Remember those pizza restaurants that were popular in the 70’s? The ones that had the drop-down screens on which were projected the words to songs and the bouncing ball above the proper lyric? Families next to other families, would sit at picnic-style tables and sing-along to the really old favorites like “Bicycle Built for Two” and “I’m Looking Over a Four-leafed Clover.” It was always a fun evening. This communal desire to sing has been with us for eons.
We had one of those evenings last week. The Cooksville Church choir had its second annual beginning-of-the-summer gathering at their director’s home. I got to tag along as guest of my family. It is a treat for me, and I appreciate being so freely included, and by now, after four years of regular visits, I know the group.
My sister and mom are very good singers. They solo at church and my sister often cantors. I, on the other hand, have been offered money NOT to sing, even though I love to belt out a tune. I sang as a teacher, and kids have said, “Mrs. Horton, you know a song for everything.” We had a different “flag song” every month, and I would signal the good singers to run over next to me to help me carry the tunes of songs like Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”
This night, as twilight gathered, hummingbirds fed outside the picture window, and the church choir, no less, assembled around the baby grand, my sister was my musical support. We were encouraged by the others to sing “That Silver-haired Daddy of Mine.” They didn’t know my musical history. Dad didn’t act too embarrassed, but I actually made my sister sound bad. No one seemed to care.
The summer evening wasn’t the only warmth I felt.