Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How Can I Keep From Singing?

I cannot recall a time in my life when I didn't sing. Doesn't matter if I'm happy or sad or moving half a country away to a new life or cleaning the oven. I sing. That's who I am. And there's always a song that fits every occasion. Ask me - I bet I know a song for almost anything you've got.

Yesterday, I did not sing.

I went so far as to skip one of our last rehearsals for the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans' performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana (you may recognize the opening number, O Fortuna, from lots of movies and too many figure skating competitions).

And I never miss rehearsals.

It's not that I couldn't sing yesterday. I physically could, but it would not have been pretty. I probably would have been a liability at that point. No, the point is that I didn't sing.

Didn't even want to.

That is so rare as to be mind-bending to me. I've had bronchitis that didn't keep me down when I should have been. Last minute weddings or funerals? Nothing to it! Your Miss Lynch broke her leg a week before the opening of Grease? Bring it on!

But not yesterday. Why not is a story for another day. I am still living that story and cannot bear to tell it yet...

This morning, I woke up with an old hymn running through my head - quite a blissful way to start a Tuesday. Written by Robert Lowrey, How Can I Keep From Singing was a staple in our church growing up Methodist in Northern New York State (pre-Canada). Our choir here does a sublime arrangement of this tune by Russell Schulz-Widmar... and all modesty aside, we do it extraordinarily well. Sixteen years after my first time singing it with them, I still get goosebumps. It's a most marvelous union of text and harmonies. Goosebumps.

We've performed it twice since returning to our city and our lives, post-evacuation. It means even more to us all now. It has never failed to comfort me. Today was no exception. I woke up to this:

My life flows on in endless song;
Above Earth's lamentations,
I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
That brings a new creation.
All through the tumult and the strife,
I hear the music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul -
How can I keep from singing?


Today, I will sing.

And today, I will shine.

Thank you to all my friends who reminded me to let it out and shine for all I'm worth.

9 comment(s):

Jenn in Holland

My turn for the tears in my eyes....
What a lovely post and what a beautiful sentiment.
I actually am sitting here wishing it came complete with an audio file.
Shine baby shine! And sing for all it's worth!

Ambassador

Jenn,

I tried to find an audio file of that particular arrangement, but alas! Lot's of the Pete Seeger and Enya (errgghh...) versions, but not ours. Thanks for everything! Ken

Marloes

If your singing is as beautiful as your writing, I would be moved to tears I'm sure.

Gunfighter

I'm glad that you have found your voice, Ken... especially since I am losing mine!

GF

soccer mom in denial

I love you.

cathouse teri

That is very good.

Always inspiring to me is to read about the writer of the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul."

If ever a man was living through something that was not well for the soul, it was he.

Yet he still wrote those inspiring words.

cathouse teri

Okay fine. I'll link it. :)

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/t/i/itiswell.htm

or something like linking
I'm a tech-tard

Ambassador

Marloes & GF,

Thank you!

Allison, I love you too.

Teri, "It is Well with My Soul" ranks in my top 5, right up there with "Be Still, My Soul". Thank you for the link. Ambassador

Angie

Ok...just saw this post. I had no idea you were a vocalist until I actually took the time to read your blog. When I first messaged you, I did it as a direct link from Jodi's site. I love this song you refer to. I was fortunate enough to sing this with Eva Cassidy in the early 90's. She...in my humble opinion...does the most masterful version of this song.

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