Ese’s ‘Shoot and Quote Challenge’ this week is “Music.”
Just recently, I was reminded of this quote, “Don’t shoot the piano player; he’s doing the best he can.” I wondered about its origin, and found that it originated about 1860 in the ‘Wild West’ of the USA. Oscar Wilde saw it written on a sign in a Leadville, Colorado saloon, when he visited in 1882, and since then, it’s become a well known saying. I guess it was meaning that it wasn’t the pianist that was at fault, but the piano that was out of tune.
Some of you may know that I play the piano, and this talent has landed me with some rather onerous tasks in the past. Just before Christmas, someone at our club decided that he would like to put on a Broadway-type musical production in May, and asked me if I would be good enough to play the songs. I told him that I will be leaving to go back to South Africa at the end of February, so couldn’t help out. Not wanting to be thwarted, or deposed from his hobby horse, he then suggested we just do nine songs as a ‘showcase’ which could be ready to perform in the last week that I’m here. Auditions were held, and quite well attended. The enthusiastic singers are all in their 70’s to late 80’s, so you can imagine that the voices are somewhat past their best, but nevertheless it was decided that the show will go on. So, after having committed myself, I find that I have to not only find the music on the internet, legally down load it and learn it, but the guy whose idea the whole thing is, actually can’t read music at all, and wants me to do all the donkey work. I don’t want to disappoint these sweet people, who are so excited about the whole thing, so have hours and hours of practice sessions lined up, to try and get them ready for their paying audience on the 22nd February. Mr Organiser downloaded lyrics from various internet sites, in tiny print that you need a magnifying glass to read, and complete with all the strange ads that pop up when you visit these sites. He handed them out to everyone last night, just before the first practice session, and when I came to play the songs, I found that what I had on my music, was not the same as what they were singing. What a nightmare! So now I have to sort that lot out too. Last night I kept waking up with my head full of ‘Comedy Tonight’, ‘Magic to do’, and ‘Tradition’ from Fiddler on the Roof. I have 33 pages of music to learn before Monday, so I don’t think I’ll be around on the blogs very much, but will try to pop in if I have a free moment. Please wish me luck.
Now I think I know what Duke Orsino in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’, was getting at when he said, “If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the soul may sicken and so die……………..Enough; no more; tis not so sweet now as it was before.”