Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Singing thru the tears- how?

Related threads:
Solo Unaccompanied Singing and Songs (143)
Whiskey voice - what is it? (34)
How To Sing With Power? (23)
Singing, can it be taught? (16)
Perfect singers (108)
Why can't I sing in tune? (122)
Can anyone learn to sing (168)
Vocal techniques (16)
Exactly what's a true contralto? (67)
Singing: Exercises to improve high notes (47)
Is the voice an instrument? (56)
Help: singing unintended Vibrato/ Control (19)
do I need a vibrator? (66)
Speech Level Singing (42)
How are Soprano and Tenor Defined? (29)
Help: How can you tell which voice you've got (83)
Tuners for VOICE not Instruments (33)
The Mouse that Roared (Finding Your Voice) (25)
singers: who do you emulate and why? (65)
Breath Control While Singing (44)
Threads on the Singing Voice (36)
Improving voice without lessons (43)
What type of voice? (37)
how can I improve breath control (26)
Info on voice ranges (21)
fellow sean-nos singers? (45)
Unaccompanied Singing - How & Why! (89)
Singing - Alexander Technique (19)
how do you prepare to sing? (54)
What's a 'good voice'? (93)
Is that really you? (64)
Help, singing in noisy environments (41)
voice quality? (49)
Singing in Scenic Outdoors (33)
Does it get easier??? (singing) (50)
spectrograph - voice analysis (14)
Vocal training resouces? (11)
Singing in a dome (39)
How versatile should your voice be ? (20)
Gender and the soprano voice (79)
What is singing? (40)
Current Thread on the Singing Voice (5)
Song suggestions for higher lyric voice (9)
Vocal Instruction for Singers (2)
Learn to sing harmony: Good instruction tapes (4)
voice range - how to extend it (please) (14)
Vocal embellishment - guidelines? (31)


Animaterra 26 Dec 98 - 08:11 PM
harpgirl 26 Dec 98 - 09:42 PM
Bill D 26 Dec 98 - 09:49 PM
Joe Offer 26 Dec 98 - 10:48 PM
Barry Finn 26 Dec 98 - 11:57 PM
Barry Finn 27 Dec 98 - 12:30 AM
Animaterra 27 Dec 98 - 06:57 AM
Allan. S. 27 Dec 98 - 11:33 AM
Art Thieme 27 Dec 98 - 12:23 PM
Big Mick 27 Dec 98 - 01:08 PM
Animaterra 27 Dec 98 - 06:19 PM
harpgirl 27 Dec 98 - 10:27 PM
Joe Offer 27 Dec 98 - 11:44 PM
Jack mostly folk 28 Dec 98 - 02:34 AM
Animaterra 28 Dec 98 - 06:44 AM
28 Dec 98 - 02:32 PM
Susan-Marie 30 Dec 98 - 09:11 AM
Don Meixner 30 Dec 98 - 11:52 PM
katlaughing 14 Aug 00 - 11:34 PM
Little Hawk 14 Aug 00 - 11:53 PM
Noreen 14 Aug 00 - 11:59 PM
Sorcha 15 Aug 00 - 12:53 AM
CamiSu 15 Aug 00 - 01:10 AM
Sorcha 15 Aug 00 - 01:36 AM
P05139 15 Aug 00 - 06:00 AM
Charcloth 15 Aug 00 - 08:04 AM
Pseudolus 15 Aug 00 - 12:25 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 15 Aug 00 - 01:05 PM
Naemanson 15 Aug 00 - 01:05 PM
KT 15 Aug 00 - 01:17 PM
Micca 15 Aug 00 - 02:05 PM
Micca 15 Aug 00 - 02:12 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Aug 00 - 02:57 PM
KT 15 Aug 00 - 05:09 PM
Bernard 15 Aug 00 - 05:16 PM
Linda Mattson 04 Oct 00 - 05:46 AM
Jon Freeman 04 Oct 00 - 06:01 AM
Jim Krause 04 Oct 00 - 02:41 PM
Wavestar 04 Oct 00 - 03:47 PM
kendall 04 Oct 00 - 04:03 PM
Mbo 04 Oct 00 - 04:11 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 04:17 PM
kendall 04 Oct 00 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,winterbright 04 Oct 00 - 07:14 PM
Marion 04 Oct 00 - 07:19 PM
Joan 04 Oct 00 - 09:14 PM
Mbo 04 Oct 00 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,Joerg 04 Oct 00 - 10:18 PM
Micca 23 May 01 - 03:38 PM
Mrrzy 23 May 01 - 03:41 PM
SINSULL 23 May 01 - 05:02 PM
Mudlark 23 May 01 - 10:48 PM
Bert 24 May 01 - 12:15 AM
Joe Offer 24 May 01 - 02:07 AM
richardw 25 May 01 - 12:33 AM
Don Firth 25 May 01 - 01:13 PM
Art Thieme 25 May 01 - 11:46 PM
Art Thieme 25 May 01 - 11:48 PM
Art Thieme 25 May 01 - 11:49 PM
Noreen 26 May 01 - 08:04 AM
Mary in Kentucky 26 May 01 - 10:35 AM
Peter T. 26 May 01 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Norton1 26 May 01 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,GUEST, C 02 Aug 04 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,C 02 Aug 04 - 05:54 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 02 Aug 04 - 06:42 AM
kendall 02 Aug 04 - 06:59 AM
alanabit 02 Aug 04 - 08:19 AM
Charley Noble 02 Aug 04 - 05:27 PM
Liz the Squeak 02 Aug 04 - 07:52 PM
ToulouseCruise 03 Aug 04 - 11:30 AM
Joybell 03 Aug 04 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,Puffenkinty 03 Aug 04 - 08:01 PM
treaties1 03 Aug 04 - 08:54 PM
Charley Noble 03 Aug 04 - 09:13 PM
Jeri 03 Aug 04 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,JC 22 Sep 04 - 09:16 PM
SINSULL 22 Sep 04 - 10:51 PM
Ebbie 23 Sep 04 - 02:34 AM
ToulouseCruise 06 Dec 04 - 05:14 PM
bbc 06 Dec 04 - 09:51 PM
Desert Dancer 01 Mar 13 - 02:18 PM
Megan L 01 Mar 13 - 03:03 PM
Ebbie 01 Mar 13 - 07:59 PM
kendall 01 Mar 13 - 08:24 PM
Jeri 01 Mar 13 - 09:19 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 01 Mar 13 - 09:41 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: How can I keep from crying?
From: Animaterra
Date: 26 Dec 98 - 08:11 PM

It happened on the 18th when we sang "Amazing Grace" for Andy... it happened Christmas Eve during a candlelit "Silent Night".. it happened a few years ago during a solo at church... it happened when I tried to sing "Parting Glass" just before moving away... those wretched tears clog me up, make me squeak and moan and drip and drizzle... -it occurs to me that the 'Cat may be a place where I finally learn how to overcome a major stumbling block in my singing career: how can I keep from crying, when emotions get, well, emotional, or, failing that, how can I sing through the tears without sounding like a cross between a howling dog and a dying cow? Or, most likely, I get completely blocked up and have to stop entirely. How do you cope?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: harpgirl
Date: 26 Dec 98 - 09:42 PM

Animaterra, Try looking up to the right and visualizing yourself singing in a calm and composed manner. Maintain eye contact with anything in the upper right of your visual field...if this doesn't work let me know...do not look down to the right...or try moving something left to right in your visual field slightly above eye level and watching it as you sing...harp


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Dec 98 - 09:49 PM

*sigh*...if you get the answer, I'd like to have it...*smile*..I am a grumpy old curmudgeon, and there are many times when I just cannot face certain songs or situations....some ARE moved by music to tears, other use the music to keep from the tears..it is just how you are put together inside...perhaps by facing some emotional situations over & over until you develop a callous on your mind..but that is not really what you want, is it? *smile* .....I break down at funerals for total strangers, and I have been trying not to for 40 years...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Dec 98 - 10:48 PM

I sing at a lot of funerals, and it doesn't seem to get easier. Luckily, I rarely sing solo. Maybe that's good advice - if you're the type who's likely to break down, sing with others.
Last January, I went to the funeral of the 19-yr-old kid who used to live across the street, a kid I'd known since he was a baby. During the scripture readings, his classmates would read a couple of verses from the 23rd Psalm, and the choir and congregation would respond with a sung verse. It started beautifully, and then one of the girls broke down in tears while she was reading her verse. The only response the congregation could muster was a little squeak. It sounded awful, but maybe it didn't matter. What mattered was that there were 750 people feeling the same deep feeling at the same time.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: You Wouldn't Know It to Look at Me^^
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Dec 98 - 11:57 PM

Hi Animaterra, I don't make it through the song unless I've sung it a number of times & then I still have to almost bite my tongue to steel myself to get through it. I wrote this song for my kid (I posted this awhile back but I thought if you hadn't seen it you may be interested in it), the night I came home with it I couldn't sing it for my wife so I read it, still couldn't get through it without messing myself. The more I sang it the more I could get through it. Then I took it to the two guys I was singing with (one is the father of a severly impaired young adult) & made it through OK but shocked them. I thought that I could now sing it, sang it for someone at Mystic, couldn't even get halfway before dropping it altogether. I've sung it a couple of times now without flubbing it at a singers session. Never would've guessed I'd have come this far with it but I guess singing it over & over with the idea of doing it so I won't break down helped. Here it is.

"You Wouldn't Know It To Look At Me"
(tune; traditional Australian, "One Of The Has-Beens,
words; Barry Finn)

"You're not listening to me are you deaf in both ears
Don't you see what you've caused, have you been blind all these years
Could you just give an answer, so I know you're not dumb
For Christ sakes, you bird brain, has a cat got your tounge

Chorus
I'm as cute as any other kid
I can run, jump & shout
You wouldn't know it to look at me
At times I can't work things out
I'm not stupid, I'm not lazy, I try very hard
With a little compassion I could go pretty far

Well, school is a torture, the teasing won't quit
My thoughts go off track, and my aide has a fit
You see some things I excell in, so much that I'm bored
You wouldn't know it to look at me, it takes all that I'm worth

The kids scorn & laugh at me, I don't have a friend
You can feel my heart break, I wonder when this will end
The mistreatment & abuse I take, it's really a crime
But I'm told to ignore it, though it happens all of the time

Chorus

I know it's hard on my family, I can't change a thing
The aunts & uncles blame it on my folks & say it's poor upbringing
The love & affection others get all the time
I only hear people yell at me, when I ask where is mine

I never feel comfort, no shoulder, no hug
A system to support me, was pulled out like a rug
If you can't understand this, you may be worse off than me
But I won't hold it against you cause you're deaf & can't see

Chorus

I may be mildly autistic or just plain O.C.D.
I may twitch with Tourette's, or have A.D.D.
If you see me cross my eyes, instead of my T's
You wouldn't know it to look at me that I have special needs

Chorus

Copyright Barry Finn 1998

Good luck with trying to brace yourself. Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 27 Dec 98 - 12:30 AM

Sorry Animaterra, I went back to look at the old posting of the above song thinking that you may have been involved & found you were (& thanks for that). I didn't mean to repeat myself I could've just post my comments instaed. Happy Holidays. Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Animaterra
Date: 27 Dec 98 - 06:57 AM

That's okay, Barry, it was a great reminder. Thanks for the support and advice, all. Harpgirl, why the upper right? I'll try it when the need arises. Joe, I once knew a woman who sang at her own son's funeral; she said she practiced detachment, but I still don't know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Allan. S.
Date: 27 Dec 98 - 11:33 AM

Hi THere Animaterra Never be afraid of crying. As the parents of 2 handicaped adults. Both deaf and one retarded. [Umbicial cord around neck at birth both given Asprin when had high fever.] Yes we do cry at films, songs, Cant get through Puff the Mag. Dragon. We had an old expression in the Army "If they cant take a joke Fuck em" Well if people cant take your emotions they are not worth knowing. Just use the old Brit expression on them. "Fuck off"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Dec 98 - 12:23 PM

Just go with the flow!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Dec 98 - 01:08 PM

I understand this one to a degree, and the answer lies in the "stage fright" thread. Everyone has a different way. For me, songs of the warrior, such as "Green Fields of France" or Tim Irvin's "After the War" are difficult. Great love songs such as "The Dutchman" or "The Hiring Fair" stir strong feelings. What I do when a song stirs me deeply is to practice it and practice it and practice it, until the edge comes off. Then, when I get ready to perform it, I choose the person/persons in the audience that seem most receptive, and try to transmit the emotion to them. I concentrate on interpreting for them alone. It takes me out of it, and allows me to remain appropriately composed. If I get the desired response, I have been successful. Yet, sometimes, one gets in a zone where the audience is not there, and you are completely lost in your feelings about the song. Those are the best moments, but they do not happen often. That is probably good.

All the best,

Mick Lane


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Animaterra
Date: 27 Dec 98 - 06:19 PM

Thanks, Mick- it's true that for some reason the tears come at most unexpected times. If I know that it's a "trigger" song I can be prepared and practice! Alan S., I too have a son with a disability (Asperger's syndrome, related to autism) and the most earth-shaking moments for me are when we reach him, or he reaches us, as when he joined us in singing a whole verse of "Amazing Grace". That's why I've got to learn Barry's song! I agree that tears are nothing to be ashamed of, it's just that they come all too frequently and are a far worse curse for me than stage fright. And I'm one of those whose pipes just freeze and get all squeaky- so all of the advice has been much appreciated (even tho' I still don't know why I should look towards the upper right- harpgirl, are you there?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: harpgirl
Date: 27 Dec 98 - 10:27 PM

Hi Animaterra,
Actually I certainly agree that singing is a deeply emotional experience. Emotions are good and nothing to be ashamed about. Sorrow, grief, joy, anger, fear and all the nuances of these feelings help us to identify with one another and to express ourselves when words aren't enough...emotional expression is the river we all know...that runs through us all...
Practically speaking, if you are a normally organized right hander, you will build new visual memory ( of singing confidently if you visualize that)and block out the emotional memory which is accessed when one's eyes look down to the right. The cross visual field stimulation should be done repreatedly until emotional memories are dissociated with the songs you sing...kind of like walking a mule into new traces and leaving the old one...try it a few times and see if you can then have more choice about when you cry...like joe, I find it difficult not to cry at funerals, so I don't try to stop...so many people I have loved have passed on...and so many brave the cold winds of fate...good luck...harp


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 98 - 11:44 PM

Hey, Harpy, what are we disorganized left-handers supposed to do? I just stay away from solos - I'm an old schmaltz, and I'm proud of it.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 28 Dec 98 - 02:34 AM

Animaterra, Singing should be done with emotions. As long as you can weep tears and still remain in control of the song, you have indeed been blessed with a gift, not a burden.Use it. Jack


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Animaterra
Date: 28 Dec 98 - 06:44 AM

Yes, harpgirl, I am indeed an abnormally disorganized left-hander... but I'll try your advice (in reverse!) next time it happens- never can tell my left from my right anyway! Jack, that's just it- I *can't* remain in control of the song when I cry- the phrase "all choked up" speaks volumes. That's why I value all the good help and advice you've all given. Incidentally, it's been so good here I'm almost nervous- even my sometimes-controlling sister who's here for 4 more days than expected is relaxing, having a good time, and singing in harmony!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From:
Date: 28 Dec 98 - 02:32 PM

Guys If you are left handed and you curl your hand around to the right to write you are probably wired like right handers unless they curl their hands to the left. he he he


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 09:11 AM

There's a lot of good advice here (I love that look-to-the-right trick, I'll have to try it next time I have stage fright). When I start getting choked up speaking or singing, I visualize icebergs as a brake on my runaway emotions. Why icebergs? They're cold and unemotional, and they block out images of crying children, ravaged forests, etc. I would imagine other things would work too - anything that makes you feel cold and detached. I don't do it for the whole song, just when I need to get a grip.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Don Meixner
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 11:52 PM

Singin thru the tears.

I can hold them back till the song is over. Then I let them flow, drink a bit of stout and salute the cause of the tears, then I go back to work. Done right it usually brings the audience to the same emotional level I'm at. From that equal footing, we just press on.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 11:34 PM

A few folks have been going through singing at friend's funerals and such recently, so I thought it might be good to refresh this. Lots of good in these postings.

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 11:53 PM

I always try to engage my emotions deeply in the song (or other performance) if it's a piece that carries deep emotion, in other words if it's appropriate. Sometimes that can get out of hand and result in a loss of control, tears, etc., and you don't want to lose control while performing or it just falls apart.

It's a very fine line. You've got to mobilize the emotion just to the edge and then stop it right there and hold it there. I do this by consciously detaching, going into the mind in a distancing way...I step back just a little. Deep diaphram breathing helps. If necessary even move back a bit from the edge into greater detachment. Once you've come close to the edge the audience is tuned in anyway. Don't look into the eyes of anyone who is going over that edge themselves, or they will pull you with them. If necessary, shut your eyes, and detach and just stay with it.

There have been a handful of songs over the years that would bring me to tears every time I heard them. One was "Moonshot" by Buffy Sainte-Marie, another was "My Country 'Tis Of The People You're Dying", and another was a eulogy she wrote for North America ("I knew America when she was just a child, her love astounded me, it haunts me still...")...all those were by Buffy.

Then there's the Stan Rogers song about the farm wife. It's called "Lies".

And there were a couple by Jackson Browne, and a couple by Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Tears every time. It took ages to be able to sing them in front of anyone.

With certian of my own songs, I've got to practice them numerous times, until I get that edge mastered...and then I can handle it.

I hope that helps.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Noreen
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 11:59 PM

Thanks, kat, great relevance here at the moment. With my father-in-law's funeral to come on Thursday we've been talking about who feels able to give a reading, and whether we can manage live music. I'm the same as Allison, my voice leaves me when I cry so I will be of little use.

Allison, did the 'looking up' work? I'll certainly try it.

Noreen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 12:53 AM

Thanks, kat. You take a deep deep breath, and say "I can DO this,and I WILL, because I HAVE TO!" You take another deep, deep breath, and say, "I will cry later, Right now, I HAVE to to this for the other people who are missing him" ,and meanwhile, said person is telling me to just go ahead and play my favorite "jumpin'" tune. You say "Peter, I know this is your service, and you don't like this stuff, but this is YOUR FAMILY, after all, and this is what they wanted". I did manage to do it without "jumping" into his fave tune or laughing out loud because the sevice was soooooooooo ridulious for him, but it was difficult.

WHY do I have these urges to do these totallly inappropriate things?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: CamiSu
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 01:10 AM

Because Sorcha, you know how Peter would have liked it. I sang at my Dad's funeral and really did take that deep breath and do it. One of the things I sang was "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" which he and I used to sing in the car, and it actually helped. BUT I cried uncontrollably when the service was done.

BTW all of his kids thought it would be great for the #3 brother to run in after the service started and plonk the urns with his ashes down on the table, as my Dad was ALWAYS late for everything and all his friends had told him he'd be late to his own funeral. We decided that his cousin (who was doing the service) would not appreciate the humor in that, so we didn't. I still sort of regret that 'cause Dad would have LOVED it!

I really don't think I could sing for one of my kids, tho. Been too close already, to that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 01:36 AM

Ah,CamiSu, what a wonderful story. We are on the same wave length, it seems. And, that is what I am doing now, is crying uncontrollably. The "control" has gone, now that I among friends, and I have finally allowed myself to miss him, even if it was time. There is no WAY I could do Swing Lo at any ones' service.....it is what my (15 yr)daughter and I sing in the car. BTW, my son's REAL name is Cameron, the Lucas Cameron. I had every intention of calling him Cameron, or at least Cam, but I was pre empted by his father and grandfathers, who introduced him to the world as "Lukie". I DID manage to put a stop to Lukie, it is now Luke at least.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: P05139
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 06:00 AM

I actually ended up having to leave the school choir cos I was crying instead of singing. Since then, I have taught myself to imagine that someone I wouldn't like to see me cry is in the room at the same time. When I do that, I might feel a bit sad but I DON'T CRY!!

Why don't you try that. It works for me, especially when it's famous people!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Charcloth
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 08:04 AM

I have sang at a few funerals mostly dear friends & close relatives One thing I try to do in those cases (like at my grandfather's funeral)is to perform out of eyesight of everyone that way when my grandmom & dad & mom started crying I couldn't see them. I am a 43 year old bearded old fart & I still can't bear to see my mom or dad cry! When I recorded my tape I did a song I wrote about my grandmoms & during it I can hear where emotion choked me& so can folks close to me but it didn't hurt the song & made it more "real." Some hymns hit me when I "look" at the words. If I am to do a song that hits me I do not "listen" to the words as I am singing & I never look at someone in the eyes if I think they will be emotionaly touched to tears as I sing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Pseudolus
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 12:25 PM

Until reading this I hadn't realized how many funerals I had sung at. I've always described doing that as being in the last place I want to be and being in the ONLY place I'd want to be at the same time. It's an honor to be asked. The most difficult funeral I ever sang was for my grandmother. Not long before she died I heard the song "Goodbye my Friend" by Linda Ronstadt for the first time. I talked to the priest about singing it, he agreed and so I did it. For those of you who don't know the song, there is a line at the end after explaining that "I'm gonna be OK", that goes "You can go now, Goodbye my Friend". Toughest seven words I ever sang. I didn't realize it but I sang the entire last half of the song with my eyes closed. Odd because I didn't think I had the words memorized, but I guess I was focused. Afterwards my Dad said that he wanted me to sing that song at his Funeral. That's when I finally cried. He's still around and I'm not sure if I'll have it in me or not.....

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 01:05 PM

Thanks, kat, for refreshing this thread. I haven't had the chance to try harpgirl's suggestion but I'm glad to remember it. Deep breaths, detatchment, are all helpful, too. And humor, if you can conjure it up at the moment!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Naemanson
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 01:05 PM

It's hard to read these stories without a tear coming to my eye.

I haven't sung at a funeral yet, don't know if I could, but I have done a wedding. I know which I prefer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: KT
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 01:17 PM

Funerals, weddings, Hallmark commercials....they all do it to me....this has been a great thread....thanks for refreshing it, Kat. It's good to know that others have a struggle with emotion while performing, and good to hear all of these suggestions. Closing eyes, detaching, and not singing solo have all helped me. I sing regularly at a place where folks are celebrating significant anniversaries, and if it's 50 years of marriage, I sing Let Me Call You Sweetheart. If the couple is really into it, and are holding hands and singing to each other, it's tough. I always ask the audience to join me in singing that one. Takes the edge off. But this thread really gets me to thinking....When I am attending a service where the singer or reader or speaker chokes with emotion, I don't feel that they've failed or let anyone down by losing it. In fact, I think the congregation is "with them" because of it. In a sense, it brings everyone together, perhaps because the emotion we are all trying to stuff is thus named, and it becomes a part of our shared experience. Everyone is probably better for it. Interesting then, that when we are that singer or reader, we feel we've blown it....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Micca
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 02:05 PM

Last year I had to do a reading at the funeral of a friend I had known since 1968, his family turned up in sombre suits and ties, several of his friends, including 2 pall bearers , turned up in Hawaiian shirts, and it was appropriate, it was a CELEBRATION of his life... and they laughed when I told a couple of stories of him in the address I gave, and were scandalised when I used the word "fart" more than once, but this was what he would have wanted, We were played out from the service with the tune "Mike Mullins Farewll to his breakfast" and all tho' I still miss him and the convoluted conversations ( he would have LOVED the 'cat!)we used to have. But it was and is important to remember the great Joy he had in and took from life and his sense of the absurd and the ridiculous,and honour those too in his memorial service..and by doing this it was less painful and more appropriate to the life of my friend..I believe this to be true of all funerals and leave taking and hope my friends will do the same for me..Tell stories and sing songs for me and be happy for me...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Micca
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 02:12 PM

and as for crying, do it if it is appropriate,,they thing I was getting at is dont be afraid of your feelins and even if you muck up the singing, think of your friend, as I did standing at the side, taking the piss and laughing at those upset...and trying to "corpse" the singers...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 02:57 PM

Kat - how did you know? I've just logged on with the intention of posting a "which song can't you sing without breaking down in". I had to sing a song at a funeral today, a dear sister in Christ, and was desperate to do her justice. I was asked to do one piece ('May the choirs of angels come to greet thee sort' of thing) which I did at a funeral about 5 years ago. I've never been able to sing it since. I was very relieved when it was changed to a version of Psalm 23 (the Lord's my shepherd) to the tune 'She moved through the fair'. But now, I don't think I'll be able to do it again! It was sung during the anointing with holy water (open coffin) and apparently there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I stood in the church gallery to sing it, because I find that if I am emotional, seeing someone else crying will start me off.

Thank you for the intuition that made you refresh this thread.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: KT
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 05:09 PM

Liz, I know what you mean about singing in the gallery or elsewhere, away from the faces of those in attendance. It helps to be able to screw up your face or squeeze your eyes shut or turn away from the mike in order to take a long, deep composing breath.....

I also know what you mean about the "May the choirs of angels..." song. That is one I don't think I could pull off as a solo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Bernard
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 05:16 PM

People often wonder why I tended to do 'lunatic fringe' songs - larking about, etc. They said 'you've a wonderful voice - do something nice'.

I used to be able to hide behind the idiot - I let my guard down, and now I can't get it back - so, if someone has the solution, I'm up for it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Linda Mattson
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 05:46 AM

A friend of mine does a workshop at camps which is titled: Songs that Make You Cry. It doesn't help anyone get over crying, but it makes everyone feel comfortable crying...

-Linda


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:01 AM

I simply can not sing through the tears. The only answer for me is to avoid the songs such as Maggie that I know I will not get through. It's not much of an anwser but if I am going to cry, I am going to cry - it is as simple as that and I at least know which songs tend to do it to me.

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Jim Krause
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 02:41 PM

I'll tell a story. It doesn't give an answer to the question, though. But I hope it will be helpful.

A little over seven years ago, my Dad died. I had been out to see him the summer before, and said my good-byes then. So his death was no surprise to me or my wife, my Mom, either. Still, it was pretty hard on her. After all, I think when he was gone, she realized he was the Great Love of her life.

When I got the phone call telling me of Dad's passing, Mom asked me if I would lead the congregational singing at his memorial service. Dad loved to sing. Mom had all the hymns picked out, some of them were Dad's favorites. Then she asked me if I had a song I would like to sing as a solo. I said "Yes, I'll lead the singing. And I do have a song that Dad would've liked to hear.

I hung up the phone, and as I did I thought "Good Heavens, how am I going to get through all this without losing it?" Well, I did. I know this sounds hard, but I had to tell myself that "It's just another gig. You've done this before. You can do it now. It's just another gig." I guess that's how I do it. Somehow I just steel myself, and if there are tears, they'll have to wait. Meanwhile, I have work to do. Soddy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Wavestar
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 03:47 PM

I'm not sure if I'm happy or not to hear that my mother wouldn't sing at my funeral, but then, I'll just plan on not testing that.

I'm not good at even talking when I'm crying, but I've been able to sing 'over' the tears once or twice. Also, taking a measure or two off, if you have understanding accompaniment, might be helpful. If you're singing alone, I'm sure the audience will understand if you pause to collect yourself.

-J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: kendall
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 04:03 PM

When my friend Marshall Dodge (Bert & I) died, I was sure I could sing "Gently Down the stream of time" at his memorial service. I was wrong. Usually, I can manage if I think of something totally outside what is going on, (Thinking about my ex wifes lawyer) But. this time it didnt work, and I had to quit. The others gathered there understood and I'm sure they forgave me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Mbo
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 04:11 PM

I've never cried when singing. Or vice versa. I've cried when others have sung, but not while I was singing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 04:17 PM

I had to sing at a funeral. It was the funeral of my best friend, who died in a plane crash flying home after visiting me. (Guilt!) He was about 22 years old. His guitar (which I had sold him) survived the crash, and I played it and sang. It was very hard. I don't know how I did it. I don't even remember what I sang.

Alex
O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: kendall
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:27 PM

What kind of stuff do you sing Mbo? Anything with depth to it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: GUEST,winterbright
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:14 PM

Don't know if this is any help. It works for "readings"... but you have to know in advance what you're going to be reading (singing?) Just read the piece out loud over and over and OVER again until you've wrung all the tears out. Hopefully this will remain with you (the tearlessness) while you are doing it "live" and "for real".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Marion
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:19 PM

I played violin at my grandmother's funeral a month ago and was very honoured to do so. I played a couple of hymns and MacPherson's Lament; my mother wanted me to do Irish Washerwoman, since it was a tune my grandmother remembered from her youth and always asked me to play, but I refused. Funerals are for the living, and hardly anyone would have understood why I was playing it. So I couldn't bring myself to play a jig at a funeral, not so much from sorrow as from a sense of appropriateness and not wanting to shock anyone.

But maybe I should have played it because of my mother's request. I don't know.

If detachment is the route you want to take, it may help to choose a piece that is technically difficult, so that you have to concentrate in order to play/sing it properly. I suppose normally it's best to perform things that you can do easily, but in this case doing something difficult might keep you focussed.

In the middle of the Russian submarine disaster, when it was believed that many were still alive, I tried singing about the Springhill Mining Disaster (where many were trapped underground for days), and became overcome with emotion. Surprisingly, I found that I could still sing, though a little huskily, but my guitar playing become totally erratic.

Marion


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Joan
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 09:14 PM

Sometimes it's possible to detach from sadness and focus on the song while blocking out the reality. Sort of temporary denial. I flew back from visiting a daughter in California the day after my father died and the day before I had a concert to do in New York. I did the concert. Somehow I stuffed down my stress for the duration of the evening. It was for the sake of the audience, I think, not some special technique. They paid to hear an evening of singing, and how unfair to subject them to my personal sadness.

Sometimes it's NOT possible to detach, which comes under the head of "So what?". I had a son, a fine musician, who died of cancer. Some of you remember Marty. Several musician friends who came to the funeral stood around the coffin as part of the service and sang "Who Will Sing For Me." I sang too--for him. I wept all the way through it, but sang anyway by hanging onto the words like a life raft, and so did the guys in the band and so did everybody else. I don't think anyone there was ashamed of showing feelings, or cared if the singing was wobbly or the voice was cracking. It was a few minutes nobody would forget, and was truly an example of how songs can unify and comfort us.

Joan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Mbo
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 09:33 PM

Yes, all I sing is shallow music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 10:18 PM

Well, if it's only for the tears - no problem: Just let them run wherever they want as long as they are in your eyes when you're feeling emotions (no joke). Of course, when your voice breaks and you can't control your breath any more (i.e. you are really weeping) that won't be good if you are trying to sing instead of it...

I don't feel able to comment anything of the above, I can only tell you my own impression: There are songs I just can't do first, because of this very problem. The first ones I encountered were "Bringing Mary Home" and "A Daisy A Day" MANY years ago. (I don't do them any more because I am disappointed of my performing when I try them today, except for some special situations which hardly ever occur, and then I'm not thinking of doing these songs.) Recently I ran into "Georgia Lee" by Tom Waits: Q§$%&! - nothing has changed since then. Well, I know the solution that works for me: Repeating it often enough will calm me down, and practice won't hurt the technical quality at all. But that will also 'kill' the song for me: I'll get used to it, my emotions will be gone, and the song will bore me and therefore my audience too.

That's why I'm literally consuming songs: I practice them until I can do them without crying, then I do them as long as I can still feel them, and then ... *sigh* ... no, I don't forget them.

Joerg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Micca
Date: 23 May 01 - 03:38 PM

Refresh...

(Noreen)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 May 01 - 03:41 PM

Same question but about reading aloud to one's children - there are so many stories I can't make it through, I pretend to cough and then either get a grip and keep reading, or I have to find an excuse not to read about that blasted little match girl!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 May 01 - 05:02 PM

Never could understand why she didn't light a match and warm herself.
Mary, who cries at weddings, funerals, and flag ceremonies.
"Take me Out To The Ballgame" can reduce me to tears under the right circumstances.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Mudlark
Date: 23 May 01 - 10:48 PM

Thanks for refreshing this thread. Since I am partial to songs that engage my emotions I am often blindsided by the dreaded choke up. Tears streaming down my face, romantically, would be fine but I hate to ruin a song by choking on it. Will try the up-look.....and hope it works. I have the same problem sometimes reading my work in my writer's group....it is embarassing when your OWN work moves you so visably to tears!

Mudlark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Bert
Date: 24 May 01 - 12:15 AM

Bummer isn't it. a week or so ago on Mudcat Radio, I had a real struggle getting through Blue China Jug by our LEEJ.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 01 - 02:07 AM

I sang Bob Franke's "Thanksgving Eve" and "Alleluia the Great Storm Is Over" for the funeral of my friend Jim several weeks ago. I sing at funerals often, but this was the first time I tried it solo and without accompaniment, and I gave a little talk before I sang. I didn't listen to anything anybody said before I got up, and I wore my reading glasses so I couldn't see anybody's face. It worked. Singing "I'll Fly Away" with a band at the end of the service was easy, in comparison.
Oh, and then I got engaged to Jim's widow, but you can find that story in "Mudcat Man's Engagement." A month before he died, Jim asked me to watch out for his wife - and if something romantic should develop, that would be wonderful. Well, it did.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: richardw
Date: 25 May 01 - 12:33 AM

A couple of stories:

Several years ago a musician friend died in a small remote town where we were all working. He went river rafting/fishing and just never came back. In a few weeks we had a service for him in a small old wooden church. We did okay until his brother got up and sang "Will the Circle". The dam burst. Years later we were fishing and I asked him why he did that, why he sang that song. "Folks needed to cry and I decided to give an excuse," he said

I gave the eulogy for my best friend and mentor a couple of years ago. I agreed, but had no idea how I would get through it. I cried for days before hand, I cried when I wrote the eulogy and I have never seen so many grown men weeping as at his funeral. Another friend sat beside me and was more afraid than I was of what he was going to do and how he could get through. I gave him my secret. "Just think while you're up there that Jerry is looking down and laughing at us, smiling with us." It worked.

When my turn came I started by looking up and smiling at Jerry. Then I looked down at the front row, at his wife and children. His wife had taken off her dark glasses and was looking right at me--smiling. That was the strength I needed. I made it right to the last word. "And may God hold you in the hollow of his ---" The word hand never did come out. I took my leave.

Two years ago my wife and I sang at my Dad's funeral, The Leaving Shanty." "It' time to go now, haul away down channel...

Haul away for heaven etc."

We made it through because we knew we had to. And because once again I began with a smile and knew he was listening.. However, we now perform a "cowboy" poem I wrote for my Dad. We have performed it about 20 times and I still don't take the risk. Cathryn does it and I back her with music. I will not do it unitl I know I have dealt with the emotions. It is enough for now that here are always tears in the audience. They don't need mine. They should not serve as my therapy.

And I still cry when I think of phoning either by Dad or my Mom, and realize I can't.

Richard Wright


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 May 01 - 01:13 PM

Try reading Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince. . . .

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 May 01 - 11:46 PM

I always wear dark glasses (preferably the ones with a Groucho mustache and a huge nose) and always keep a jew's harp, a nose flute and a referee's whistle in my pocket to play on a moments notice while tears roll down my cheeks from my shaded eyes. Carol runs up on stage and daubs my face and brow with kleenex as if I was sweating too much and she was only stemming the tide before we were all washed away and down the street.

And the beat (and the show) goes on...

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 May 01 - 11:48 PM

A rubber chicken falling out of the back of my banjo helps to divert attention too.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 May 01 - 11:49 PM

And there is a condom covering the head and neck of the chicken.

A.T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Noreen
Date: 26 May 01 - 08:04 AM

Thanks for sharing those, Art... :0)

This thread has been a great help to me. I thought I would never be able to sing at a funeral, as I am easily affected by the emotions of friends, even without taking my own emotions into consideration. It's not just the tears, which I don't feel I have to hide, but the voice goes totally.

But when Morticia asked me to sing at the funeral earlier this week I was determined I would do it, and... I did. I don't think I have ever sung more confidently, and got through it, (Ae Fond Kiss) as I felt so much support from everyone, willing me to do it.

I kept my eyes closed (as I normally do when singing anyway) and it helped that I was asked to sing at the very beginning of the service, as they carried the coffin in- it would have been more difficult later, I think. The tears are probably stored up somewhere for the next time I sing this particular song, though.

Thank you, friends.

Noreen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 26 May 01 - 10:35 AM

Ae Fond Kiss, what a beautiful choice.

I don't get emotional at ceremonies, can somehow separate my emotions and grief from a ceremony...except...when I hear music. I can cry listening to the radio or just when I think of a song I love.

The bit about looking to the right...I'll try that. I don't think it has anything to do with right or left handedness since those are motor skills. I learned somewhere that when a person is lying, their eyes look to the right. Any truth to that, Joe?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 May 01 - 01:07 PM

More fine evidence, if evidence were needed, of the sustaining power of this oddly bound Mudcat community.
yours, Peter T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: GUEST,Norton1
Date: 26 May 01 - 09:12 PM

Was just responding to Amergin about writing songs about the war I was in (Thank you Veterans thread). Some things aren't meant to be - at least I don't think so. Some are gifted musicians who can sing deeply emotional songs and maintain a professional distance from the emotions themselves. But even they, when personally affected by the song's lyrics, struggle at times I am sure. It's why I'm a back porch picker and an occasional church singer, but I wouldn't do a funeral for any amount of money.

It sounds to me that you have a great heart and it comes out at times. It is where my tears come from. I will try the looking up and right thing sometime.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: GUEST,GUEST, C
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 05:19 AM

I sung at my brother's wedding a few days ago and i felt very emothinal at the start of the ceremony and was worried i wouldn't be able to so sing. However I think that songs can provoke more of an emotional reaction in the audience when delivered straight without any shakiness, despite the emotional nature of a situation so i found if i detached myself from the situation a bit and concentrated on the words of the song it worked. it was most important that i delivered it properly for my brother.... (mind you i don't suppose emotional reaction is necessarily what you want at a funeral!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: GUEST,C
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 05:54 AM

sorry I can't seem to spells my worms today - I meant emotional not emothinal! When i am at home and singing along to a song i feel very strongly about i often can't sing it because i'm choked up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:42 AM

Oh, my. Guest C, I don't know who you are, but thank you for refreshing this thread.
Sometimes the www creates situations that really feel like time-travel. How innocent I was, back there in 1998. How little did I know how many times I would need to sing through tears, or how vast would be my capacity for tears, or my reasons for them. I'm so grateful we can't possibly know what's in store for us as we go through this life, year by year.

I did not sing alone at my beloved's funeral, but I was able to join in on the congragational hymns, even Amazing Grace, which I will never be able to sing again without breaking down. I was in a Zone and was so protected by all the prayers and love and support that held me up and kept me alive during those first dark days, that I was able to do it.

I was able to sing at school a week later, when I had to go back to work due to the inhuman bereavement leave policy. My students love me and depend on me, and I had a job to do, so I did it.

I was not able to sing "Farthest Field" as planned at my December concert, but I was able to direct the whole show, lead the audience participation songs, and sit in apparent serenity and control while a trio sang, "Who will sing for me".
I had a job to do, you see. My chorus and my audience depended on me.

I was able to sing "Let this be my prayer" in December with my dearest friends, in front of a packed audience, because I was beginning to understand how it's done- you do it, because you have to, because it's the job that's in front of you. Because others are depending on you.

We sang it again in my spring concert. I also played the concertina in public for the first time. I learned that the sound of the concertina is indeed affected by shaky hands, but that I can do it, if I have to- it's the job I have to do.

In my relationship with Byron, he was the strong one, I was the emotionally dependent one. I used to wish our lives could be different, that we could get married sooner, etc. Byron would say, "This is the work that's been given us to do."
One day not too long ago I was weeping to myself and silently asking, "Why did you have to die? Why do I have to go through this?"
As clear as could be, I heard his voice, "Because it's our job."

And that's how I've learned to sing through tears.

Allison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: kendall
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:59 AM

I have no real advice because after half a century of singing in public I still can't get through LONESOME ROBIN or THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA without choking up.
If you don't feel the song, you probably sound like a robot siinging it, and any juke box can do it better.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: alanabit
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 08:19 AM

Two years ago my father lay dying in Llanelli hospital. I had to drive over from Cologne. About thirty miles outside Cologne I stopped to do a gig for a birthday party. The money from this paid for a good bit of the petrol which I needed to make the trip. I think I behaved professionally and that the guests got no inkling of the fact that there were other things on my mind. I think they enjoyed the set and had a cheerful day.
Last summer, I played at the funeral of my sister in law's nineteen year old daughter. Anna had been physically and mentally crippled for all of her short life, due to a rare genetic defect. The guitar piece I had played a thousand times went to pieces, although I hope I saved enough of it not to embarrass anyone. My hands just didn't seem to work. I managed to keep my eyes on the wall, staring straight ahead, while I sang "Walk Together" (posted on the "Suddenly it all gets Serious" thread). That was very hard to do without choking up. It was something about identifying with the mother's pain which moved me almost physically.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 05:27 PM

Well, my strategy has been to plan the "Rembrance Service" for my father for about 6 months after he passed away. That gives me and our relatives, friends, and neighbors some time to meditate on his passing, and consider what we really want to express about father to others.

I'll be coordinating everything, staying very busy, and leading Si Kahn's "New Wood (Gone, Gonna Rise Again)" and the song's an old friend to me and I should be able to get through it without looking cross-eyed or flooding the front row. My friends in Roll & Go will be leading a few other songs, as will a couple of other people. I wish them well, and I know that some of the songs they are leading I'd never be able to get through.

I doubt that I could have done this closer to his death.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 07:52 PM

You know, it doesn't get any easier does it.... 3 years after my original posting here, it still doesn't get any easier. Felt it today when a phone call to one person could have fixed a problem I have. Typical, it's the anniversary of his death today.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 11:30 AM

Wow... what a thread... thanks for each of you who have refreshed it, as I have something similar, but slightly different, going on...

My father, who is 82, is still in relatively good health. Being the person that he is, he has his (and my mother's) funerals paid for, the plots purchased, and all that stuff that can be looked after ahead of time. One thing he has mentioned to me is that he would like to have "Amazing Grace" played at his service...

Now, to me. I have only been singing on stage for about four years, which became a great surprise to my family (we're not a musical group of folks). I do not play any instruments personally, just doin' the croonin' so to speak... I guess I am wondering how appropriate it would be to, well, ask him he would like me to sing at his funeral (I expect my nephew would be willing to accompany me).

We haven't been the closest over the last number of years, so I think that it would mean a lot to him for me to do this. However, I really think that I would be likely to break down while doing it -- never been involved with something like that before. On a slight side note, there are thirteen -- yes, thirteen -- kids in my family, and I am wondering if maybe I should approach a couple of them first off to see what they think of the idea... then again, what about my mother, should I offer to sing at hers as well?? For some reason, I do not have the same desire for that one...

Luckily (hopefully), there is no rush for a decision on this one.

Brian....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Joybell
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 07:59 PM

It's not so much the expected moments, like while singing at funerals, that are the problem with me. (Although I'm not saying that's easy, just that I can prepare myself to some extent). It's often happy times when a phrase I've sung a hundred times suddenly takes on a deep meaning. It might be brief eye-contact with a person in the audience, or something from within. Often I can't explain it. As we get older True-love and I are both finding it gets worse - or better depending on how you look at it. Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: GUEST,Puffenkinty
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 08:01 PM

Supposedly it was Judy Collins who
said she thinks about toothpaste when she
has to sing at a particularly emotion-
fraught moment.

All I know is that it worked for me when I sang
at my mother's funeral. (It also helped that I could hear
my mother's voice in my ear saying, "Sing out!")


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: treaties1
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 08:54 PM

Surrounded by many good and firm folk friends which included many, many Shellback Chorus members I could and did sing at my beloved husband Bills funeral and then afterwards at the rousing good sing around in celebration of his life. How could I not sing for him when all our life together he had listened, encouraged and been proud of my singing and it was the kind of "send-off" he had wanted. The comfort of all those singing voices was for me absolutely wonderful.
Bill's death was a surprise whilst my only son who had had his oesophagus removed and is now undergoing chemo for secondaries is still putting up a tremendous and positive fight for life. He doesn't like folk music (he'd never even heard me sing publicly before the funeral) and has no religeon.
I can't yet talk to him about what he wants if, when the worst happens. But I know that the words of songs like hymns can be so apt that they bring comfort to both the listener(s) and the singer(s) who each gain strength and comfort from them and each other so he now hears me singing (through the tears) whilst I'm doing his washing up etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 09:13 PM

"Toothpaste"? Now I'd never have thought of that. However, I'll need something pretty strong to get my brother's suggestion of spreading Father's ashes through the fields with our old manure spreader OUT of my mind.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 09:39 PM

Theresa, I am SO SORRY! I'd missed all the threads, and when I read this post of yours, I went back and found them. The good ones always make us stronger. It hurts like hell when they go, but all the gifts of spirit they gave us while they were around...they're always with us.

Hugs from me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: GUEST,JC
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 09:16 PM

I recently became interested in singing technique. I am not a singer by trade, and don't understand much of the "lingo", but I have a fairly pleasant voice and have frequently wondered how it might progress with a little training. Today I was searching the internet for tips on singing technique and came across this site along with all of your touching stories. I am an emotional sort by nature, and frequently end up in tears even when singing certain songs alone to myself. I just thought I would leave a small note letting you all know I have sat here for the better part of an hour reading your stories, tears falling. For me, singing has always been the most emotional form of communication, which is a large part of why I have trouble performing the more heart-wrenching songs when alone, let alone for others. With poetry, you can cry as you write. Singing is a different story.

The strength and emotion of each of you is inspiring. I wish each of you all the best.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 10:51 PM

While my whole family wept and sobbed through Dad's funeral, I stared in horror at the hideous monstrosity of a funeral urn that his ashes were stored in. It took all my self control not to stand up and demand "Who the hell is responsible for that monstrosity?" Worked for me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 02:34 AM

Guest JC, you're not alone- I too am sitting here crying. The sadness and the strength of the people come through so clearly.

The funny thing is that for most of my life I very seldom teared up- having four brothers may have had something to do with that - I know I grew up knowing that letting one's emotional guard down was dangerous.

I think the breakthrough out of my desert came for me at about age 35 in a restaurant one evening when the friend of a friend joined us at our table. There was a local tragedy that was in the papers; a father had killed his wife and then had killed himself. This friend of a friend was a emergency-care foster parent and she told us of the stunned-silent children. I was embarrassed that I couldn't hold back the tears, and then I suddenly realized that, for God's sake, weeping was appropriate.

But the older I get the weepier I get. Another 10 years- whew.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 05:14 PM

well, time to get this one going again... A couple of posts up from here, I wrote about how I considered that I might like the honor of singing at my Dad's service when it would eventually happen, and that I honestly didn't feel as strongly about the same offer to my Mom, even though I am no closer to one than the other... Well, my mother is in the hospital now, doing rather poorly (heart and cancer coming at her at the same time). We're really not sure how it is going to turn out, but it honestly does not bode well considering her health over the last couple of years... I've not said anything to anyone about it (re: the singing) so it is still totally upon my own shoulders.

It is something I really am torn on. I don't want to bring it up with my family, as right now we are trying to stay positive and talk of her service wouldn't really be right, right now. Besides, I don't know if it is really something I want to do or not, let alone be able to do. Okay, sorry for throwing out something that I have to resolve internally, but there was an awful lot of support for the different folks out there, so I was compelled to add an extra couple of bits worth...

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: bbc
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 09:51 PM

Brian, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom &, although I am not a performer, I can understand your dilemma. Let's get this thread back to the top to see if we can attract the attention of someone who may be able to offer helpful advice.

best,

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 02:18 PM

Dad passed away at the end of last October at age 91, and this summer my mother would like his memorial gathering -- he and we being non-religious -- to be "a celebration in song". Of those likely to be present, I'm likely to be the song leader... and I can't even type "celebration in song" without tears.

It seems like middle age means I tear up at the drop of a hat, and real emotion means I'm seriously choked up. Since he knows me, I think my husband is assuming I won't be the one taking on the job... but I don't know who else would (though Mom will be right in it, I know). I don't know if there will even be any old friends from the campfire singing days present, other than Mom.

I'm thinking that my game plan should be to have a game plan and to be over-prepared: to sing the songs a lot, and to sing them in front of others and mentioning their relationship to Dad as often as I can. This thread got me started on making a list of songs I associate with him, so there's that.

Any other psycho-motor tricks anyone's got since the last iteration of this thread??

~ Becky in Tucson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Megan L
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 03:03 PM

Do not know your background lass but my experience might help a bit. I spent over 20 years as a first aid officer When we did Dauvits memorial I put "my head" away and went through the day using my "Duty head" It was my duty to care for the people there and to share with them what an amazing and special person Dauvit was.

There were a couple of sticky moments as we stood on the shore of the loch at sunset releasing his ashes among the forget-me-nots while my niece read a love poem I had written for him. By then there was only 11 very special people with me and the public part was over.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 07:59 PM

Good grief (no pun intended)! This is an old thread. In it, I reported up top that I was in tears- well, it's happening again.

I know that when I am grieving for someone, that particular loss never stands alone- it always dredges up previous losses, and the load is often overwhelming.

I suspect that another reason that we cry is not because of our own loss - that is something we could probably deal with at home when we are alone - but that we are tuned in to the grief of others. And when I think of that it doesn't surprise me that we cry- just imagine 200 or even 20 people dwelling on the same thoughts. Even weddings make me cry. And births of babies. And graduations. And I remember years ago when I was present in church when a bishop ordained his own brother. That still brings tears...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 08:24 PM

I can now get through The Band Played Waltzing Matilda,and Lonesome Robin without coming all untogether, but now it's Carrying Nelson Home that gets to me every time.
But, know what? I give myself permission to be human and that makes a big difference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 09:19 PM

Megan, I'm so sorry about Dauvit. I hadn't heard until just now.

If you perform a song, I think it's possible to put everything else in the background for a bit. It's like when you know you have to do something and for just a short period of time, that thing becomes more important than anything else. So the song is everything while you're singing it. I think I'm talking about the same thing Megan was.

That said, emotion is what music is about, and it's what memorial services are for. They're about bringing people together who share memories and feelings. If you cry, it's the best possible time and place to do it. Sometimes I make it through songs simply because I have to. Practice helps, but it might be good, for so many reasons, if you prepared and sang with some other people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Singing thru the tears- how?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 09:41 PM

Where did my post go? I wrote a long post today that has disappeared; I thought I had submitted it but this ipad constantly plays tricks on me.

Becky, I'm so sorry about your Dad. I have learned so much about bereavement and grief since I started this thread so long ago. All I can add to the wonderful words of wisdom of others here is that I find that if I can kick my brain into "job" mode, I can usually get through it. Not that a performance is mechanical or unfeeling, but that it is a state of mind that hunkers down and gets the job done. But at a memorial song celebration, I suspect that tears would have a place, even from the leader. My thoughts are with you and your mother, and all who love your Dad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 July 5:32 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.