I have never written much about music on the blog. That seems odd because I can’t imagine a life without music. Music and Reading – I’d rank them about as critical to ongoing life as Eating and Sleeping.
July 2010 I spoke about Guitar Camp. I covered my brief musical history in that post. To sum up – I have far more enthusiasm than talent. Musically I have the creativity of a turnip. I can sing and mostly hold a tune (within my limited range), but I can’t harmonize. I can play guitar and piano, but I can’t do fills via strumming or chording on either. Which sucks. Fortunately having real talent is not necessary to enjoy myself.
I grew up in a home with music. Kinda. Neither Mom nor Dad played any instruments. But Mom always sang. She had a clear, tuneful, enthusiastic voice. And when there wasn’t singing, or vacuuming (the bane of existence), there was the stereo – tapes and LPs or even just the radio.
I sang with the radio all the time. Mostly inappropriate songs for a small child like, “I got stoned and I missed it.” I sang at home and I sang in school and I sang in church and I sang as I wandered down the street. (Some streets and areas in town were just made for The Happy Wanderer song.)
Singing is part of school in early elementary. We all sang, “Luc va a l’ecole avec son chien Fido.” (Il traverse la rue. Marche. Marche. Marche. Marche. And so on.) Our fourth grade teacher was particularly enthusiastic and everyday had a sing along. (He sang, played the accordion and the harmonica.) But we realized that singing wasn’t cool about then. Or at least, “Alouette, gentile alouette” wasn’t cool.
Singing on the street also not cool. Singing in church may not have been cool, but at least everyone was doing it. Singing at home always just remained something we did.
The last time I sang at school was grade 11. The Beach Boys released Kokomo on the Cocktail soundtrack and I loved that song. I put it on repeat. I was listening to my walkman during exercise time in the computer lab of math class and doing my problems. “Aruba, Jamaica, ooh, I’m gonna take ya…” I was just bobbing my head along, but singing at the top of my voice.
That was a bit embarrassing. Turns out I’m not Brian Wilson.
But we were singing in cars by then. I caught rides with friends and listened to tapes and CDs. We all sang. Even later in University days we still sang to the radio. I remember one trip to BC with a buddy. We listened to lots of Blue Rodeo. I got the Jim Cuddy parts and he got the Greg Keelor parts. I’m no Jim Cuddy either! But that was very fun.
There really doesn’t appear to be any singing in the workplace. This sucks. I’m sure I’d do better singing.
I started going to church again regularly last year. I secretly enjoy being able to sing publicly and loudly in church. If I miss anything about driving to work, it is singing in the car.
But there is always home. There aren’t as many people living in my place as there was growing up so there is less sung music. But there is still me!
Go and play this and you can pretend you are singing along with me right now!