"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Well, I now have all my Christmas shopping done, presents wrapped, cards written and posted and, before you start muttering about the smugness of the retired, let me tell you, this is the first year ever that I have been so organised and timely.
So, while wrapping Keith's present (and if he is reading this, I would say, "Don't even think about trying to find it or guess what it is!"), I decided to get myself into the festive mood with a few carols on the music centre and then, because many of the words are familiar to me, I began to join in with the singing.
And that was when  the suspicion that my singing voice is no longer proved to be well founded.
When I was little, I was thought to have a good singing voice; it was in the genes as my grandmother was a well-known member of local choirs of her time. The problem was that I was a very shy child and would no more have agreed to sing solo than fly to the moon, so I was bribed. I could have piano lessons, which I was interested in, if I agreed to have singing lessons also. Very reluctantly, I agreed, but my sacrifice came to nought as, for some unremembered reason, neither ever happened.
Fast forward to sixth form and our production of Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas' (Yes, no rubbishy 'High School Musical' in those days!), in which I played my part in the chorus and enjoyed it. For years afterwards, I would regularly entertain myself, and the neighbours on the other side of the bathroom wall, during my ablutions, giving  spirited renditions of 'When I am laid in earth' and 'Fear no danger'. 
But then I grew up and haven't really sung much for years and the result is the proof of the old adage, "Use it or lose it." The wobble is there, the difficult in holding correct pitch, the thinness of the voice. My grandmother would be ashamed of me and I am a bit ashamed of myself that I didn't do more to cultivate what voice I did have.
Ah well, maybe I'd better start practising in front of the mirror with the hairbrush.


Silverback said...

Thoughts of you singing at all are disturbing enough but they are totally outweighed by thoughts of you 'entertaining' yourself singing something entitled 'When I Am Laid In Earth.'

Unless it was a courting song of course.

My bad !

Seriously though, sing away all you like. I'm sure you have a much better voice than most on those reality show auditions.

Jennyta said...

"Thoughts of you singing at all are disturbing enough"
Dido is a Greek tragedy, hence the sombre title of the aria. ;)

Daphne said...

My father had a wonderful, rounded, rich baritone voice with accurate pitch and operatic quality.
My mother has a singing voice like a cat being strangled.
I inherited my father's accurate pitch and general musicality - BUT! - I inherited my mother's vocal quality. So when I used to sing in choirs, they would ask me to bring everyone in at the right time on the right note - - and then, er, keep it a bit quiet, Daphne. Sighhh.

Rosie said...

It maybe that it just lack of use and if you sing regularly it might get improve. So go for it and enjoy yourself.They say singing makes you feel better.
I've always had a terrible singing voice but I love to turn the music up and join in. Not sure my family share the enjoyment I get from it though !

Jennyta said...

A bit of a back-handed compliment for you, then, Daphne. ;)
Rosie, I might just do that - when everyone is out!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Your post reminds me that I should sing more. I have always had a good singing voice but I don't look for outlets - just expect my voice to do its business when requested to do so. "Use it or lose it" is indeed a saying worth remembering. Mind you Jenny, there's no way I'd try for "The X Factor".

Jennyta said...

Oh go on, YP, we could do a duet. We'd be unbeatable!

elaine rickett said...

I have kept my old reel-to-reel tape recorder where I have many recordings of my voice as a teenager singing along to the pop songs of the day (mainly when I had a cold) 24 Hours from Tulsa comes to mind. Now my voice has grown so deep I could join a mens choir. Those were the days.

Jennyta said...

Ah, Gene Pitney! They don't make them like that any more. ;)

Shooting Parrots said...

It just takes practice. What you need to find is a choir, which shouldn't be too difficult in Wales. Mrs P goes every week and their choir has been giving Christmas concerts round and about. We just have to put up with her bursting into song about the house.

Jennyta said...

Yes, they tend to be male voice choirs round here, SP. ;)

Dale said...

Welshmen are renowned for their voices. I believe Tom Jones was Welsh, wasn't he?

Sing on, dear Jenny! Sing. Sing. Sing!

Jennyta said...

Hi Dale! Yes, they are indeed. Tom Jones is still welsh and I will continue to sing to my Christmas cds. :)


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