Friday, September 14, 2012

Southern Lives 2

Mama sang bass....

Johnny Cash recorded a song, Daddy sang bass, Mama sang tenor, me and little brother'd join right in there. 
Wonderful song!

Southern people, generally speaking, all go to church and sing loudly.  They also sing while doing housework...etc.  I adored certain songs in church, "When the Roll is Called up Yonder", "Come and Dine", especially funny because I was a fat child.  "Lily of the Valley", "Amazing Grace", "Sunlight"....there were Catholic school "Shepherd me o God"  I still get chills and it makes me cry.  I selected it for my Mother-in-Law's funeral.  I felt she wanted it.  "Arise my Love"  The lyrics to all those songs touch me in some way, the music is haunting and touches my soul. Mama would have loved some of these new songs too.

Southern people (again generally speaking) enjoy singing.  Music, singing, dancing, it's in our blood.  I am still moved to tears by certain songs.  I feel a religion in even very secular songs because the singer/songwriter (you can usually tell when they do both) puts so much of themselves in there, it will just move right through me.  I feel a deep stirring, then I find myself singing almost in a worshipful haze no matter the genre.

Mama was stirred by most songs...I remember trying to encourage her to sing more softly in church.  It was met with the "make a joyful noise" comment.  I tried encouraging her to possibly sing on key or listen to the way the music moved when she was singing "Sexy Eyes" while dancing through the kitchen with a dishtowel. I was distraught when she discovered "Sexual Healing" and the dishtowel went whirling.  Every single song I liked she sung to...loudly!  It wasn't off key soprano, mezzo-soprano, or was almost like bass!

When I was a teenager....she sung in front of my friends!  I would NEVER have done such a thing.  I vowed then and there to never sing in front of my children (I wanted 4 just like Mama) if it embarrassed them, or sing in front of their friends.  So, as all "intentions fall to the floor"~ Live, Lightning Crashes  One day after driving my son and his friends home the preteen voice whines at me "Mom, can you not sing in front of my friends?  It's embarrassing"  I froze!  I was becoming Mama!!  I was singing in front of my son's friends.  I try not to now, unless it's an all car sing along and allowed.  Everyone has to sing along to "Mommy's misheard Lil' Wayne Lyrics"  it's that song with Nicki Minaj "What's Wrong With Them"  Totally misheard them as ' baby what the fu¢k bomb?  bomb with them!'  I told my son and his friend what I thought she was saying so those became the all car sing along lyrics. "hey it's the fbomb song my mom likes!"

It has come full circle...I have become Mama...but I don't sing bass..its some sort of nails on a chalkboard sop-alto..or altrano sound.   I do however sing lots of songs to embarrass my child, he just isn't around.  :)

I'm sure if you're Southern or know a Southerner you know all about sing alongs, clapping of hands while singing, and loudly belting out lyrics be they right or wrong.  I think it must be something rooted deep inside us all, like a homing device if we stray too far from our grits and catfish.  The music will bring us home in our hearts.  I haven't met a southerner who wasn't in some way moved by music, if they aren't they must be a yankee pretending to be a southerner.  I was born a yankee but of southern heritage...actually Appalachian heritage.  Maybe the music is deeper there, the ballads, a good ballad gets me every time! ...I digress....   And I leave you with Johnny!


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Sherry Ellis said...

Gotta love that southern soul singing!