I used to sing a lot.
I used sing with the guitar club in highschool, with the United Church choir, with the Cellar Singers chamber choir, at coffee houses at the Garden Cafe. I sang with Frieda in university, mostly at shitty bars. We played Larry’s Hideaway once, before it burnt down. She’s a kickass blues singer (insert plug for her new band Fried Angels here, catch her in Toronto, she’s absolutely fantastic). I was her Garfunkle, briefly.
I’m not a terribly good singer. I’m a bit shy about it. I sing best when I’m alone, really. I rock the shower. And I’m a lousy guitarist.
When I ended my marriage in 1999, I went and got new strings for my guitar. I found a little sticky note I had put in my case, indicating that I last bought new strings in 1987. See, my ex-husband was an excellent musician, had played semi-professionally for many years.
My last partner – same. Also, an excellent musician.
So, I didn’t play. I was embarrassed to play in front of them, because I truly do suck. And no one ever knew any songs I liked to sing.
So I stopped. I’m not dating any more musicians. Period.
Then, for a few years, I smoked really heavily, and I physically COULDN’T sing without coughing. I sounded raspy and horrible. Not sexy, bluesy raspy, just shitty.
I’ve had songs running through my head. I’ve been going to church, and singing there.
And you know what?
I love to sing. I don’t really care if I suck. Growing up, through highschool, singing my heart out in my room got me through a lot of really bad shit.
And now, I’m single again, and I want to just sing everything that’s bottled up inside me out, to wail out all the pain and all the joy I ever felt.
It’s incredibly cathartic. Ask any five year old “can you sing?” They will invariably say “sure”. But ask an adult, and most people will say “no”.
Fuck it! Of course you can sing. You can walk, you can talk, you can sing.
If for no other reason that because Amanda Palmer says so, that’s why.