Tonight was the last session of the season at choir. It's my first season, of course, and over the last 12 weeks I have been given the great gift of rediscovering my joy at singing out loud.... which is something I haven't really done in any meaningful capacity in twenty years, and certainly haven't done as part of a choir since I was 12 years old.
All that remains now are the performances: just round the corner from my house next Tuesday, and then, a couple of weeks later, with a proper rock band in the Sheffield Octagon. We're not allowed to use our sheet music for the performances, so over the last few days, I've been making a real effort try to make sure that I know my part. I've been listening to the MP3s of my part for weeks, but there's no substitute for actually sitting down and learning your part the old-fashioned way (besides, although you might be able to sing along when you commute to work in your car; when you're on your bicycle, people tend to look at you funny....)
This season is all about ROCK, and we've mostly been doing songs that I mostly know pretty well: Kiss, Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, Oasis, Rainbow, Queen, Madness, Van Halen, The Beatles.... stuff like that. You might imagine, therefore, that I wouldn't have much trouble with the lyrics.
Well, you'd be wrong.
You try singing "All You Need Is Love" to yourself. Do you reckon you can do it? Surely you can. It's one of those songs that you've probably been listening to as long as you've been listening to music. It's by the most famous band of them all. It's probably in your DNA if you're British.
How hard can it be?
Well, just try it.
Ok. Have you got to the "Nothing you can do that can't be done" bit yet?
Do / Done,
Sing / Sung,
Know / Known,
See / Shown
Some nonsense about being where you were meant to be....
It's difficult, isn't it? It's also got a weird, irregular timing to it. Bloody smart arses. As Ian MacDonald said in "Revolution in the Head": "slapdash...sloppy... drug-sodden laziness....casual incoherence...comfortable self-indulgence." Exactly.
And don't even get me started on Meatloaf. That damn song ("You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth") goes on forever and, although it seems like it repeats itself a lot, there are lots of *subtle* differences.
Still. Our musical director gives us every possible chance with his very physical and committed direction from the front. After tonight's session, although I clearly need to do more work, I'm actually really looking forward to the concerts.
Makes a nice change to be thinking about something other than running, for starters....
Do come and see us.
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