I sang in public today. It was freaky-deaky. It was very fucking freaky indeed.
I thought I’d joined a community choir but I’m honestly not sure whether it is one or not. I’ve got a feeling it sort of might be a church choir that lets in non-church members to boost the numbers. You do see one or two people in religious jewellery at rehearsals and quite frankly you can tell that a couple of the poor dears are Christians from the abysmal way they dress but no-one ever talks about Jesus and we sing popular music so it’s all cool.
This event came up, there was going to be some sort of memorial service at this church. I didn’t know what ‘memorial service’ means, I assumed it was basically a funeral for somebody specific. The musical director of the choir kept emphasising at rehearsals that she wanted as many choir members as possible at this event so that’s why I showed up. I had the impression we were basically hired help. Turn up and sing at someone’s funeral, okay, I can do that, it doesn’t matter to me what religion they are. When I was a child I used to sing at weddings and I had no emotional investment in that either, I was mildly interested to see what dress the bride turned up in (sometimes it was the same as the bride from the previous week, haha) and I just wanted to sing and get my pocket money.
Wow, this thing today was something else. It wasn’t a funeral for someone specific, it was a general-purpose religious service with a theme of death. It was a bit mental. A whole lot of people in the congregation were publicly emoting, there was a ritual involving a giant cross on the floor and supernatural entities were invoked. It was a kind of voodoo. I was considerably less freaked out when I was in South Africa visiting the sangoma, at least there was only one of her, and she wasn’t crying. The most freaky part was when it got to the prayers. As I mentioned, I was under the impression that the choir was there for professional reasons to provide musical services. I was mildly alarmed when what seemed like the whole choir started praying under their breath. I’ve never felt so conspicuous in my whole life. I’d better not go to any more of those events. I’m not such a strong singer that they will miss me. Strictly secular gigs for me from now on.
Bloody hell. Afterwards, everyone commented on what an emotional occasion it was. I must have had the driest eyes in the house.
Let’s have a tune to take the edge off.
L7: Pretend We’re Dead (1992)