The Music Appreciator

My mother sang all the time.

She would sing in the shower, she’d sing as she cooked, she’d sing as she played her piano.  She would place a record on the old player and sing along with the artist.  She knew all the words, and she could hit all the notes.

If home is where the heart is, than surely, mine was safely nestled amongst sheet music and record players.

Her voice was beautiful and she shared it with everyone.  She sang at weddings, including mine, in clubs and pubs, and back yard barbecues.

Wherever we went, someone, wanted to hear her sing.  And I wanted nothing more than to stand next to her and sing as a mini version of our family’s songbird.

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

But, if the structure of vocal chores are passed from parent to child;

If the tone and timber those chords resonate with is also a gift of genetics;

Then I guess it stands to reason that the ability to sing is also an inherited trait.

How then did I inherit gravely scratchy vocal strings that twang and snap every time I try to issue forth words in lyrical harmony?

Seriously!

Every time I open my mouth and attempt to utter words accompanied by even so much as minute semblance of melody, the doors of the local church become possessed and slam closed, locking themselves tight for fear I’m headed in that direction.

Glass gains an invisible life force and gathers its molecules a little closer fearing an imminent explosion towards every point of the compass.

And my husband, bless him, looks towards the heavens and joins the neighbourhood chorus of howling dogs.

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

I just want to sing, and I want others to want to listen to me singing, but alas, I’m relegated to being the appreciator, not the performer.

I remember joining the choir a school.  My mother was in the choir, so surely that’s where I belonged.  On the evening of the Christmas Concert, the music teacher took me aside and said:

Clare, tonight I want you to just mouth the words.  Can you do that?

I did, but not without a broken heart and a tear in my eye.

So sadly, at a very tender age, I discovered I’m someone who should sing either tenor or solo.  Ten or eleven miles away or so low no one can hear me.

BUT . . .

That doesn’t stop me from singing.

I love to learn the words of my favourite songs and will even hum and ‘la la’ along until I do.  Another activity that scares the church, the glass and the dogs.

As ‘appreciator’, it becomes very difficult to find favourites because I love and appreciate all types.  Alternative, hard-rock, soft-rock, country, soul, pop-rock, folk-rock, singer/songwriter, R&B, jazz.

The genre doesn’t matter, as long as I can hear – and learn – the words, it’s ok in my books.

Yet, every now and then, a song will resonate with me, permeating my soul, attaching itself to the very fibre of my being and echoing through every moment of my life.

93 Million Miles by Jason Mraz is one such song.

Rarely a week passes without me listening to Jason’s beautiful song.  If I’m not listening to it, I’m reciting its words in my head, singing its lyrics in my heart, allowing its beauty to encompass me.

I don’t care what I sound like belting it out.  Let the dogs, and my husband, howl.  Let the glass shatter and the church doors slam.

I may not be a singer, but I am ‘The Music Appreciator’,  and I truly appreciate the message Jason wove into his beautiful song.

6 Comments

  1. That is like the perfect traveling song for you. Even my son perked up his ears when I was playing it. I get exactly what you’re saying about having to be a music “appreciator” as I’m a BALLET “appreciator.” I wanted so badly to take lessons when I was young, but it never happened. During my mid-life crisis (if they still call it that), I really struggled with never having been able to give it a shot, and one day laying on the desk I found the sweetest card HL had printed off for me. There was a picture of toe shoes on the front, and inside he’d put “Dream of Dancing, God Knows Your Heart.”

    So go ahead! Dream of singing at the top of your lungs. God knows YOUR heart, too! I loved this post.

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    1. Thank you Calen,

      “I Dreamed a Dream”, of singing and dancing and painting and when I wake, I do what every I like. 🙂

      93 Million Miles actually inspired me to write a beautiful speech for Toastmasters. One day I might post it here, but in the meantime, I’ll continue to hold it close and wait for sharing it in a speech contest one day.

      Clare

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  2. No matter what your voice may sound like, just sing. Let it all out. It’s one of the most liberating feelings to ever be experienced. Those that don’t want to listen can go someplace else 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story.

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