Sunday, April 6, 2008

can you sing?

can you sing well? i cannot..i have the world's worst voice..no really..it is bad..really bad. when i was a kid i would sing all the time..one day, when i was about 8..my uncle looked at me and said..."you have the world's worst voice. no one in this family can sing, but your voice is the worst!" now on paper this sounds kinda mean..actually this uncle is one of the nicest and kindest people i know. this was said with love and humor..and has remained a family joke for years. the comment..and subsequent joking has taken its toll...i can not sing in public. now by in public..i do not mean in front of an audience...i mean i literally cannot sing in front of anyone but my husband..poor man..or my nephews when they were babies. in situations where people must sing..christmas carols or happy birthday for example...i do this weird whisper lip sync thing where it looks like i am singing...but no sound actually comes out. this is not by design...i try to sing..just cannot do it... when i am home alone, or in my car...i sing at the top of my lungs..even i know it sounds horrible but i am alone so who cares? one day when my nephews were toddlers i flew down to southern california to spend a weekend with them. my sister picked me up at the airport in her van and the boys were in car seats in the backseat. i opened the door to put my bag in back..their eyes lit up..they started smiling and laughing like mad and gestured for "auntie" to sit in the back with them smushed between the two car seats. the three of us started singing songs like wheels on the bus and itsy bitsy spider at the top of our lungs. all of a sudden my sister joined in and immediately the boys yelled "no mommy..no sing..only auntie!!" one of the happiest moments of my life..i actually had fans of my voice!!..ok they were two yrs old..but still..fans. my sister thought it was hilarious but remember..the entire family has horrible voices and.. i fear..the boys inherited the singing genes from our side..not their dad's..too bad for them.

anyway, last sunday i was in church and the adult choir started singing the entrance song, alleluia! give the glory which is sort of a bluesy, rock song. the entire congregation was really into it. i, of course, was doing my whisper/lip sync thing..but having fun. a woman standing next to me tapped me on the arm and said "why are you doing that?" now, i did not feel like getting into this with a total stranger (although since i am posting to total strangers on this blog i am not sure why) and just said that i did not have a good voice. she looked at me and said "so?" and i did not have any type of answer for her..i don't want to hurt the ears of people around me?, i don't want people to flee church on account of my voice? how do you answer that question? i looked at her..she was probably in her late 60's, impeccably dressed. you know the type..short grey hair..actually white..in a perfect short bob...red blazer, black pants, black handbag with a gold chain, black flat pumps with gold buckles, pearl earrings, perfect makeup..that type...she smiled and started belting out the song..i mean she was loud! and guess what? her voice was bad..really bad...maybe not as bad as mine but really close. she was so bad and so loud that people discreetly started turning around to look at her. she had a massive smile on her face and was having so much fun..and was so joyful..that people started smiling back. they were not laughing at her..she was actually bringing them joy.
now i wish that i could say this transformed me..that i too started singing out loud..but that would be a big fat lie..although it would have made a better story. what i can say is that i kept singing my whisper song..but a bit louder than normal..and i stopped thinking about what everyone else was thinking...who knows...maybe one day i will skip the whisper and just sing..softly..but sing. i do think though that karaoke is out for life...at least my nephews still want me to sing with them..although they are now eleven..so who knows how long that will last??

is there a talent you wish you had? i would love to hear your stories...or at least some thoughts of wisdom regarding my lack of singing talent.. please share on the comments section of this post..other readers will enjoy your stories too...
best,
napafarmhouse1885

10 comments:

Laura said...

I love to sing..I do not sense I can do it well.
My boyfriend before my marriage was a musician/singer and we would sing together. He told me to sing louder and have confidence..this would project my voice and make it sound better to me. His kids would comment when I sang in the car, how come you don't sing that loud at church? lol

My own children say I sing well..I can not hit high and lows in the same song...

I "practice" with singers that I sing in the same tone as them. Try that! I do not have a clue in music, just love to sing!

Sing unto the Lord with a joyful noise!!!

Anonymous said...

Napa girl..I am still laughing at your post. My voice is really awful too. I read your blog daily. You always make me smile.

Aunt Jenny said...

I definatly could take you on for that Worlds Worst Voice title!!
and I have seven kids..all of them with awful voices too!! But we sing loud in the car together.

Anonymous said...

I sound really good in the shower. Does that count?

MissD said...

I KNOW I could teach all of you to sing better!

Miss D

www.ChoirTeacherBlues.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I can sing. In the shower.

Otherwise, it is probably best that I don't quit my day job. Not so good at it.

Anonymous said...

I like singing too, will you be my friend?

Anonymous said...

Wow!! You have inspired me to fulfill my life long dream of becoming a circus clown. I will go for it and sing with clown joy! I will think of you every time I put on my red nose. You are my mentor!!!

Anonymous said...

When I was young, I was a coloratura soprano. I had a scholarship to a music college and gave it up to get married. (insert hysterical laughter here) I still sing. Can't do it like I used to but I still love to sing. We have a great radio channel here in Portland that plays standards and show tunes from the 30s to the 60s and it's on all day at my house. ("What kind of foooool am IIIIIIII?")

moodranch said...

When my brother and I were little my mother would take us over by the piano, play a note and ask us to sing it. After many tries, she finally gave up. She had a beautiful voice, played the piano and the recorder, but we got our musical talents from my father (none).She decided we needed piano lessons, after several months, the teacher begged her not to send us back. My mother was always furious that we couldn't sing.
When I had children i vowed never to push them to do things I wanted them to do, but they didn't. My daughter is a wonderful writer and artist, but she inherited her musical talent from me. My son on the other hand, has a beautiful voice, perfect pitch, taught himself to play the keyboards, has appeared in children's and adult musical theater shows at a few local theaters. My daughter was so furious, "How come he gets to sing?" I told her she couldn't blame that one on me....
I remember singing loudly in school and people turning and looking at me aghast at the noise i was producing. I still like to sing along with all the old blues music i play in the car and the house, but I don't inflict the abuse on anyone else.
We all have our special talents. My singing talent I reserve for my cats, they might just edge me out in the worst singing voices of all time. I have a Siamese who's a real screecher and a Siamese Persian mix who quacked like a duck when she was little, but now we realize her voice sounds like a distressed pot bellied pig (this knowledge gained from a recent viewing on Animal Planet).