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Friday, April 23, 2010


This has been a great day. I got to do things I like, eat things I like, and now I am listening to Susan Boyle sing. I love her voice and her story.

I have always loved to sing, but I don't have a good singing voice. Nevertheless, I have inflicted my voice on a lot of people, from family to roommates to boyfriends to other friends and fellow choir members. I twice sang duets in church services. The first time was a total disaster as I forgot every note and cannot read music. It says a lot about my friend's loyalty that she still liked me after I ruined her beautiful number. The second time was ok, but only barely. I was so scared I quavered my way through my part. I'm glad it was not the main part.

My friends and I sang and sang as children. The grownups around us thought it was cute to teach us torchy songs to sing. I remember the little boy next door, when he was about five, belting out a song about sleeping in prison on a pillow of stone and "through these prison bars I shall fly straight to the arms of my darling, and there I'd be willing to die." I have no idea what song that was. I should Google it sometime.

I love to sing along with my favorite recordings. I've used various singers as my mentors, first Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady, later Ella Fitzgerald and all of her songbooks of famous jazz composers, then Kiri te Kanawa and her folk songs album and that wonderful Gershwin album she did. I did my best to match their voices. I think my range is getting lower as I get older though. I have no idea how I sound, just that I've heard I don't sound so good!

So I sing in the car when I'm commuting somewhere. And my son makes me sing in the choir these days because he wants to, and he won't do it unless I do. In my subversive way, I have a good time in choir by singing different parts, not just soprano or alto, but tenor and bass too, seeing if I can push my range low enough to match most of their notes. I could sing a pretty good tenor if my voice weren't so harsh. Bass gets too low. I used to be a soprano. Now I try to sing softly so that nobody has to hear the tones. I got caught once when somebody was sitting nearer to me than I realized and I wasn't being careful.

Where Susan Boyle suddenly achieved fame and fortune with her voice, I figure I'm going to go silent. Almost.

I'll stop here and hum things under my breath.

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