This is hard for me to admit for two reasons. People who know me might inwardly gasp and people who haven’t known me very long might think I have a higher opinion of myself than I ought. So just stuff your reaction somewhere and let me talk. For the past 10 or 12 years, I have been losing my singing voice. It is not like losing a spouse or a member of your family; more like a friend or a limb. I grew up in a family that sang. My dad had a rich baritone voice and often sang solos in church. One Sunday afternoon when I was about 8 , I told him I wanted to sing, too. He took me along, propped me up and I sang! I sang with my older sister, my friends, a really good high school choir. I took lessons. What probably brought me the most delight was singing in the Symphony Chorus. My first opportunity was Beethoven’ s Ninth and it bit me! At the time I was living near Cedar Rapids , Iowa and the Concert Chorale did a number of concerts that weren’t symphony. I had married young and I called it my education. I love language and there was German, Latin , French, Hebrew. There was very old music and modern music. I felt like I could sing for 3 days and not get tired. My range soared to an effortless high D. When I moved to PA, I joined the Symphony Chorus here. I was taking lessons and teaching school when it started. I thought it might be the strain of teaching. I said something to my teacher and she told me to relax. I didn’t see where I could get more relaxed than I was. We also had moved to a place with lots of trees and I wonder if the leaf mold got into my system. We loved the trees. I don’t live there anymore and I don’t teach so much, but little by little , it slips away. I don’t sing in groups because my endurance is so low. My church offers a bare minimum for people like me. Most of the songs are too low and I have to find another part somewhere in the air. I still love singing solos. Like a lot of broken people, I have ended up at the rescue mission! I prepare a few a Capella pieces, one or two they might be able to join or recognize, and a ‘pretty one’. No matter, they give me their full attention.
Now and then a song ‘resides’ in me. It rolls around in my head every whichaway. It feels like home when I hear it or play it. I think we can grow old together. One evening before I went to bed my sister had posted YouTube video of a performance of Michael Card’s ‘Emmanuel’. I played it 3 times and then went to bed. The next morning as I was stirring out oft sleep, I heard a man’s voice singing it in my head. I emailed a friend I hadn’t seen for a few years and said, Have you sung this song?” He answered, oh yes, a few times!
Here is another one of those songs. I sang it with my own daughter a few times, once at her high school graduation.
Enjoy, and thanks for listening.