Monday, April 04, 2005

Sing, sing a song....

Of all the God given talents out there, the one I wish I had, but definitely don't is the ability to hold a tune.

I come from a family of where music is in our blood. My granny used to sing in hotels (not in a seedy way mind, in a holy Catholic Ireland way) and my parents have both been in choirs. My sister, the famous YaYa, is renowned as the local wedding singer and my other two siblings can play guitar, write their own music and blast out a good tune.

Me? I play a mean triangle!

One of the images I have always had of being a parent is crooning softly to my sleepy child, my melodic tones gently soothing him off to sleep. The reality is, when tired, Joseph is just as likely to start screeching when mammy sings as anything else. I would like to think he is moved by the pathos of the lyrics, but somehow, when I see the pleading in his eyes, I know he just wants me to shut up.

During the day it's fine. Let's face it, even the tone deaf can roar a good "BAL-A-MOR-Y" at the top of their lungs when required, but trying to actually sing and convey the heartwrenching emotion of a song such as "Case of You" (Joseph's favourite) is hard going for the less musically gifted.

Of course, my family like to make me sing. They say I have "a nice wee voice". Much as the same as calling me a "grand big girl" doesn't feel like a compliment, nor does "nice wee voice". My sister can reduce a room to tears with her rendition of Evergreen, or the wedding classic "Set Your Heart"...I get pitying looks.

Being Irish (bejaysus and begorrah!) any family shindig inevitably ends in a singsong. (Imagine the scene, 30 mad, drunk Irish ones screaming "Lola for a song, Lola for a song" over and over). I break out in a cold sweat. YaYa has already sung "The Rose" and the tears and snotters are still flowing; Uncle Kevin has done his moving rendition of "Fields of Athenry"; mammy has danced her way round the room like a menopausal lapdancer singing "Stupid Cupid" and daddy is deciding which John Denver song to sing. There is no escape.

So I start, me and my wee quiet voice and I start to feel good. I can't look anyone in the face. I just stare at my feet and sing about heaven knowing no frontiers. The room is quiet. I'm focusing on remembering the words (of which there are many, many verses!) and I'm feeling like the combination of 2 bottles of wine and a wee Drambuie might just make me hurl...and then I'm done. I feel I have achieved something.

And then...the next day, someone reveals they videod the whole thing and I know I shouldn't, but I can't help myself. So I watch it, and I cringe....Never again, I promise.

Tonight, DH has gone away to Belfast on a training mission so I'm all alone. It was therefore my job to settle the wee man. Bath and bottle duly done he was no more close to sleep than I was, so I read all 4 books in close proximity to the cot. He was still awake.

So, with his night-time CD playing softly in the background I sang along quietly. I swear there was a look of horror in the wee man's eyes. Fields of Gold will never be the same again.

So if God could grant me one wee wish, please make it that I can sing. I don't need to be Eva Cassidy or Whitney Houston, just let me finish one line without drifting on and inventing some new notes.

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