Friday, July 17, 2009

What would you do, if I sang out of tune?

I've been thinking about the topic of singing lately.

I once read "All I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten". All I really remember is the author pointing out:
  • If you ask a group of children "who can sing?", they will all raise their hands enthusiastically.
  • If you ask a group of adults "who can sing?", you'll get crickets.
He went on to say how we are bombarded with virtuosity. And this was before American Idol.

However, karaoke is huge: surely some people think they can sing. (And despite the extreme urge to mock, many karaoke participants are very good, actually).

I can hold a tune, but I'm not doing karaoke without serious preparation (and I have no time or interest for that). As a youth, I used to sing a lot when I was alone. It made me happy. When I was very young, I listened to The Beatles often and I probably sang to that.

I have noticed that since taking up piano, I hum and sing much better. I have a better sense of key, something that guitar never afforded me. I have no idea how to breathe properly, though, which seems vital. I learned this from an ill-fated COCA class which I dropped out of frustration -- another story.

Interestingly, my family does not sing in church. That's a pity. Ah well... As is well-documented on here, I enjoy some key singers in my church back home, especially at Christmas time.

Though you'll never hear me, here are some favourite songs of mine, to sing:
  • Amazing Grace
  • Blackbird
  • Wasn't that a party? (by the Irish Rovers!)
  • Sweet Child o Mine (a lovely song, despite Axl's attempts to kill it)
I don't sing them often but the following are a short list of 'perfect' songs, when it comes to melody and lyrics:
  • Eleanor Rigby (dear heaven, what a song)
  • Yesterday
  • Christmas in the Trenches (John McCutcheon), more so for story
  • You Had Time (Ani Difranco), more so for lyrics and sentiment
I once met John M at a bluegrass festival, and gushingly told him that I thought Yesterday and Christmas in the Trenches were the 2 perfect songs. He was unimpressed but kind.

What a random post on a Friday night....


ps. Do you sing? Which songs?

pps. Yes, my favourite Beatle is Paul. John was divine, but if I have to pick...


fred said...

I heard once (on NPR?) a story about a girl about age 12 who was begging her father to stop singing. They were walking somewhere in New York City, and the girl was embarrassed, telling her dad that "Nobody wanted to hear him sing".

What makes the story REALLY interesting is that the girl's name was Alexa Ray Joel, and her father's name is William - but he goes by Billy.

Jennifer said...

Mine's George.

CaptainCanuck said...

ha ha, Fred! excellent... I miss our morning visits and such stories

Jennifer, I remember your thinking on George. Very cool... Someone on PEI (Richard?) argued for Ringo all the way, which is brave.

ncsmn said...

Your sis always sings at church.

Jennifer said...

Well Ringo does seem to have weathered life the best...

Ali said...

I sing loudly, proudly and terribly along to almost anything. I love Paul, and his song "Dance Tonight" just makes me happy, and makes me wish that I could either sing or play an instrument.