Singing in the Choir

When I was in high school (shudder), I sang in the choir. I had grown up singing because of the plays I did in middle school. But if truth be told, I am not a great singer, and I am nowhere near as good as my sister.

So, when I went to high school, I wanted to be in drama again, but all my school would do was musicals, and I didn’t think I was a strong enough singer to compete. So, I joined the choir. A mass of voices instead of one. (And it would bring me closer to my then-boyfriend now-husband because he also really liked to sing.)

All through high school I would go to my boyfriend’s plays and cheer him on but the whole time I wanted to be up there with him, trying my hand at being an actress (which I’ve wanted to be since I was very little.)

And the end of my story is kinda sad. I never did drama in high school, and it totally fell by the way side, even though I went to all the plays.

All of that to say: In a lot of ways in life, we hold ourselves back for what we truly want to do in life. Scared of what it will make us feel, when we should be focusing on what joy it will bring to our lives.

Don’t ever sing in the choir when you were meant to star in the show. I know that now, and I am trying to live my life accordingly.

Love,

Bailey

Shower Singing

Author’s Note: 

I love this post. We are our truest selves when we are alone and clean. Please enjoy my thoughts for a second time!

An underrated art form, really.

Whether you use the shampoo bottle or the shower head as your microphone, you have probably belted out a few choruses under the hot stream of a shower once or twice during your time here on Earth.

But what is it about shower singing that makes it so attractive, so universal?

Well, for one, the acoustics in bathrooms are usually to die for. It’s like, I didn’t know my voice had so much vibrato, but in here, with all this soap in my eye, I can really hit that high G. For another, you’re completely alone. (Unless, of course, your cat wanders in, thinking that it hears another cat, composing some screechy mating call love song, or because it believes that it has finally found the warmest place in the house.)

But for whatever reason, being in the shower makes you feel like you have this hidden talent for singing and that you would totally pursue it if you didn’t get stage fright so easily. (Sing naked? Sure! Sing in front of people I know who may judge me for things I can’t control? Not so much.)

Of course, before you try out for The Voice, I want you to consider something: maybe you feel like you can sing because you’re relaxed. And if that’s the case, think of everything else that would come naturally to you if you could do it without nerves, without fear of judgment. If you allowed yourself to do so.

I mean, really. If you’re anything like me, you don’t sing in the shower because you genuinely believe that you have a lovely voice. You sing because it is comforting, perhaps tapping into some memory of a lullaby when you were younger. Or maybe, you just want to entertain yourself, making up new lyrics to an old favorite.

Whatever the reason, as we’ve discussed, you have no audience when you are sudsing up (except maybe for your tabby). Which is polar opposite to the rest of your life. On the bus, at work, in a park, even pumping gas, you have an audience. Someone, somewhere, even for five seconds, is looking at you, thinking about you, seeing you (horribly creepy, I know). And you are so very aware of it. It’s why we toss our hair, or smooth our shirt, or wipe our mouths. We are aware of this gaze, all of the time.

So, to completely escape this voyeurism, I believe we sing for ourselves in the shower. We take back it all back from the wandering eyes of humanity by doing something that is for our ears only. And isn’t that wonderful, that we acknowledge our own needs for once? And isn’t that so powerful, to be unburdened by clothes or the urge to perform for someone else?

In the end, it doesn’t really matter if your voice is good or not. Rather, it is with what intent that you sing, or do anything, that makes it beautiful.

Say Your Goodbyes

Fun fact time!

“The Parting Glass” is an old Scottish and Irish song that was traditionally sung at the end of a party, gathering, or regular hootenanny. In fact, it was so popular in Scotland that only “Auld Lang Syne” could trump it. It survives today through traditional Celtic bands and singers like Loreena McKennitt and The Wailin’ Jennys. And, of course, through yours truly.

Here’s the text of the song:

Of all the money e’er I had,
I spent it in good company.
And all the harm e’er I’ve done,
Alas! it was to none but me.
And all I’ve done for want of wit
To mem’ry now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all.

If I had money enough to spend,
And leisure time to sit awhile,
There is a fair maid in this town,
That sorely has my heart beguiled.
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips,
I own she has my heart in thrall,
Then fill to me the parting glass,
Good night and joy be with you all.

Oh, all the comrades e’er I had,
They’re sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e’er I had,
They’d wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I gently rise and softly call,
Good night and joy be with you all.

For whatever reason, I am completely besotted with this song. I love the melody, the meaning. (And now that I know the lyrics, I can stop picturing this metaphorical closing glass door when I hear the title.)

But what I think I’m attracted to most about this song is the idea of letting everyone know your intention and how you feel about them. You have to go, but one more glass, one more song will give you the time to say goodbye. None of the “this isn’t goodbye. It’s see you later.” None of the drifting away through unanswered text messages. None of the missed phone calls that get lost in translation, anyway. A goodbye that says if I see you again, that would be great, but if I don’t, joy be with you.

Maybe I have some deep-seated anxiety about people leaving, but the idea of being firm and final with every goodbye actually eases me. “I’ll talk to you later” leaves, literally, so much unsaid. But when you’re forced to say goodbye, you can tell them exactly what you feel and ensure that the person in question knows exactly where you stand. That’s a priceless gift when tomorrow is never promised, when we never know when a goodbye will be our last.

So, say goodbye whenever you leave and actually mean it. (You don’t have to sing “The Parting Glass,” but it would be nice if you are in my presence.) Just never leave people hanging on a word that won’t come. Say goodbye as if you will never see them again, and hope against hope, that someday, you will.