The day I learned to sing, I was in the car on a hot summer day listening to a Charlotte Diamond tape with my mother and sister. We often listened to Ten Carrot Diamond and other Diamond albums in the car, and until this day, we ‘sang’ along delighting in the noise without regard to tune or tone.
I remember feeling the wind in my hair as we drove down St. John’s street in Port Moody with our windows rolled down, caterwauling away. Perhaps we had been driving for a while, for my mother turned to my sister and I and with a strained tone asked if we could please try to match our voices to the sounds we heard in the songs. I had never before thought to try to sing like that, and to my surprise, I found it was just as fun to sing nicely as to sing loudly.
This and other childhood memories came back with full force today when I saw Charlotte Diamond step up on stage at Arts In The Park in Moody Park and launch into Lucky Streak, Inch By Inch and I Am A Pizza, among other favourites. It was my son’s first live concert (Wesley is two years old) and although he had a great time, I think I was probably the more excited.
My mother actually saved all our favourite old tapes, and although the sound is a bit wonky today, we do play them for Wesley from time to time on a combination CD/tape player we bought especially for the purpose. More frequently, he hears her voice via the many fan videos on YouTube. There’s a photo slideshow of all the ingredients in I Am A Pizza, and an ESL flashcard version of Slippery Fish that he finds oddly entertaining.
The most frequent jukebox for Wesley is, of course, me. Singing as sweetly as I know how, I take him through all the classics I remember from my own childhood. More and more often, Wesley ‘sings’ along, barking out the words without thought to tune.