Friday, October 24, 2008

Musically and culturally dissed...

Yet again my lovely wife Aimee has rejected a song...

This happens all the time. I had a fairly traditional British upbringing, and various formal, folk and traditional songs were part of the mix. We sang songs at church and school, traditional Anglican hymns I still love. We sang in the Boy Scouts, including a lot of rather silly songs like Ging gang goolie. We sang on school bus trips and hiking trips as young kids. We sang, surprisingly I know, rather a lot in the Royal Air Force, both generally during basic and trade training and at various parties and piss-ups where service songs dated to the Second World War were sung, like "I don't want to join the air force...". We also sang in RAF Mountain Rescue, where the folksong culture is actually quite well-developed, to the point that during the '70s and '80s the teams had an endless font of songs profane and sacred to the hills, some of which were entirely their own, others traditional to the countryside, and we could sing away a pub "lock-in" until the wee hours, or make a long Land Rover drive seem short.

Those were the days for singing. I miss them.

My family was also musical, and boasted, among other leading lights, a sainted but long-dead uncle who was Dean of Music for a famous northern cathedral, several high rankers of the Sally Army and a large number of choirboys and music lesson refugees.

So I occasionally like to sing. What's wrong with that? (He says somewhat defensively.)

What's wrong with is is that my wife hates it.

She comes out with all kinds of excuses, including that her own family never exposed her to very much music. Which is bulls..t. Her mother and multiple aunts made up a renowned Church of the Brethren singing group in the Pennsylvania and Virginia countryside, and mom is still a church chorister to this day. Dad-in-law's tastes run more to Jimmy Dean and the man-in-black himself, but all perfectly singable stuff that Aimee knows much of by heart.

No, what my wee wifie hates is my English and Scottish folksongs. She says I sing nasally.

Of course you sing nasally. Doesn't she know that's the way you sing many of these songs?

Oh well. I can always sing to myself. Or the sheep. Being of British extraction themselves, via New Zealand, they don't seem to mind.

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