Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 112: It's all about togetherness, part 2

Last night's playlist after singing class:

Just Call Me Angel of the Morning
When Will I Be Loved
Wedding Bell Blues
Delta Dawn - which was another favorite of my fifth grade music teacher at Bowie Elementary in Lubbock. Nothing like age-appropriate music for ten year olds: songs about depression by an anorexic and another song about a Miss Havisham sung by a 14 year old. I shouldn't have assumed that just because it was a young teen singing the song that I shouldn't have to go up a key or two. I was on my knees, leaning toward the floor, trying to get that low.

See? Low.

This Kiss

Before I get into the technical inaccuracies of This Kiss, I need to talk about the Dance Lady Who Comes in Late To Class and Makes a Dramatic Ruckus.

We were late last night because I went with SH to a political thingie in the interests of marital harmony and it wasn't horrible because there was food - fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans cooked with spices.

Yet she was even later. SH and I slipped into class and sat down quietly. She came in a few minutes later and made a lot of noise, as is her wont.

Then, when the teacher started to tell us about singing with the karaoke machine he had brought - which he has been telling us about for a while so it's not like there wasn't warning, she butted in.

"Karaoke sounds honky tonk," she insisted. Then she blathered about how the background music wasn't lush and didn't enhance the song she wanted, which was some big band song. I have no problem with big band - love it, but she was wrong.

Yet she wouldn't shut up. And the teacher was too nice to cut her off.

So I had to say something. When she insisted again that karaoke sounds honky tonk (as if that's a bad thing), I interjected.

"No, it doesn't." Damn. I wanted her to shut up.

The teacher agreed with me, citing music he'd heard both on his machine and out singing with SH and me.

She continued. I rolled my eyes, which is rude I know, but she was eating class time with her stupid stupid comments. "I wish she'd shut up," I whispered to SH.

The 13 year old boy with the beautiful, sweet soprano that he is going to lose in a few years sitting across from us - we have a diverse class - saw me and grinned. I guess I'm not the only one who wants her to shut up.

We finally got her to be quiet so we could actually sing. Nobody wanted to go first, but SH is not shy, so I volunteered him and of course he sounded great, although he wasn't satisfied. "I wasn't even warmed up!" he said to me.

Then Megan sang an Irish folk tune a capella. She has the voice to do it.

Nobody else would volunteer. Not even Dance Lady, who has talked and talked about when are we going to sing? I have to agree with her on that one.

So, in the interests of giving my classmates a reason to feel good about their own singing, I volunteered. SH and Megan are hard acts to follow, but I am not.

As in, I am not a great singer and never will be, but I like it.

The Dance Lady's phone started to ring. The ring tone was something by Mozart, I think. "What is that?" I asked.

She shrugged. "It will stop in a minute."

She was close. Thirty seconds.

Who would think to turn off her ringer before going into a class?

I sang "It's So Easy to Fall in Love" and nobody looked pained and indeed, they looked more optimistic than they did before.

I am not a hard act to follow.

Back to "This Kiss."

I like it. I sang it. And I changed the word that has always bothered me.

I am a bit of a grammar/usage snob, but I don't beat people over the head with it. Mostly because that's really rude, but also because I know I often have a beam in my eye, so worrying about the mote in someone else's is not a good idea.

Also because someone's command of grammar does not correlate with his worth as a human being. Just because a person says, "ain't" doesn't mean she is not worthy of respect. There are educated people who should know better and when they misspeak, an internal, "Tsk tsk" might be in order, but when an older person who didn't go past eighth grade says something improper, you don't even "tsk." You just think, "Wow. This person didn't have a chance to go to school past eighth grade. I'll bet she wished she could have stayed in school rather than working as a cleaning lady to help support her family."

Still, for written copy that one supposes has been reviewed more than once, I get critical. In my mind. Not out loud.

And when I get a chance, I make the appropriate corrections.

In "This Kiss," she refers to "centrifugal" force.

In physics 101, we learned that it's centripetal force. Center seeking. That's the force that matters.

So when I sang, I changed the word "centrifugal" to "centripetal." It was easy, because they have the same number of syllables. Which makes one ask, "Why didn't they just do it right in the first place?"

SH wants to know if I would change "Lay Lady Lay" to "Lie Lady Lie," but it's moot. I don't like Bob Dylan.


webb said...

I'm totally with you on the lyrics thing, altho I will give Dylan and other composers some slack. what ticks me off is when the right word fits and doesn't bother the rhyme (if there is one!) We're losing our language fast enough!

I hope you also correct the talking heads on TV.

Class factotum said...

Webb, I would correct the folks on TV if I watched TV!

Fijufic said...

Hmmmm.. Hi...

John0 Juanderlust said...

I'm so sorry to have to correct your correction.
I looked up the lyrics, suspecting that your word change would change the meaning, and I was right.

Although the term "centrifugal force" is a misnomer, what it describes is not synonymous with centripetal force.

One refers to a force holding a body traveling in a circular motion to that path. The other refers to the tendency for a child, for example, to fly off of a fast moving merry go round. The pull of a rock, tied to a string, swung around in a circle.

In the song she refers to motion not force. A centrifugal motion--fleeing the center, off the path, sent flying like the stone from David's sling.

She used the right word. The kiss sends her flying.

You are welcome.

John0 Juanderlust said...

Forgot to say, Kudos to you for singing in public settings. It takes guts and I bet you are doing it well.
Karaoke is no easy thing. I tried once. Yikes!

Class factotum said...

John0, your explanation makes a lot of sense. Maybe I was wrong.

PS It's only hard to sing karaoke if you do it well.