River Wissey Lovell Fuller

A Musical Interlude

March 2004

What was your favourite song as a teenager? Are you unhappy with the present pop world?

So what would be your favourite song? Well, with my teenage years belonging to the far distant past, you wouldn't expect me to be a supporter of present day pop. But then I'm certainly not into this classical music stuff either. My type of music goes right back to when Larry Parks, I'm sure that was his name, played Al Jolson in "The Jolson Story", singing such songs as "April Showers" and "Mammy". Real songs, as indeed was Tammy Wynett's, "Stand By Your Man", Patsy Cline's "Just Out Of Reach", Englebert Humberdink's, "Please Release Me", Tom Jones, "Green Green Grass Of Home", Marie Osbourn's, "Paper Roses". And I haven't even got round to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, and Dean Martin, and there were many more; vocalists who could sing. My golly those were the days!

I'm not musically qualified to express myself as I would like but the songs I have mentioned had got that certain something about them. They had a tune for a start, a certain feeling; real musicians would know what I am on about. Now compare all of that with the Hymns you sing in Church or Chapel. Well first of all I don't think you sing at all, you shout. I hardly come across any Hymn that is sung with any feeling. And yet, and these are two other names I could have mentioned before, listen to Anne Marie and Daniel O'Donnell singing, "The Old Rugged Cross", and "How Great Thou Art". Just two examples of singing hymns with feeling. There's a musical expression which covers what I'm saying, but I can't now think of it, maybe someone could let me know.

I have a CD and it includes a lady singing, with only a piano accompaniment, "The Lords My Shepherd" brilliantly sung, with feeling. Another hymn, which I don't know the name of, is sung to the tune of "Danny Boy". You try singing that without any feeling and you can't. I know I seem to be going over board with this "feeling" business but for me it's essential, and it just doesn't apply to singing, I seem to remember years ago someone playing the piano on TV, I think his name was Semprini, or something like that, and he use to throw himself in to his playing so much that he would nearly fall off his stool.

Back to the singing if we may! If we think of someone else I could have mentioned, Shirley Bassey, you get the impression that, yes she wants paying for her singing, but she also loves what she is doing, and it shows.

Les Lawrence

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