Sunday, January 20, 2008

Singing ...

I’ve been practicing.

The tips of the fingers on my left hand are tough and my voice is a little rougher than normal. I haven’t been on stage for a long time and although I’ll only be performing two songs it doesn’t matter, the butterflies have already started to gather in growing clusters every time I think about it, which is every day for at least an hour or so.

Generally I wait until HH is packed off to kindergarten and I’ve done whatever work there is that’s needs doing before I strap on the guitar and wander around these rooms singing to the walls. Some days that means I don’t get to it until he’s gone to bed at night, but he knows something is up. I told him about it a week ago and he had suggestions for the songs I should sing. He thinks “Old McDonald” and “She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain” are probably my best songs. When I told him I was going to play songs I had written he looked baffled – “You did write those songs Papa.” It had never occurred to me that he thought I had made up all the children’s songs I play for him. He also wants to get up on stage with me and help out on piano. I told him that was not going to be possible either so he came up with another idea: He would distribute the candy he had collected during the previous week of Karneval and give it away to the audience while I was on stage. It was his way of giving something of value to the effort. I had explained to him that the concert was a benefit for a children’s hospital in Afghanistan and being the civic-minded four-year-old that he is, he came up with the idea of giving candy to the crowd. I think it’s a wonderful idea and I imagine that much of the audience, at least those in his immediate vicinity, will be sufficiently distracted from my performance that at least a few dozen of those pesky butterflies will be diverted from their destination in my belly.

Last night as I was rehearsing he came into the room and sat for a minute very quietly and listened, which is not like him at all, then he started dancing. “I’m going to dance for you Papa,” he said and started moving to the music, slowly, gracefully around the room, using all the moves he had learned in his kindergarten calisthenics class, even rolling on the floor and pulling his legs up to his head in an almost somersault. I was nearly in tears. I had never seen him dance like that before and for a moment there I thought it would be a wonderful idea to actually have him up there with me; him dancing his interpretive dance while I played. But I expect he will stay in the audience and pass out his sweets instead. He’s almost ready for a live performance, but not quite. There’s still that part of him that seizes up sometimes when the pressure’s on, when he reaches for my legs and wraps himself around me, buries his head and holds on very tight. I know the feeling.

I won’t be singing this song on February 7th at Stadtgarten here in Cologne but I thought you might enjoy it – it’s a song I wrote a while back for a child named “Rose.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyUV9_8y0DM

*Copyright 2008 German Diary

Labels:

18 Comments:

Blogger Ralph said...

If I came across your song while listening to the radio, I would turn up the volume and make a note of the singer. Good song, Richard.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Thanks Ralph ...

1:12 PM  
Blogger Rositta said...

Richard, that is a lovely song and a great video of HH...ciao

8:06 PM  
Blogger sandy said...

Wow! If I hadn't seen a picture of you before listing to your song, I would've had a similar picture in mind. With your amazingly great performance you're perfectly meeting my taste of music. I would've turned up the volume as well, and I would even consider to pay for it. To some extent, it perfectly matches your style of writing...

10:43 PM  
Blogger sandy said...

Hmm, a typo, just two letters were missing: read "listing" as "listening"...

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you wrote yesterday is so lovely, and your song so beautiful that it keeps resonating in my head. I don't post comments but have been reading you since HH was about two years old because you write so well and because the tenderness and humour you express are soulful. I also lived in NY for many years and write and make music and do expressive dance. Thank you. (I'd post my name but feel a little private in such an open space.)

12:05 AM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Rositta ... Glad you like it -- I wish I knew how to use the program a little better!

Sandy ... Thanks so much.

Anon ... Thank you for taking the time to make a comment - it means a great deal to know these words and sounds are resonating somewhere, and I believe there is an email link somewhere in this blog where you can send a note without having it published to the world.

5:05 AM  
Blogger nrlaumei said...

Beautiful, song and voice, . . . I continue to be inspired by your love for your son. Thank you for sharing this, Richard.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to say - I looked for an email link but couldn't find it. All the best on February 7th and I'll be checking in for more songs. Thanks.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Small World said...

Absolutely breathtaking. And the images are the perfect accompaniment to your music. What a gift for your audience! Thanks for sharing this--and good luck in your performance.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

nrl ... thank you very much - i'm glad you enjoyed it.

anon ... i fixed the email - don't know why it was out.

small world ... you are way too kind - and thanks for the good wishes.

11:27 AM  
Blogger dennis said...

Dennis Loves the song.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

thanks dennis - that's high praise indeed.

7:32 PM  
Blogger d. chedwick bryant said...

cxxdsquwe love your song--you have a really good voice and wrote a song people would like to hear again and again--You could do a Cd--

1:51 AM  
Blogger d. chedwick bryant said...

I don't know how my word verification got on my last comment! sorry!

1:52 AM  
Blogger christina said...

Oh wow, how could I have missed this one? Very, very nice. Will your performance on the 7th be recorded?

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing how what I find here often fits my mood. Roses walked me through thoughts of childhood wonder. The sand flying up around gleeful kids was a perfect moment! And your voice was comforting, like that of an old friend. A real moment of happiness, thank you Richard. And HH breathes confidence! lou

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely

9:25 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home