A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Importance of Having Father 2

While standing in church today and belting out one of the great hymns, "The Love of God",

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

it occurred to me that my love for hymns, in particular and music broadly was due, in large part to my father's influence. If I had been more pious, I should have been concentrating on the hymn itself... No one can deny its inspiring and profound lyrics. Somehow my thoughts drifted (rather too easily) to the blog post I completed earlier in the morning. The overworked imagination that set up shop inside my cranium and beyond long ago managed to bring together two streams of thought... Father's Day and hymn singing.

But it wasn't just hymns that I grew up with but classical music also. My father has never had formal music lessons and yet he taught himself to play a few instruments at a basic level. An original audiophile, he also put together a sound system that involved 7 inch reel tapes, analog magnetic cassettes, speakers and a turn table.

True to form, he didn't care for us listening to pop music and discouraged us as much as he could. But conniving and impressionable schoolgirl that I was, it was inevitable that as the latest music fad beckoned, I followed. (Until I tumbled onto another fad... backmasking.. which turned out to be more dubious than Alice Cooper's stage antics.) I did, in my defence, draw the line at Boy George and the entire Michael Jackson hysteria.

Dad was and is a fan of the great Mario Lanza... He would wave his arms conductor-like and do his best Student Prince imitation.

Drink! Drink! Drink!
To eyes that are bright as stars when they're shining on me!
Drink! Drink! Drink!
To lips that are red and sweet as the fruit on the tree!

Here's a hope that those bright eyes will shine
Lovingly, longingly soon into mine!
May those lips that are red and sweet,
Tonight with joy my own lips meet!

There was a lot of music floating around in that house... 3 people and then later, 4 played the piano with varying degrees of proficiency. There was a violin and a harmonica at some stage... even a ukelele. Later, when I was old enough and big enough to hold the guitar, I learnt to play 3 chords.

Oh... the stories I could tell... about my years in Singapore. Despite the ridiculously competitive education system, we still managed to have fun during those years.

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