Before I start, I’m just home from a Soroptimists meeting. Our local club (around 35 members) have raised over £13,000 in the last ten months. I find that pretty amazing!
Do you sing aloud when you’re alone? Do you hum while you bake or whistle while you do the housework? Do you belt out a ballad while bathing?
What about talking to yourself? Have you ever talked through exactly how you’re making that stew a la Jamie Oliver? Have you ever coaxed your car into accelerating up that steep hill or yelled at your laptop for freezing up?
I bet you have.
I have. And, in fact, I do. I have whole conversations to myself, my computer, the telly, the people on the telly… and more to the point I sing A LOT. Like, all the time. I remember when I was really truly depressed being startled by my own silence – and blogging about my relief when I caught myself singing into my hairdryer for the first time in weeks.
So why is it that, if we’re caught talking, singing, humming or whistling to ourselves in the street – or if we catch someone else doing any of these in the street – accusations of madness abound? If we all do it in private, why is it such a taboo in public? Why do I suddenly catch myself when, while singing my way to the station at 7am, I round the corner and see someone may have – shock horror – heard me? Isn’t it a normal way to behave?
In Stratford there’s a guy who sings at the top of his voice up and down the main street every day. He tells us what’s going on, what the weather’s doing and who’s out, almost like a town crier of days past. My particular favourite song of his told us all that the grey skies had cleared for the first time in days and the people of Stratford were out and about in colours once again.
He must get great pleasure from such small things!
I wish we could all sing more often. I think we’d be happier for it.