Views from the Rear — chippingnortonjonnie

I simply cannot remember the last time I sang. No longer does the bath soap jiggle off the side taking the pumice with it or the shower gel fall from its cage because of my deeply resonant renderings of Showtime classics. The sombre nature of ‘things’ seems to weigh heavily in our hearts as we reflect on the trials and tribulations of our nearest and dearest family, friends and colleagues. We wish them strength and dignity in all that they are currently facing.

And yet – thank goodness for ‘The Man At The Front’ (the answer to the crossword clue!). Such diverse and inspirational material that stimulate the grey matter and keep the real sense that we will ‘meet again’ and sing. As a youngster (!) needing to Google ‘CD’ to see what it means/is/was I am immediately drawn to Eric Idle’s great classical rendition of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’. If it was good enough for the 2012 Olympics it is good enough for me – although ‘solo’ it may be, ‘choral’ it may not. You also wonder how long you would have to isolate on a desert island to play your CD. 10 days maybe presumably avoiding Friday?

I am told that one of the great casualties of COVID-19 has been common sense. We justify our bubbles; we convince the thousands of new walkers that we are following the rules whilst wondering what they are doing in our village; we wrestle with the moral dilemma of reporting our neighbours; we do the dodgems in the local supermarket; we tut at exposed noses; and convince ourselves we couldn’t possibly be in a vulnerable group. We long for an end to it all.

So if we ignore Eric Idle and you can still take eight gramophone records on to an isolated atoll I would choose:

  1. Tippett – A Chill of Our Time
  2. Walton – Belshiver’s Feast
  3. Williams – A Sea Symptom
  4. Howells – Hymnus Parasiti
  5. Elgar – The Dream of Germontius
  6. Strainer – Coronifixion
  7. Bruckner – Locus Isolate
  8. The Police – Don’t Stand So Close to Me

Let Peter know about your hidden gems. My LPs all ended up as flowerpots; my EPs as place mats; my cassette tapes as cassette tapes; and my CDs as nouveau wall art. Who or what is Roy Plumley? Sounds like an old English apple.

Just saying..................................

Continue ReadingViews from the Rear — chippingnortonjonnie

Views from the Rear — chippingnortonjonnie

Christmas is coming and yet I seem to be rotund
Time to be more serious about the stomach quite prof’und
If I haven’t got a clue how to slow the swelling ‘me’
If I cannot find a diet then my feet, I shall not see

I think I’ll blame my dog for the doubling of my size
We’re both fed up with the same old walks and it is no surprise
That we find all sorts of reasons for putting off the strolls
When you can stay at home by AGA-side devouring bacon rolls

And I am one of many that prayed the pubs kept serving
To cut my thirst for home-brewed ale with measures quite unnerving
And as for slimming recipes whose contents are so vital
All mine seem to have some chips embedded in their title

Yet Basso Profundo that I am, I need a resonance box
So why not keep it above the belt away from the Christmas socks
The financial stake in my sizeable paunch is significant and what’s more
It gives me somewhere safe and sound to rest my Messiah score

If I go thin, I’ll have to join the Fivers at the front
A depressing thought for a fulsome bass but maybe worth a punt
I then could reach some notes so high it would really stretch belief
To sound like a slightly nauseous thrush whose stomach needs relief

But these are just the ramblings of a singer most frustrated
That he cannot share his love of song – musically castrated
The fun, the joy, the shared intent, determination unbending
Who misses friends, the challenge, the tunes [but not Belshazzar’s ending!]

So, here’s to you all at this time of year, please keep your voices going
To know that we will sing again without the lockdown showing
It may be Bach, it might be Brahms, it even could be Mahler
[Let’s hope it isn’t Britten again whose rhythms are much harder]

But hark.......

New Year is coming and I seem to be much thinner
Time to keep the focus sharp on what I have for dinner
For I want to be in perfect shape to start the songs with vigour
It’s the only way I can focus on my voice and not my figure

Stay strong, stay safe, stay singing

Just saying..................................

Continue ReadingViews from the Rear — chippingnortonjonnie

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