Sunday, August 22, 2004

152 Let's Sing the Old Hymns Again

On August 2 I blogged about the perfect day at Lakeside. We had houseguests we love; the weather was gorgeous; there was an ice cream social and a band in front of the hotel; there was a book sale at the Ladies Club. I wandered over to the booksale and went through the freebie box, picking out a 1964 Methodist Hymnal to keep at the cottage.

After joining our guests seated back at the pavilion overlooking the lake, I opened the hymnbook and selected a familiar tune and began to sing softly. Sweak. Squawk. Squeal. That's all that came out. I used to be a first soprano and loved to sing. Now I have a range of 5 or 6 notes--all around middle C. I sang in high school choirs, and when the children were young, we'd put on records and sing together. Where did my voice go? When did it leave me? It isn't just age--even my Great aunt Ada (90) still has a lovely voice.

Being a librarian (emeritus), I immediately began to analyze my loss. 1) I'm retired now and may go for many hours during the day and not use my voice. 2) For about 15 years the only place I've had an opportunity to sing is church services. 3) Church congregational singing has deteriorated badly during that time--choruses and camp songs, the easier the better. Lots of swing and sway, but not much of a challenge if you can read music.

I'm going to start singing in the car. Just some scales and fa-la-la's for now. Then I'll work up to that Methodist hymnal with all those wonderful Watts and Wesley hymns waiting for me at the lakehouse.

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