on singing (again)

The other day I read an article in a German newspaper about the importance of singing; how it makes us more healthy and balanced and how the singing is good for the soul. This ties in perfectly with an idea I had for a post a while ago.

I’ve written about my love for singing a couple of times and it even made it into my Twitter bio. I DO believe that singing makes me happy and if I’m not happy, sometimes rage/feels singing is what does the trick when other means fail me. I believe that every day without singing is a lost day.

Some mornings I get out of bed and already sing along to the music on the radio. I will have sung along to at least one song by the time I leave my house in the morning to go to work. Sometimes, way too often, a song gets stuck in my head and I keep singing the lines over and over in my head. More often than not, it’s enough for me to read a line of a song somewhere and get the whole thing stuck in my head. It’s just how my brain works.

I have let Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah sooth me over any heartbreak watching my mom die has inflicted on me. I can’t listen to the song when I’m not already feeling damaged because it sure as hell brings those feelings back. It’s a powerful thing.

I remember the day I spent at the hospice, Mom was basically out of everything, it were her last hours on this earth. As I sat in the chair by her bedside, holding her hand while letting my thumb graze her skin, I started singing under my breath. For both her and my own benefit. I don’t know how much she still felt or grasped during those hours but I somehow had to keep myself from falling apart and do something, just about anything that wouldn’t make her agitated and calm me down as well.

Very high on my minds rotation was “Smile Though Your Heart is Aching”. It became my mantra through the following days and I used it to reign in any possible tears at her funeral. I couldn’t and I wouldn’t cry then.

I didn’t really pick that song for that time, rather, it picked me, like music so often does. I hardly ever know why a certain piece of music ends up in my head or why it changes so often. It just does.

It’s hardly ever silent in my head. I even sometimes try (not always subconsciously) to match pitch with our printer at the office. And when I need to drown out everything around me and concentrate, I settle on one note to humm under my breath.

If all this sounds strange to you, I really can’t help it but it’s the way I work. I sing, I dance, I write, I run. I don’t do any of those things well or graciously but I do them because I have found them beneficial for myself. And that’s the most important part, right? As long as I don’t annoy my colleagues at work, I can do whatever the hell I damn well please.

And just because it kind of fits, have some video of me talking about my top 3 most powerful song memories.


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  • This was fun to read/listen to. I haven’t heard of any the songs except the first one, but I really must find The Mountain Goats. I mean, you & John Green have very nice things to say about them.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I only heard the song because I watched John Green at Carnegie Hall sometime in 2013 and the song is basically the only one I know by them but it’s awesome. So check them out.

      • I am listening to it now! I’ve got some stuff going on and I might have to download it- kind of fitting for my life right now :) So thank you for sharing!

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          I’m glad you’re liking it even if it sucks that it fits your life right now. It’s a great song though!

          • I actually think I like it because while the chorus could sound sad, it’s surprisingly upbeat. So it’s hopeful, and that makes me feel better.