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Monday, December 20, 2010

Losing Your Voice

I have always loved music.

It's always been a part of my life. I never had a nanny, but I did have MTV. Every year of my life is related to the songs of that year. That's how I remember how old I was when a memory comes up.

Returning from India with my mom in 3rd grade - "Feed the World," "I Want to Know What Love is." 9 years old.

Dancing in our living room to "Separate Ways" by Journey with my cousins. 7 years old.

Unable to take music or instrument lessons as a child, I was pretty much a passionate observer until my mid twenties when I picked up a guitar and taught myself how to play.

From there I went on to moonlight for a few years as a lead singer in a DC cover band where I sang for really drunk girls and even more drunk guys who treated me like a human jukebox.

"Do Journey next!" yelled the wasted girl in the corner, making out with the frat boy in the corner.

"Freebird! Do Freebird!!" said the drunk jackass who assumed that EVERY singer in EVERY bar ANYWHERE in the world has not heard that dozens of times by others of equal intellectual capacity as that loser.

"Show me your $@S!" this could be any particular body part. It was not usually a request to see my elbows, which were often on display. Or my fibula or anything like that.

Yeah. Those were good times.

Good times.

In a way, they were some of the best times for me. I got to play with good friends, and there was something so freeing for me in being able to belt out songs that nobody expected this little petite Indian girl to ever be able to do justice to.

I never got to do our originals out at those types of gigs. It was kind of directly correlated to the level of drunk assholes in the crowd.

Drunk, drunk crowd = no originals.
slightly inebriated crowd = sneak a few in there and hope they don't notice

My husband's friends were avid supporters of my original tunes though. They would come in there, and any time some vapid twenty-something screamed, "Do O.A.R!" (which made me feel more like, "Dance, Monkey! Dance!") John's friends (you know who you are. Ok, if you don't it was always Ryan, Des and Garth - I love you guys) would counter with a request for one of my originals.

And then when I would get the chance to do those originals, these cute, athletic soccer players would huddle in front of the stage and belt out every word with me in unison. It confused the drunk girls who now saw these good looking guys singing out songs which they had never heard. And of course they would try to dance all up on the guys and pretend they knew the words, but it was all good.

I miss playing. I miss singing.

I don't miss the drunk assholes. But I do miss being able to perform and losing myself for a few hours to just my own voice. It probably isn't the best voice, but it's mine, and I was so glad to find it. To know that there was music in me.

This year, I promise to myself that I will pick up that guitar again. I will write songs that no drunk girl would ever want to listen to. I will write songs that would get me booed off a stage at a crowded irish pub as folks are looking for the right "hook-up" song.

I will write songs for me.

Never stop singing.



Sara said...

I miss performing so much. I hope you're able to sing, play and write more.

Like a giant vat of Fluffer Nutter, it feeds the soul.

Ruth J said...

i would love to hear your songs. do you have any youtube videos of you singing?


Archana said...

:) and you know the best part about your childhood songs, whenever one of those really old numbers pop up somewhere how it brings with it the same feelings, sensations and memories of the times when we used to live on that same song for days till the next one came along. There are songs that take me back straight to school days with very vivid memories of it playing loudly in my room where Id b huddled in doing some stuff, or another one thatd take me back to a car ride to college and I actually feel the feelings of those days. I even associate these, sub-consciously, with ppl who were in my life at that time.

alessandra said...

...and post the videos on your blog for your buddies to see and listen ;)

Lemon Gloria said...

I think that making art, if you are inclined that way, is really important to happiness. I totally support you making time for this. It's food for your soul.


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