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Quem canta seus males espanta…

May 28, 2010

The best way to say this seems to be in Portuguese again, and basically what it means is that when you sing, all evils are scared away. I have no idea if there is a similar expression in English, but I think you get the main idea. I have been singing in a private choir that is associated with a group of public servants for about ten or twelve years now. I took two breaks throughout the years to have my two kids and then returned to the choir each time. For the most part I enjoy being part of the group. I love singing, but sometimes I feel I have to take too much grief from the director. I have told you about that already and I guess the main point is that I feel like I am an errant student again. In fact, yesterday he asked me what the next syllable was and I simply said (in English): “I have no idea what you’re talking about because I am not even on the right page.” That put me right back to High School French when the only phrase we had really become fluent in was: “Quelle page?” So there is that feeling of total abandonment that is best embodied by an adolescent that attracts me to singing. I also love learning about the culture of my adopted country through their rich musical tradition. However, something about music speaks to me on a much deeper level that I cannot explain. Currently we have two English sings in our repertoire: “And so it goes” by Billy Joel and “I shall not live in vain” based on a poem by Emily Dickinson. When we sing these songs I get completely covered in goose bumps (which is not that abnormal for me) but it connects in some in explicable way to my roots. You get the idea…

If I can stop one Heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one Pain
Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in Vain.

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