Do you sing? In the car? In the shower? To you kids? To your dog?
Through out my formative years, I LOVED to sing. I would go into our basement and put Mom’s old 78 records on the phonograph and sing and dance like the world was my stage!
I don’t remember a time when someone in our house wasn’t singing. Dad would break into song and serenade each of us, including the dog. Mom hummed as she did her chores. We all sang on road trips. My sister and I sang at family jam sessions where Dad and his brother played guitar. I was belting out Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey when I was 10 years old.
I sang in the choruses in junior high and high school and have a vivid memory of getting on stage in the 8th grade wearing a black cocktail dress borrowed from my aunt and singing a dusky version of Life Upon the Wicked Stage.
Typical of most teens, I sang at the top of my lungs when driving the car, especially when we had a convertible! (a red convertible!)
Singing was life for the Laytons!
Then that life slowly faded away.
I didn’t sing to my kids the way Mom and Dad sang to me. I did join a local choral group for a couple of years in my early 30’s, singing tenor with the men because my voice was low and tenors were always in short supply. But the director was so serious about the mechanics of singing that I was intimidated. When everyone was required to try out in order to continue singing, I dropped out. (I was VERY short on confidence in those days.)
Singing and music left my life. Sometimes I listened to the radio in the car – rarely in the house. I no longer sang privately or in public.
30+ years later, I have lost my voice. Quite literally. I cannot even carry a tune. But music has once again become a core part of my daily life. I think it links to all of my thinking about the upcoming 50th class reunion. Songs are so connected to my memories.
Though classical music is my nourishment, I search out digital 60’s radio stations and float back in time to driving around with the top down and singing with the Temptations, Supremes and the Fab Four.
The voice cracks but the heart soars. And Shiloh doesn’t complain.
Do you sing?