I’ve absolutely loved hearing about your favorite hymns for the ‘Sweet Exchange’ giveaway. (Enter until Thursday!) I have to give y’all some props for teaching me a word I’d never heard before: hymnody. Seriously? That’s a word? The first time one of you mentioned it I was impressed because I just love to make up words that sound like they should be a word even if they are not a word. But the second time it popped up I googled it and found out it meant, “..the singing or composition of hymns.” I’ll do you one better. Did you know that one who studies hymns is called a hymnologist? Who am I kidding..of course you did! Y’all are so smart! (My spell check isn’t as smart as you, though. It wants me to change those words to humanoid and hematologist respectively.)
I also asked you in that post to remind me to tell you about my brief stint as a singer/actress/hymnodian. No one did but that isn’t going to prevent me from telling you about it anyway because when a woman is fast approaching 40 and it settles on her she’s half-way to dead she feels the need to relive her glories.
The college Luke attended had a fabulous music professor and he organized a community production called Flight F-I-N-A-L. The setting was in an airport terminal and the only ones allowed to board the flight were those who were born again. It’s funny to recall now but I remember one of the girls (Penny!) who didn’t make it through security at the Pearly Gates carried an Abercrombie and Fitch shopping bag to symbolize her worldliness. I remember thinking, “What store is that?” But that was during my Alfred Dunner elastic waist pants wearing days so I missed the A&F bandwagon altogether. Thank goodness. That bandwagon led straight to H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. In fact, considering A&F’s nekked advertisements, I think it still does.
The play was primarily a musical with few speaking parts but Dr. C asked me if I would be willing to be an angel/flight attendant that would greet the passengers on the plane. Of course I said yes but was a little concerned about one thing: I was 6 months pregnant. That’s some messed up theology right there. Thankfully I had a navy, wool dress (that was so ugly as were all my clothes) that camoflauged the tummy as much as a 6 month pregnant tummy could be disguised. So, the show would go on. Sort of.
At the end of the play I was supposed to fade into stage left (or right? Depends on which way you are looking at it..) for a stirring rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus. It just so happened my final position left me standing smack in the middle of the sopranos. If you read yesterday’s post, you may remember I am not a soprano, I am a bass. No, not an alto. A bass. So, my intention was to lip sync so I wouldn’t appear to be an angel who couldn’t get her praise on.
The play went beautifully. Everyone remembered their parts and I remembered my lines and at the end I was overcome. Just overcome. So much so that I decided I wasn’t going to just lip sync but that I would find my inner soprano and sing along with the rest of the people. Did I mention I was overcome?
My elation quickly faded as I belted out HHHHAAALEEELUUUUJAAHHHHHH in a voice that sounded like a 12-year-old boy going through puberty with strep throat and I glanced over to my left and right to see the women beside me sticking their fingers in their ears. That is choir speak for, “WHAT IS THAT NOISE BUSTING UP ALL MY HARMONY?”. I quickly came to my senses, saw the door to the “plane” immediately behind me and decided I could make a creative exit. Yes, I escaped stage left (right?). Because I was a different sort of overcome. And if I didn’t get out of there right when I did I’m confident someone would have dragged me out with one of those cartoon-ish shepherd hooks a la Bugs Bunny used to forcibly remove inept performers.
It turns out this performance was my acting F-I-N-A-L-E. Unfortunately for my stage career there isn’t much call for pregnant angels who fake-or-badly-sing soprano. No worries.
There’s always my epic bass line in “Where the Soul of Man Never Dies.”
And if that is a fail, mouthing “Watermelon” will always save the day.