Posts Tagged ‘Singing’

Can I just say that I love Ellen? I rarely catch her because I don’t have the luxury of sitting around to watch daytime television but, while I was in the massage chair getting my toenails polished yesterday, ahem, Ellen happened to be on.


She was visiting with Mark Whalberg and Taylor Kitsch, discussing their movie Lone Survivor. The two actors were reliving the training they endured to pull off a convincingly realistic Navy Seal facade.


During the interview, Ellen proceeds to give credit to the Seals, by recounting a story of a hike she took the day after seeing the movie. She tells of how she developed a blister on her foot while walking, but felt she had to trudge on because of all the selfless work the Seals do. And as a result, she managed to push through it.


The humor was there, but it was clear she was serious. Their nobility and valor had inspired her to realize she was capable of completing the hike despite a little pain.


Only Ellen can get away with equating something as trivial as a blister with the work of Navy Seals and not be offensive.


Now, believe me when I tell you that all I ever do is clean, work and write, but the other night, while my daughter and I sat on the couch, listening to the pouring rain, eating bon bons and talking about how I was about to start the laundry, we happened to come across the movie One Chance.


It’s about a bloke from South Whales who loved to sing. Maybe you’ve also happened upon it while couch surfing, popping bon bons and counting raindrops.


It turns out the movie did not get good reviews, but you may or may not know, I’m a sucker for singing and an eternally easy mark for an optimistic underdog so I handcuffed my daughter to a Mars bar and…we watched.


Paul Potts endured a lifetime of physical and mental abuse from neighborhood bullies, not to mention an unsupportive father. He withstood personal and potentially dream-dashing dogging from Pavarotti himself, plus extreme health and financial challenges, but, like Ellen and the Navy Seals, he kept on climbing.


Paul went on to win Britain’s Got Talent in 2007 and is now a successful multimillionaire.


Yesterday marked my second wordpress anniversary and the start of my blogging in general, so I wanted to celebrate with a taste of inspiration. It’s easy to let things get under our skin, stop us from chasing what it is we want most…our passions, our dreams and our quests.


But when that happens, we need to remember we’re no different than Ellen, Paul and the Navy Seals.

Listen, I got a paper cut on my tongue yesterday, but no way was that stopping me from posting today!

We know we’re also equipped with tenacity, training and a voice. We’re just waiting for the world to know it too.

keep going

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I am overly emotional today, so I feel that a post with an Adele reference is in order.

Don’t worry – we can still get along. I’m sure we can agree that the woman’s got pipes, regardless of how we may feel about her personally.

So, yes…Adele. She’s got pipes, but it doesn’t end there. The girl’s got guts. She has the backbone it takes to write down her deepest, most private thoughts and feelings and send them off into the universe for all to enjoy…and judge. Oh, guts I tell you.

I’ve probably listened to way too much of her and don’t lie; you have too. We’ve all done the Rolling in the Deep” sixty times in one day, thing. I won’t force concordance; I will simply overlook any denial. (If I weren’t such a professional, I might insert a winky face here with a dash of LOL)

I stumbled upon a snippet of her ‘live in concert’ last night as I was heading to the dinner table. Of course I’ve seen it before, but last night, this particular part stopped me in my tracks.

There she was, black dress, sixties hair, lashed to the extreme, (lovely, but extreme) the spotlight drifting down in waves, powdering her with stardust. Either that, or she was about to be hoovered up into the mother ship, although in Adele’s case, I’m pretty sure it was stardust.

However, I digress. This particular part halted me. She was singing Someone Like You. Yes, a torrid, gut-wrenching song at the best of times, but towards the end, she stopped and let the crowd sing. Now, I know she wrote this song out of heartache and heartbreak, so melancholy is an expected response, however, considering she’s sung it a bazillion times, one can only assume the wound has, at the very least, scabbed over.

No…her emotion seemed to stem from the crowd singing her song; more specifically, the crowd knowing her words. Words she probably wrote on soggy, tear-stained scraps at 3am, alone in the bleak of her grotty little flat, while she contemplated quietly slitting her wrists. But there it was; her painful story dripping off the tongues of strangers, emblazoned onto their hearts and now suspended in the rafters of the Royal Albert Hall.

(It all goes down here. Stick around till the end for the good stuff)

And, it made me think. It would be extraordinary to have people know us that way or, at least that version of us. We can give them all or we can give them bits, we can give them realities or we can give them adaptations. Whatever we’re serving, they want it. They wanna sit at our table and watch us eat, stand there as we have coffee in our robes and brush our teeth. They want to walk in our shoes. They crave our pain and desire our joy. It’s ours to give. We can hand it over. It just takes an iron gut.

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I soared through my grade two piano exam with flying colors and dropped it the day the certificate arrived in the mail, never plunking another key.

I stem from a long line of Irish singers and entertainers and there are times I can belt one out like an angel, although, the next note from my mouth could send you running for the hills. Clearly, I didn’t join the clan, despite the fortitude of flatteries flowing from my mum.

I grew up listening to my parents’ Beatles, The Police, Clapton, Joplin, Dylan, Richards, Hook and Van Morrison; the tunes blaring from the four foot tall floor speakers as I toiled through chores; the melodies making the tasks somewhat less agonizing.

Overjoyed to induct their longstanding turntable atop my dainty dresser at twelve, my age and stage soon drew me away from their vinyls and bewitched me with pop radio, spurring endless calls to the local station to request Bryan AdamsHeaven.

Sleepy Saturday mornings saw my Dad and I devouring syrup soaked pancakes, butter-smothered toast and bacon, savory omelets with sizzling sausage all the while gorging on Celine Dion, The Rankins, Air Supply, Rita McNeil and Enya. Okay, it was a transitional time.

I cruised the strip with cavorting companions, consuming Sheena Easton, Pat Benatar, Whitney Houston, Van Halen, The Bangles and later, Queen, Yaz, The Cult, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, HoJo and Erasure.

I saw Purple Rain eight times and wished I could rock a Raspberry Beret

I ate pizza, painted my nails and tied lace ribbon in my hair while memorizing the lyrics to Crazy For You

My heart shattered, along with millions of other teens, as I croaked out Total Eclipse of the Heart alongside Bonnie Tyler, tears watering down my Coca-Cola float

As a young adult I guzzled U2, The Eagles, Billy Joel, Sinead O’Connor, Jewel and the Eurythmics while harboring some kind of twisted half crush on Michael Jackson.

Despite my ambiguous relationship with instrumentals, I’m an absolute sucker for a rock ‘em, sock ‘em voice. I don’t always have to fall in love with the song, the genre doesn’t always have to be up my alley and I don’t even have to like the singer.

Something about the voice can convert me. If it prickles my skin, stirs superfluous surges, ravages my mood or awakens my senses, I’m in, and I’ve never seemed to give a busted string what song everyone else is singing.

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