently National Stockings Day today. It can only have been a man who dreamt that one up...
"Something shocking" - my
mouth becomes a wide "O" of surprise and shock, then quickly I cast my eyes upwards for "heaven knows" before giving an expressive shrug of my shoulders to accompany a wide beaming smile for "Anything Goes." Our conductor is gazing at me in
what looks a bit like admiration. Or it could have been despair...
Incidentally, members of the choir had a most enjoyable argument before and after our singing session over whether
Gareth Malone should have allowed one of the four workplace choirs in his TV programme to be eliminated last night. In one corner, those who said life is full of hard knocks and we all have to learn to take whatever is thrown at us. In
the other corner, those who maintained that singing is for pleasure, not for X Factor style humiliation on national TV.
I'm sure our audience will be kind to us. I don't think we'll be voted
off anyway. It's not as if we will be playing the Albert Hall, after all - we're singing at a rest home for retired servicemen. So I think it's fair to assume that, bless 'em, they will have experienced far, far worse in their lifetimes than
us singing the Lullaby of Broadway...