When I was a kid, I’d sit on the swing in the backyard and sing for hours. It made me feel good.
My mother had a different reaction. “Maybe you shouldn’t do that.” When I asked her why, she said, “You’re singing songs meant for adults.”
Never occurred to me. I wasn’t listening to the words, I was enjoying the act of opening my mouth and belting out a song.
I was in choir in school, and after I graduated, I sang along with my records (vinyl, then cassette, CD, and finally MP3). People asked me to entertain at parties, I was so good, and I loved it.
I married at twenty-three and divorced five years later. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t sing. I mean this literally. I’d try, and nothing would happen. It was the weirdest thing I’d ever experienced. It was also kind of scary.
A couple years went by, and my voice came back, though it was never the same. When I lived in Wisconsin, and I was laid off, I’d ride the backroads on the moped, listening to music through headphones, and singing at the top of my longs. I didn’t care if anyone heard me, because I wasn’t in any one place more than a few seconds.
Then I moved to an apartment in St. Paul. Thin walls, lousy soundproofing. I stopped singing, this time voluntarily, so I wouldn’t disturb my neighbors. I didn’t even do it in the shower, and I wasn’t in the car long enough to make it worth while. Society does not encourage people to sing, and people often give you funny looks if you do it where you can be heard. All the joy gets stomped out of us as we grow up and get older. That’s sad, really.
The last time I sang for any length of time was when I moved to south Florida. I was in the car for three days. Of course I sang, and I loved every damn minute.
Singing provides a true sense of lightheartedness. If I sing when I am alone, I feel wonderful. It’s freedom. –Andrea Bocelli
See you next time!