A singer’s blog: Somewhere in my memory

19 December 2017

Two days since the buzz of concert day, or longer if you’re reading this north of Watford, and still the words and tunes reverberate like the last chord of Gaudete in an empty Southampton Guildhall. It’s impressive and amazing, for us as well as our audiences, how we manage to remember (pretty much) the whole of every concert by heart. Yes it helps when we have one or two old favourite re-releases and not too many in other languages! But (mostly) the right words and (mostly) in the right order seem to emerge at (mostly) the right time.

I wonder if, like me, you have some favourite lines of lyrics from our recent repertoire? From the Alan Menken concert last year I remember: “Lift up your head, wash off your mascara. Here, take my Kleenex, wipe that lipstick away.” And the haunting, if slightly puzzling, “Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?”

I seem to go for the lyrics on the edge of emotion such as, “Let the time go by, I won’t care if I can be here on the street where you live.” Or that moment when we hear desperate, misplaced self-confidence with, “One tear in my eye makes the whole world cry.”

But then there are those anthemic, ff high points such as when we basses sing, “Tote that barge, lift that bale, get a little drunk and we land in ja…ail.” Or, “I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing, Roman cavalry choirs are singing.”

I expect you all recognised these lyrics straight away and could probably carry on singing the rest of the song, you may already have done just that! And you probably have plenty of lines which are your own personal highlights.

Sometimes, however, it’s not whole lines that stand out but individual words. In last year’s Christmas concert we sang two songs with the lovely word “fireglow” in them. (Bonus points for anyone who can, “Name those tunes”!)

Not easy eh? I tested myself with some specific words from this year’s and last year’s Christmas concerts and ended up with a wordsearch and an idea for a Christmas Quiz which may not be for the whole family as Inspirationers  should have a definite advantage.

Download the wordsearch and quiz.

The wordsearch is self-explanatory but the quiz would work as a solo puzzle or might be done as a competition, maybe in teams, as follows: For each of the single words listed how many different carols or Christmas songs can you think of which include that word? One point per carol/song with no upper limit. A time limit of say five gold rings, sorry minutes, might need to be agreed. And checking the answers after… well I leave that up to you!

Have fun, Merry Christmas (sing a song for the glorious season) and an Inspirational New Year to all!

Alan Matlock, Southampton Bass

Music