Christmas time is singing time, whether you enjoy Christmas tunes on the radio or listening to carol singers. Being able to hold a tune is truly a blessing at this time of year.
Alack and alas, I was at the back of the line when tuneful vocal chords were being handed out.
To be honest, I sound a little like a half-strangled turkey when performing a party piece. The situation is so bad my children plead with me not to sing along to the radio. Being Irish, and not being a good singer is a little bit of a disappointment. As we all know, my countrymen love a good tune.
One day I shared my deepest wish with my husband.
“I would like to be able to sing in my next life,” I confided.
Without lifting his head from his book, he quickly replied:
“Judging by this life, your singing career is at least two lives away.”
And so, I’m a hopeless, out-of-tune mess. I don’t mind my lack of talent until Christmas comes around. Being able to sing in tune is a very handy skill at this time of year.
Tuneful renditions of lovely Christmas carols ring out on street corners. I try not to be cajoled into join in, since I know if I head for a high note, my poor voice could get stuck in the wrong key for a few hours.
I tremble when I think of my high school singing test. I inadvisedly chose Annie’s Song for my performance. I remember examining the piano on stage. For a moment I was tempted to hide behind it, rather than face my teenage audience.
Somehow I found my courage and launched into my acapella tune. Our music teacher, seemed pleasantly surprised initially. I was in tune for the first two lines, but then disaster struck. I reached for a high note, and try as I might I couldn’t switch down a register. That strangled turkey took the stage once again, and doomed me to a role of back stage helper throughout my high school years.
Now when my little ones sweetly croon at their school nativity plays, or carol singing with their class mates I do not join in. No matter how nostalgic I may feel listening to my little shepherds and angel with her tinsel halo, I refuse to sing. Mouthing the words is a perfect way to cheat. Once I get my timing right, they think mom is singing away.
Some people, my husband included, could sing the list of ingredients for fruit cake and sound absolutely fantastic.
I thought about asking Santa or maybe even St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless cases, for a singing voice this year. But I don’t think talents are ever on their delivery lists. Probably just as well. If I could sing, I would never stop humming and crooning away, driving my family, and maybe even the world, crazy.
So my advice to all you singers this year. If you have been blessed with the God given talent of a tuneful voice, please share it with the world.
If your vocal chords emit sweet sounds and you don’t sound like an off-key turkey, then:
Sing with gusto;
Lead those sing-songs;
Take a bow;
‘Tis the season for singing.
Wishing you all happy December days of singing.
Nollaig Shona Daoibh!
(Happy Christmas To All)
Irish American Mom
Here are some more of my Irish Christmas Recipes: