Sing Much? True Story

I was in love with beautiful voices that sing when I came into the world.  I sung my first song at the age of four, the name of it was “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, written by Cole Porter.  Doris Day used to rock my world, she had such a beautiful voice, and she smiled a lot while she sang, she was doing what she loved.  My Dad could sing too, well: oil paint, sketch, and tap dance. He was multi-talented. Before he passed away, he had even started writing a book.  He passed all his talents down to his children almost without knowing, well he knew about me.  Funny because he didn’t stay with us too long, he  moved away from us when I was fourteen, my youngest brother was only four then.  I was the only one of his children who wouldn’t make any noise when he would practice singing, when I was four years old.  He had a reel-to-reel, a book of lyrics of all of Cole Porter songs, and the instrumental music albums that came with the package.  My sisters and brothers always wanted to play, but when it came to the music, I wanted to sit and listen. They had to go in another room and play.  I couldn’t really read then, didn’t think about it, but I must have had a good memory, because my favorite,  I knew all the words to.  I used to watch how my father would push the buttons on the reel.  One day he left in a hurry and didn’t turn off the equipment.  I was in the room by myself.  I picked up the mic, press the first two buttons he always pressed when he was ready to sing.  I couldn’t get up the nerve to try and put the record on though, I was scared of messing with that needle, and didn’t know which one to play anyway.   He always did it so patient and delicately.  I began to sing my song, and I finished the whole song.  Unfortunately, I didn’t remember the button to push to stop it.  I pressed the fast forward.  Wow!  I knew I was going to be in trouble.  My mom heard the noise of the tape-end slapping against the machine, as it kept rolling, after it all came off the other reel.  She came in the room saying, “your daddy is going to be soooo mad at you”, and she didn’t know how to insert the tape back in, but she knew how to cut it off.

Daddy came home, and when he looked at that reel and saw what happened, he was mad.  Mama told him I did it.  He said, “I can’t believe this, you of all people, you watched me just to learn how to mess up my equipment,” and he kept on talking, angrily.  While he was trying to find where he left off on the tape, he rewind it back to me.  He listened carefully as I hit every note, remembering every word.  He was very quiet for awhile, and then played it again.  Then he said to my mom, “my baby can sing”?  Did you hear this, he asked?  That really excited him.  Then she said, “if you spent more time with your children you’d be surprised at all of their talents.”  Oh well, he never forgot that, not even at two weeks before his death when he brought it up.  He told me then, he tried his best to preserve that tape.  He didn’t want it to be destroyed before I got old enough to hear myself singing at the age of four, but it got worn out, no matter what way he tried to save it.  I was shocked he remembered though, and it was a good momentum to hold on to for my last days with my dad.  He was suffering from lung cancer at the age of seventy-one.  Anyway, I still like singing sometimes.  I still like doing it in my private space too.  I just decided not to make a career out of it, after so much experience.


Author: Cosima

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