Jaqui's Daily Blog

Rainbows and Musical Choices

I am scuttling along, head bent against the driving rain, feeling cross with myself for having decided to come shopping at this particular time of day. Not only because of the sudden downpour, you understand, but because it also happens to be school turning out time, so the roads and pavements are chock-a-bloc with cars, recklessly ridden bicycles and demob happy youngsters full of the joys of a weekend ahead. What a miserable curmudgeon I am, to be sure.


Because I am not looking where I am going, I bump into a group of people, all of whom are standing perfectly still, training their mobile phones on something behind and above me. I turn to see what they are looking at, raise my face heavenwards - to see the most perfectly splendid double rainbow, glorious in its definition. All of a sudden, I am so very grateful for the rain...


This reminds me that things aren’t always what they seem - and good can arise from apparently difficult circumstances. Which brings me (in a roundabout way - but then this is the Daily Blog which has a habit of going round and round in circles before hopefully reaching a sensible conclusion) to yesterday morning’s meeting of the Singing for Pleasure choir. 


Our lively new conductor is trying to get to grips with our enormous repertoire of over 300 songs, many of them as old as the hills. Encased in our red folders you would find (if you were able to get hold of a folder, that is) songs that you sang in the school hall when you were a young’un, patriotic tunes from the World Wars, poignant spirituals from the days of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, folk songs captured for posterity by some travelling musician, and many a merry song from the musicals. What our new conductor wants to know is - which ones do we keep and which ones do we dismiss, never to be sung again, at least by us? She is working through every song, from A -Z (though I’m not sure we have any songs beginning with z..)


Which presents me with a problem because I can never, ever throw anything away - least of all a song. As other choir members give the thumbs down to indicate their displeasure with yet another song, I shrivel inside. Oh, no, it seems we are to lose poor Jock o’ Hazeldean who won the heart of that bold lassie who couldn’t be wooed by riches but left her intended (a laird, no less) at the altar to skip “o’er the border and away with Jock o’ Hazeldean”. Nobody wants to keep “I know it is springtime” either, which means I will never again hear the sound of the cuckoo cleverly picked out on the piano. Even Danny Boy is only hanging on by the tips of his fingers...


My friend and choir co-leader Sue and I present a spirited defence of “Lil Liza Jane” but to be honest I fear she is on borrowed time. Liza Jane, that is, not Sue. We are pretty sure, too, that everyone will give a thumbs down to “My love’s an arbutus” which was the song on which our friendship was originally founded, on account of its, well, randomness. I will miss it if / when it goes...


I hope we won’t lose all the “old songs” which we have been proudly helping to keep alive through our singing. It is true, though, that there are so many songs we could be learning in their place. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, who belongs to Rock Choir, plays me some of their performances which are radically different from ours. Maybe we do need to start rocking a bit?


In another week or so, we will be evaluating the songs beginning with S - including one of my favourites, “Spread a Little Happiness” which always reminds me of our Golden Wedding celebration when I chose my footwear especially in honour of my own “golden shoes day.”   I wonder whether I should organise some hustings to lobby for its inclusion? 


I look up at the rainbow, suddenly struck by the realisation that “Somewhere over the Rainbow” will also be up for consideration. Surely that must be a keeper?


What would we do without rainbows in the rain?

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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