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Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Song In My Heart

Momma was the singer. The one who taught us to first appreciate singing and music. I was thinking today about the very earliest of songs that I remember. My mother would teach us the words, the melodies, and -- way more cool -- how to harmonize. We would journey down the road in our 1967 blue Chevy station wagon during the late 1960s and early 1970s with the three kids piled in the back and my mother doing her best to tell us how to harmonize. And these are the songs I can most well remember at a very early age:


Oh Come All Ye Faithful had (and still has) that very cool harmonic part in it during the "Come and behold him, born the king of angels......oh come let us adore him, oh come let us adore him.." part. I still sing it today, mostly at Christmas time.

First she would sing the harmony while we all sang the melody. And then we'd switch to learn the other part. I loved it. And still do. Harmony is the thing I most often identify with in a song when I hear it. Music has always been an important part of my life, thanks to my mother. She MADE me take violin lessons for a year or two and piano for eight years or so. I went on to travel as a bass vocalist with a contemporary Christian music group called The Continental Singers for twelve years -- a very long story that you may remember from my distant blogging past if you've been reading my site for a long while now.

But it all started with my mom. Her lightheartedness, her smile, her spirit and energy to teach us, mold us, and help us learn new things in our lives.

13 comments:

Ur-spo said...

You are a lucky man to have such a wonderful experience. There is nothing like the memory of a child recalling a parents singing.

Java said...

That's cool, especially that she taught you how to harmonize.

Funny, we had a blue station wagon during those years, as well, only ours was a Ford. (My Daddy is a Ford man.) Medium blue with white interior. My brothers and I sat in the back with the seat down, the whole cargo area as our play space. We'd sit on a blanket or sweater or something and slide all over the place when Daddy made a turn. SO much fun! That was years before car seats and mandatory seat belt laws. I suppose there are fewer traffic deaths now, especially for children, but there is also less fun. That being said, I always make sure my kids are buckled up. Sigh. Being grown-up can be a real downer.

Lemuel said...

My music is mostly self-taught and I love to sing. I love to sing Second Bass (my most comfortable range) and when you mentioned Adeste Fidelis a smile came to my face. I love the bass part on it.

That smile is often wiped away when I am in a group singing and the instrumentalist (organist) decides it is time to show off rather than facilitate the singing of the group. The organist goes off onto some dramatic harmonization that does not match the parts. That is fine if one is just listening to the music. I enjoy that. But when I am singing I want to sing in harmonization with the other singers.

Mark in DE said...

Like you, I have always looked to harmonize. Check out this group's harmony: http://www.a-cappella.com/product/2822/real_group_CDs_DVDs

bridgeout said...

My Mom was the exact same wonderful creature in my family. Beautiful soprano voice. A virtuoso on the piano. My favorite thing was given that I am an alto, she had the amazing "on the fly" gift of being able to instantly transport any song she wanted to accompany me singing from a higher key into a rich lower key that I could sing out strong in. She is my hero. She was so beaten down and abused by my father. And yet, her music he could not take from her. The last time I saw her I begged her to play the piano for me. It was magnificent! And with tears in her eyes she said "I haven't lost it." Of course not... that is her God given gift. No one can take that from her... or your Mom... or from you... or me.
PS- I was mysteriously born with the gift to harmonize with *anything* she sang! In the 80s in church, people thought we were like "The Judds"...
Thank you for sparking these memories. HUGS!!!

annie said...

omg brother, one of those songs i don't even remember. isn't it funny how today, when you harmonize to one of these songs, people look at you like you're nuts? when i was in rupert i sang a duet with a guy who played the guitar. i sang harmony. just like mama taught us.

bridgeouts comments make me teary.

HUGE hug!

Rick said...

What a great story.

dit said...

Good Morning, what a great memory of fun times you have. Hope you are doing well.

Cincinnati NAMjA said...

The first 10 years of my life there was a constant stream of Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle records and 8 tracks. And my mother wonders why I am gay...lol

Dean Grey said...

Where would we be without our mothers!

-Dean

Stephen said...

What lovely memories you share with your readers. As an only child, I had the entire back of our station wagon in road trips. I would sing for hours, usually show tunes, I am a good singer & they seemed entertained, but never joine in...

Michael Guy said...

You always carry a song in your heart I think. Always positive and upbeat!

CJ/Rick said...

I've always thought you to be harmonious. Look at that gorgeous creature in the banner pic. Someone's been to the groomers.