Robbie Burns songs.

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After singing ‘Green grow the rashes o’ by the Scottish author and musician Robert Burns, we started learning a new song at choir tonight. It’s called ‘Ay waukin o’. It’s not about walking, but about waking or being awake. Not being able to think because of thinking of her dearie.

The melody is beautiful, rising and falling in sweet harmonies. Singing about lanely (lonely) night. Everyone else sleeping, and she sings ‘and bleer my eyes wi weepin’.

So beautiful. Its music I’ve never heard before, I’m pleased we are learning it.

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Stoke Sings choir festival.

Sixteen Choirs, including the Deaf links Choir and the Intertheatre choir got together in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent today at the Victoria Hall. The reason? It was a splendid Choir festival for choirs around Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Workshops on sea shanties, music from the shows. Gospel singing and African music were some of the wonderful things we learnt. The teachers were so enthusiastic and so we’re we as pupils. Then later we learnt a new song to sing at the Finale.

There was a concert in the evening when all the choirs performed. An eclectic mix of Bond themes, a song from sister act, old songs by Robbie Burns because it is Burns night tonight. Lots of beautiful melodies and friendly people. Finally we sangĀ  auld land syne and said farewells to new friends. A grand day out.

Four years

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Thank you Facebook for reminding me that I drew this when David Bowie died.

I didn’t realise how much his music meant to me. But he was there throughout my life. I can’t remember all his songs, but some of them really were Wonderful. Now I try to remember the titles I can’t! I’m useless with music, I have a blank spot. But I loved his music anyway.

Terrible photo of the mystery singers tonight.

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I went singing with the mystery singers round penkhull tonight. I had to give up half way because I was getting increasingly breathless. We went from the White Lion to the Beehive. Then on to a friends house and another house that we always visit. This had meant walking about a mile, but I was tired out. I got left behind, but then one of the choir members walked with me. I finally left the group to carry on without me.

We sang a Penkhull Wassail (about pubs and farmers and beekeepers there). Then the Cranbrook version of While Shepherds Watched their flocks by night.

It’s surprising how many different versions of carols there are. The words have changed over the years and there can be several different versions of the music for them. Then you have arrangements of music. With Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass parts. Some of the carols we sing in parts, and others we sing in unison. We often sing Silent Night, the Austrian version – Stille Nacht. I wish I’d been able to continue but I needed a rest.

Join a choir!

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I pinched this image off my friend on Facebook. I really agree with it.

About 14 years ago I decided to have singing lessons, I’d always wanted to sing, but I had a loud, untrained voice. I could deafen people but not entertain them so I thought learning to control my voice would help.

The lessons were good, they helped, and I went on to get a grade one in singing. But it was expensive. My friend kept saying come to the choir she was in. So I decided to go to the choir one week and the lessons on the following week. It was a great way of getting in to it. I realised I was enjoying learning new songs, and in different languages. Eventually I finished going for lessons because my tutor was going abroad. I stayed with the choir and am still with them. In the meantime I also joined another choir, and have performed with other groups. I have to say it has helped my mental well-being and boosted my confidence.

The choir I joined does not do auditions. You don’t need to be able to read music. You just come along and have a go. So like the picture says, join the choir, you’ll be glad you did!

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Penkhull Village Brass

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Something else they do in the village. Playing instruments in the brass band. They were out tonight visiting all the local pubs (public houses) to play Christmas carols. This is them outside penkhull fish and chip shop where they Seranade us with a couple of carols.

On Monday night I think should be walking round penkhull with the mystery singers on our annual Carol singing pub crawl… I hope we do different songs to what the band played tonight.

The places we visit are up and down the hill, across the side of the hill, and around the village green at the top. We visit five or six pubs so I think they would have been to the same ones. I think they were having a good time.

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Punk

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Oh yes I remember it. 1970’s and 80’s. A mad time. Music that rattled roofs, clothes that were crazy combinations of safety pins and plaid. Piercings and mohecan hair cuts.

Bands like Ultravox, Souxi and the banshees, all the other ones I can’t remember, such a long time ago. So many mad parties. Pogo dancing, singing along. Fun.

How the world has changed. X