We all like to think we can carry a tune – I’ve got one in my back pocket right now – but how many of us can actually sing? “Not many”, according to a recent government survey. This doesn’t matter: singing is all about self-expression, happiness and going for the high notes in a forgiving environment. Show me a person who doesn’t enjoy a good singalong and I’ll show you a heartless killer who stalks the streets and could strike at any moment. Or my mate Simon (he doesn’t like singing either).
Singing has a long tradition stretching way back, way way back, all the way back to the Jackson Five. And what a catalogue of crooners we’ve had down the years: Madgedonna, Bono Vox, Little Richard, Big Richard, Gaz from Supergrass and more recently the abundantly talented but misunderstood (“I said a triple, not a double”) Amy Housewine. All this and we haven’t even touched upon the belt-it-out world of opera. Remember The Three Tenors? That’s thirty quid’s worth – forty if you count Pavarotti twice. Still, singing is not all ‘Nessun Dorma’ and ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’. Oh no. Singers need to master a number of vocal techniques. These include legato, vibrato, shouting, scatting it up and doing the Lambeth walk (hey!). Failure to perfect these could see them singing for their supper. But we forgive them so much because they take us to a special place – both emotionally and literally (Al Green once drove me to Aldershot).
So whether you’re Frank Sinatra (Ol’ Blue Eyes), Damon Alburn (Ol’ Blur Eyes), Shane Magowan (Ol’ Blurry Eyes) or Mick Jagger (just plain old), bang one out for us, there’s a love.