Tuesday, June 07, 2011

My singing

I am, despite wot anyone says to the contrary, a fairly shit singer. I blame myself entirely. When I was a child I, apparently, had a nice singing voice. There was nothing I liked better than singing with my wee tidda. I was by no means the star of the church choir and never sang lead, but I contributed enough.

My paternal grandmother loved to hear us sing. Actually, I think she just loved to show off. She would take me and Tidda around like we were the star attraction in a carnie freak show.
    "Look at how long their hair is!"
    "Ain't they just so pretty!"
    Grandma: "They can sang too."
    "Aw, g'on babies. Sang!"
As much as I adored my grandma, I hated singing for all those people. But it wasn't like you could beg off, or politely decline. Because this was Miss Bea, and you did what you were told with a smile. So I rebelled in a most passive-aggressive way possible: singing off-key. And I did it so much and for so long that I couldn't figure out how to get back on.

And I still have no idea how to sing on key or in tune. This is why I karaoke repertoire consists of nearly exclusively of rap songs. Specialities: Ice ice baby and Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock's It takes two. I have also been successful with Here comes the hotstepper and I wanna sex you up. Exceptions to the rule: Losing my religion and Wonderwall, particularly played by another person on guitar.

Despite my singing shititude, there is one audience that I will un-self-consciously sing for: my pupils. When I had a classroom in the States, I remember the first song I sang in front of my kids was Lift every voice and sing. Whatta song. And whatta bad song for a clueness numptie like me to sing - the lowest of low notes, quickly followed by soaring high notes. Normally, I wouldn't have done it, but I had my reasons: it was Black History Month (Lift every voice and sing is informally known as the Negro national anthem); the kids were to sing it at a whole school assembly and needed to learn the words. But mainly, I did it cos the song meant (and still means) a lot to me. I rather pathetically always bust into tears when I hear or sing it, blubbering kinda like my pal Macca does when anything Scottish happens anywhere, ever. (So, yes, when I listened to the YouTube link of Lift every voice and sing, I did start to greet.) Yet after I finished, the kids whispered eversoreverently, "You're the best singer ever." The best moment of my life. Ever. And I haven't stopped singing to and with my kids yet.

Yet my little bubble was burst yesterday when I invited another teacher in for our daily P1 singalong. She actually winced when I began to sing. "Why don't you join in with the singing?" I said to her, wearing the kinda smile on you have when you're around children and you really don't feel like smiling. "I would... if I could just figure out the tune," she replied with equal faux joviality.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Zandra said...

What, you deliberately sang OFF-KEY!!??!! What the fuck, man? I was singing with you dammit! That is some bullshit. Thanks.

Sunday, 4 September 2011 at 03:58:00 BST  
Blogger Autumn said...

In my defence, I didn't KNOW I was singing off-key til years later! And anyway, it didn't negatively affect you - you're a fine singer.

Sunday, 4 September 2011 at 19:46:00 BST  
Anonymous Zandra said...

I constantly go off-key for no reason! And now I know why!! It was YOU, dammit. *shaking finger accusingly*

Monday, 5 September 2011 at 04:21:00 BST  

Post a Comment

<< Home