12.16.2010

do stuff, make stuff, sing songs

The funny thing about my last post, about the puppets and the girl and her imaginary puppet house, is that I lived in a house like that except my house wasn't filled with puppets, it was filled with music.  All the time, every day, music music music.  I've mentioned before that my mom and I lived with my grandparents, my papa Dale and my grandma Sue, until I was eight.  They were so good, so much, so influential to me.  Papa used to play, by ear, his Hammond organ and pianos and keyboards all the time, and no, really, it was more than that.  It was more than a hobby or something he did two nights a week or to pass the time.  He did it like it was eating or reading or washing his hands.  He just sat down and played, without fanfare, no big deal, making something beautiful out of the air. He played like he was having a conversation with the whole house.  He played any song you asked, and he would make it sound better than you ever remembered, in his own way and his own voice, deliberate and with stride. I would pay a hundred million dollars to hear him play again.

-
my twenty-five-years-ago family

He taught me songs and music and sometimes we would make cassette tapes, him playing and me singing.  My grandma listened to these tapes of our songs up until the day she died; the last time I visited her (in July, 36 weeks pregnant, eeking in a last trip to see her before Hal arrived) she made us listen to them.  I hid outside in the yard because I was shy and she and Luke laughed at me and they smiled when I finally came back in the room, eyes all twinkly every time, they had been telling secrets. "I just always wish you had done more with your singing," she would say.  And I would smile because I didn't know how else to respond.

So anyway.

I decided to be brave and submit a singing video for The Fifth Annual Blogger Christmalhijrahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert if for no other reason than than the knowledge that it would have made my grandparents really, really happy.  A singing video!  Like singing, on video, on YouTube.  This is the girl who wouldn't listen to the tapes of her ten year old self singing just four months ago.  But I made myself try.  Of course I kept getting two thirds of the way through and then forgetting a word or Alice would come in crying or Clark would run up and clasp his hand over my mouth.  I was frustrated and kept putting the project off and I wanted to say, forget it, no, this is silly, I quit, but Luke encouraged me after the crazies were in bed last night to just do something short and quick and so I did and it turned out okay, I'd say, even though I had to sing low and quietly to not wake up the kids on the other side of the wall, even though, like most things in life, it isn't perfect or exactly right.  I can't hold out for exactly right anymore, or I'll never jump.  So I sent my just recorded video (thank you iPhone 4) in five minutes before midnight last night and it felt like so... not a big deal.  Really.  Truly.  I don't even feel embarrassed.  It's just, you know, whatever.  Funny how you can get braver, just by making yourself be braver.

Merry Christmas lovelies.

44 comments:

  1. Loved your song. Followed the link over from there. Your voice is just . . . lovely.

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  2. love, love, love this. your story & your song.

    your childhood sounds magical. i love that your grandparents were such huge parts of your life. actually, come to think of it, if i could wish for 2 things--it might be to have really known my grandparents & to be able to sing! =)

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  3. oh erin, that is simply beautiful and your voice is enchanting. you are just so endearing. your story reminds me of my grandparents...overflowing love. it was nice to hear you sing, and see that you're feeling better. xoxoxo

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  4. are you kidding me?

    i'm with sue.

    your grandparents gave you a gift you will carry with you always. it will never go away. and thank god for that.

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  5. So pretty Erin, the song and the story.

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  6. Your voice is gorgeous! Love it. Plus you're pretty. :)

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  7. what?! I mean, I'm not surprised your voice is so beautiful, but I had no idea you sounded like THAT! so awesome. Emerson and I just watched this a couple times in a row. I love that you had such a rich experience as a kid and how your grandparents poured so much into you and how it is so evident the ways it's shaped you. thanks for sharing this. loved it.

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  8. Hooray for being brave! Erin, your voice is lovely and charming. (Dude. I got my degree in vocal performance, so I don't hand out compliments lightly when it comes to singing.) Also, I don't know that Christmas song! How cute is it? I know you made my grandparents smile, putting your sweet song out there. KEEP SINGING!

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  9. Oops! YOUR grandparents, not mine, even though they would think you are just as cute as a button. And they would give you some pound cake.

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  10. As if you couldn't be more adorable.

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  11. You are so pretty and so adorable and I love your voice. You really should record a little selection of lullabys. Olivia was nursing when she first heard you singing this and her eyes drooped down and, by the second time through of me playing this, she was sleeping.

    Yes.

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  12. Oh how dreamy your childhood must have been!

    Your voice is as lovely as you are.

    Nell

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  13. Oh, lady. You are amazing. So glad you got brave and did this!

    My freshman year college roommate (one of them, we were in a teeny tiny triple room) used to sing us to sleep some nights. She wasn't brave enough to sing in public, but those songs were little gifts to us and are the songs I now use to sing my girls to sleep. I love the way music can touch others and leave a lasting impression, even in little ways.

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  14. I love the story behind this, Erin. I could tell just from your speaking voice (over skype) that you would have a pretty singing voice.

    And recording lullabies for your babies is a great idea. You should, you should, you should.

    Merry Christmas, beautiful.

    xo

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  15. OMG, you are so cute.

    I had to re-type my comment like 34 times to try not to sound like I was hitting on you. I give up. GIRL, YOU ARE SEXY.

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  16. Already said it on twitter, but I
    LOVE
    this. You're so brave :)

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  17. I'm so glad you did this. But I keep saying and saying that, so you knew already.

    You are so lovely.

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  18. So pretty! Yay for being braver than you think you are ;) and double yay for getting that courage/encouragement from your grandparents.

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  19. Yours has to be the best entry on there, by the way! I ended up listening to a great deal of them because my kids came in interested!!! Hugs to you.

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  20. LOVED your song over there and followed you over here. Happy to have found you and your blog. xx

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  21. Beautiful!!

    Music is totally apart of my life and now my daughters ( only thing I don't got a voice haha)

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  22. Erin- yay for being brave... and for my four year old watching this over and over until he almost knows the words. I had never heard this song- its adorable and you sang it beautifully. Congrats on leaping.

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  23. erin! i don't even have words.

    except, just. plain and simple:

    i adore you.

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  24. Seriously. That was AWESOME. I would pay a million dollars to be able to sing that well.

    Thanks for being brave enough to share Erin!

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  25. If I could sing like you, I would sing all day, every day. Unfortunately, I cannot carry a tune to save my life, so I just sigh wistfully when I hear talented singers like you. Sing your heart out, babe. I'll always be listening.

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  26. Beautiful voice Erin!!! I mean really beautiful!!!
    You could be in a cool indie band :)

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  27. oh my gosh, so perfect and dainty! wish i could sing, i can't but love that others can. this makes me very happy.

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  28. I just love it and I'm so glad you recorded it and posted it. Your voice is so beautiful. I'm glad you "did something with your singing" - now do more! :-)

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  29. um, we sang your jack frost song so much yesterday- at least what we could remember of it. you know, while we played in our pool and got sunburns :) and then emerson begged to watch you sing it some more. so very lovely.

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  30. your battle with embracing singing sounds like mine with writing. so i TOTALLY get how difficult that was, & i applaud your bravery!

    & it was perfect, by the way - simple & sweet & wonderful.

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  31. Oh, Erin. Your voice is lovely, and your grandparents would be so proud, so estatic that you did that. It's no big deal, but at the same time, it's kind of a big deal.

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  32. Thanks for adding your lovely voice to the festivities.

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  33. seriously? simply beautiful. your outerself and inner.

    i have ALWAYS wanted to hear you sing, so glad you did this. your grandparents are so smiling right now.

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  34. Love it! Your voice is unique and beautiful!

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  35. Exactly perfect is highly overrated. You're just beautiful...voice and all. Your grandparents are definitely smiling down on you.

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  36. Love you, Erin. Love your song. Love you singing it.

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  37. Erin, this post is so touching. I relate so much to it. My own father played any instrument he was given, by ear also, but the piano was his forte. He kept the guys entertained when he a POW. My mother had a beautiful voice, too and sang along with my dad at functions.

    I grew up in a house full of laughter and music and now my 2 son's are in bands (Casino video and songs are on my sidebar) and are music students at uni and college. All this has stemmed from my music maestro father.

    You're voice is simply divine.

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  38. I just fell more in love with you.

    I didn't think this was possible.

    Your voice is lovelier than lovely , more beautiful than beautiful.

    Let your light shine, Erin. You are really quite speical.

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  39. Hi Erin. You are so pretty in your video, and I like your hair. Anyway, I am curious if the older kids are still as fascinated with the baby. Do they continue to mess with him all the time? (It's so interesting how brothers and sisters interact.)

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  40. Wow, your voice is amazing! I would totally buy your album!

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  41. You have an incredible voice (somehow I think I already knew that) - and you are SO pretty. Stunning, really.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  42. I can't believe I am just now commenting on this, but I loved your video and am so glad you did this. I am hoping to see you soon and maybe we can sing together next year!

    Steph

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  43. you are so cute and beautiful and I LOVE your song!

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