Oh Happy Day

Posted: July 12, 2017 in Blogs, Uncategorized
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After spending, what seems like an eternity, recently writing up College work, something I haven’t done for over ten years, I’m craving words for fun instead. I’ve solemnly sworn not to leave it so late next time and will practice the failsafe method of sending to Mum to check pre-submitting. This will prevent the prevalence of humdinger mistakes because, apparently ‘legions’ are very different from ‘lesions’, although perhaps both can be of an aggressive nature. During this time, I was tied to my laptop and wedged firmly at a kitchen table, generally over the weekend. I had to miss out on the sunshine, social interaction and Saturday night TV. In place of this I took part in the tried and tested, write a line, eat a biscuit. Write another line, make a coffee. Ooh a paragraph, time for a sandwich. So not only am I Vitamin D deficient, I am grumpy and chunky.

Since submission I’ve tried to address all of the above. Cycling to work and sunbathing – check, what to do about the grumpy? Well I never thought it would be me that could say salvation could be found in Saturday night TV. My guilty pleasures of The Voice Kids and Pitch Battle are rather annoyingly at the same time but catch-up TV is an immediate solution to this hugely important conundrum in my life. I am not a good singer, despite having some musical ability when I was younger, I don’t have much of a natural talent for it. I’ve been told by many that anyone can be taught and learn to sing to some degree but I don’t think I could ever get past the memories of grade music exams where I try to sing a note and it’s just a wild stab in the dark at the subsequently murdered music scale.

I do have some good memories of a happy singing time. When I was about ten I started a new school, which was probably the making of me, even if I didn’t end up in a West End show or a world-renowned singer. On my very first day I remember holding hands with other small people, similarly ridiculously dressed in pink and grey gingham, swinging our arms quite vehemently and singing ‘Bind us together Lord, with cords that cannot be broken’. The religious connotations were not my favourite thing but even then I remember the feeling of being part of something, of community and of the exhilaration of singing my heart out, however out of tune. This was just morning assembly and when I reached the music lessons where we all crowded round a piano being commanded by the cheeriest, red-faced, curly-haired lady I’d ever met, I experienced euphoria at Waltzing Mathilda.

These days I tend to get my community fix from my hockey team and work, until recently I never really thought about the amazing virtues of singing. It’s something I’ve always admired and secretly wished and wished I could be good at. The idea of performing, even when you have oceans of talent, would be terrifying to me. I suppose that is the reason I turned to DJing for a time; it was a safe way to perform, to be in the spotlight but with an element of control and manipulation! I wasn’t really much good at that but I still had a go and ‘performed’, it was such an amazing experience. I am quite simply in awe of good singers and even more so of young children who, as illustrated in The Voice Kids, have the ability to rouse an audience and portray things beyond their years.

I seem to have developed an unhealthy obsession with Pitch Battle too, my favourite singers being the gospel choirs and acapella groups. It probably stems from the former obsession with Pitch Perfect and I’m pleased to see the Musical Director embracing the TV show. I share the opinion of one of the judges, that what really adds to a performance is when you can see how close knit the group is. My favourite part so far being the riff-off with the theme ‘Happy,’ between a gospel choir and another group who didn’t hesitate in singing gospel at the gospellers. I can’t see myself ever getting bored of this 18th century hymn, and throw in Lauyrn Hill, Whoopi Goldberg and some serious hand clapping, we can all exclaim ‘Oh Happy Day’!

I can’t help thinking that if we all got up every day and joined in on a rendition of Joyful Joyful the world would be a better place. Music has the power to alter us, for better or worse, take us to the highest heights or terrifying lows. The singing though, the expression of it, even if it is sad, is a beautiful thing. For now, I rely on the voices of others because all I really have is words and Songs Without Music.



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