I love to sing but, unfortunately, this granny cannot hold a tune.
It’s 40 years or more since it was said to me: ‘no one would want to sit near to you in church’. It wasn’t that I didn’t wash, I think; just my lack of musicality. The speaker didn’t need to sit near me, she sat in the choir. It took me some years to regain the confidence to open my mouth and join in congregational singing with any degree of enthusiasm.
Reading the letters page in the Guardian, I mention it again. ‘It was a long time ago,’ says Mr A; ‘can’t you be forgiving?’ ‘Of course I can forgive,’ I say, but the memory stays with me. The pain and shame can bubble up and catch me unawares. Forgiveness doesn’t always wipe the memory clean. A harsh reminder, perhaps, that we should be careful what we say. Once said, things cannot be unsaid.
I married into a musical family and my daughters all received the music gene. I have always celebrated their ability to bring pleasure to others through music. I love to be in the audience and enjoy a concert; but I must confess to a little envy that I cannot do the same.
I know that I am not alone and the letters in the paper made my heart sing. A choir that’s for the tuneless, that’s got my name on it. I went to the website to see if there’s a tuneless choir near to us. Sadly there isn’t, but I’ve signed up just in case there are others near my postcode who need the same therapy.