Sing

Sing

when I was a young boy 

I liked to sing

used to do it a lot

around the house 

on my way to school

with my dad when we went fishing

with my sisters when they got old enough 

we would sing bits of songs off the radio

sing along with records of my mother

Mario Lanza 

drink drink drink

each trying to out sing the other

hey there

you with the stars in your eyes

that would become

hey there

you with sausages in your eyes

don’t fry my heart

it always broke us up 

hey there 

you with the bananas in your eyes

don’t monkey with my heart

hey there

you with the beans in your ears

can’t you hear I love you

 

the children’s choir at church 

was looking for new members

my mom suggested 

it would be great opportunity

I could learn to sing for real

learn how to carry a tune 

instead of burying it under volume

 

a bunch kids at the church hall

were lined up according to height

mostly girls and some boys

mostly around my age 10 to 12

we where given a song sheet

words between dangling fangs of music

I didn’t know notes   rests 

we where told 

just worry about the words

a woman played a few notes on the piano

we started in with a din

a few tries and we worked through it

then girls only  boys only 

individually

some got a nod from her

yes you’ll do fine

my turn she played a few notes

I started

no no no this note

finally she gave up

thank you but you really can’t …

 

blood rushed to my face ears

the other kids gawked at me

I ran out ran home

told my mother 

I never wanted to sing

never ever ever

and really haven’t

except for the occasional

 

hey there 

you with the fingers in your ears

Hey there, it’s a bonus – a piece that didn’t make the chapbook for space reasons 🙂 This is a mostly true incident with some poetic licence. My mother was a big Mario Lanza fan, we did sing along to his albums. Hey There was a big hit for someone – I thought it was Perry Como but maybe it was Frank Sinatra. The way we would fit our own objects into your eyes happened every time we sang it but I doubt if we were ever as inventive as I make out here.

My mother would rarely join into our vocal gymnastics but Dad always did. I can recall when he took us kids for Sunday drives we would sing ‘Yellow Submarine’ (for some reason) endlessly. The drives were probably to get us out for under our mother’s feet for a couple of hours because she rarely came with us.

I did go to Sunday school and that’s where this ‘audition’ was announced. We were to come on a night during the week. It was clear who the ‘conductor’ wanted to audition as she named off some kids she wanted to make sure would show up. But I went anyway. I told my mother about it & she said something about carrying tune. 

The audition was not as organized as I make it here. The kids who had been given the nod earlier knew somethings about music already like rests & stops. They might have been her piano students already. Budding prodigies. ‘dangling fangs’ is clearly the poets image not the little boy. I just though they look scary & incomprehensible. Each of us did get a solo opportunity and that was the worse part. All I remember was being too nervous to get any volume. My departure from the audition wasn’t quite so dramatic. Several off us were given the boot.

I told my mother they had enough boys so I didn’t get picked. We didn’t continue to sing Yellow Submarine on our drives. I did not choose to become a professional singer 🙂

previous Brown Betty posts:

Man With A Past 1 https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3B3

When I Was A Young Boy  https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3By

Home (not of the brave) https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3Cg

Nailed https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3D9

Dad’s Pockets https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3E0

Unmasked https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3EE

The Colliery https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3HG

The Past Catches Up https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3Ip


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Please Please Me

For my 200th blog post of the year it seems fitting that I finally get to The Beatles. This may take three or four posts to get through. Like many kids of the 60’s The Beatles were my first real music crush. On one mp3 collection I have: Please Please Me; With The Beatles; Yellow Submarine; The White Album along with George Harrison’s Wonder Wall and Danger Mouse: The Grey Album. Which covers the start, late & finish of their career. I’m get to the other lps in a few weeks.

tree03 can you see the forest

What struck me about their first couple of lps was the amount of US music covers they did. R’n’b, soul & some rock. There is a crisp fresh quality to the sound itself, sweet almost innocent. The early hits here are so simple, direct and tender. I remember being allowed to see them on Ed Sullivan & the audience screamed so much you couldn’t hear them singing “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

When we jump to the White Album the sound is more complex, the emotional content more adult & worldly. Fine moments but it sounds as if it was harder for them to even be there (which in fact it was.)

tree02 little tree I once knew

Yellow is the original lp with the George Martin suite on side two. Just hearing it brings back lots of Peter Max memories. Is there a pop group today who would dare do something on the scale of Yellow Submarine? Wonder Wall – Harrison’s sound track for a movie I’ve never seen has lots of sitar, raga-esque mixed with honky tonk and scraps of other genres. If it weren’t Harrison it would be totally forgotten.

tree01

stumped again

Danger Mouse’s Grey Album (quickly suppressed for copyright reasons) is dense with samples music from White Album with Mouse rapping over them. I love the samples & the notion of it but for me recognizing those snippets drowns his lyrics.

sample

Christmas Hamper

The gun kept slipping out of her hand. Blood! So much she didn’t know if it was his or hers. Jill pulled herself closer to the wall behind the laundry hamper. For once she was glad of its size. Extra large for her extra dirty family. She breathed a prayer that she’d get to wash those clothes again.

This was her first chance to take a breath since the attack had began. It started innocently enough. A group of five nondescript kids outside singing Christmas Carols. They were fund raising throughout the housing complex. Something for the new day care centre.

Jill had already bought the chocolate almonds, the raffle for a trip to Las Vegas. The carol singing was the latest in that series of wallet squeezing.

When they had started singing she was sorry her husband was still out with their three kids. Off to see Grandma Val, the mother-in-law, whose drunken tirades Jill no longer she felt she had to endure even in the name of festive forgiveness.

When the group had finished their first off-kilter Frosty one of them, a girl it turned out, came to the door to see if Jill wanted to hear another. Jill had fished out a ten dollar bill and was about to hand it across when she saw the small luger in the belt of girl’s nylon jogging pants.

“Don’t feel safe?” Jill had asked.

“That’s right ma’am.” A boy stepped up to join the girl only he had his larger gun in in hand. “Now if you don’t mind we’ll come into the safety of your house.”

“What …”

The boy shoved Jill hard back into the house. “Shut the fuck up bitch and you won’t get hurt. We’re making some pre-Christmas pick-ups of our own.”

That’s when Jill closed her hand around the handgun in her purse. She fired without taking it out. The bullet tore through the bag and slammed into the boy’s shoulder. Blood spurted over her, over the wall. The girl yanked out her pistol and fired.

Jill felt a sting in her calf.

“Bad aim sister.” Jill dropped the purse off her gun. She saw that the other carollers had lunged in behind the first two. One had a sawed-off shot-gun.

“Lady,” he growled as he cocked the gun, “if you don’t want to join the decorations on your tree just back off.”

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” Jill laughed, “Back off this you little asshole.’

Her one shot hit him directly between the eyes. She turned and dashed up the stairs to the bathroom. Jack kept the automatic behind the hamper. This would certainly be a Christmas to remember.

 tree03 pile’em high

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet