Saturday, December 13, 2014

Behind the decline

I indulged in the usual kvetching about songs (at greater length here, with some rare comments by my Better Half).

But it's a good exercise to see where maybe I'm contributing to the problem.

I don't sing them myself. That follows immediately from the broader statement that I don't sing much at all, except in church or on the way, or sometimes during long distance driving. Nor do many people I know. In fact we have a rule: "no singing at the table." At this late date I don't remember why we instituted it, but it probably had to do with one or two dominating the table with irrelevancies.

Instead I generally listen to other people sing. Now though the tune does sometimes slosh out of the bucket when I hit the achievable note rather than the one the composer had in mind, I have a good time sense and keep the rhythm OK (can't manage the chorus of Grazing in the Grass, though). True, Youngest Daughter winces audibly.

I notice that if I pick a song to sing, I don't get bored with it and demand new variations. I may play with it a bit, but most of the time I sing it straight without irritability. Hearing the same Rudolph 4 times in a day became wearing, but singing Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel 3 times was fine. OK, that's not a fair comparison: marshmallows and steak; but that's the freshest example in my mind. I seem to recall the same effect with standard carols in past years, though.

Is singing in public too intimate? (Whistling might be more acceptable, but I only have about 3 notes and they aren't consecutive.) Perhaps we're too crowded for it not to be invasive, though given how many people have their ears plugged perhaps we're more isolated than we appear.

1 comment:

Texan99 said...

I'm so fond of public singing, especially in harmony, that I used to try very hard to get people to go Christmas caroling with me. I've given it up in recent years, though.

I guess my church's music directors are bored with carols, too, since they resolutely refuse to include them in the Sunday service. There's one Christmas Eve service in which the choir sings carols, but that's not my idea of caroling: sitting and listening, forsooth.