‘Would you like to join our Christmas singing group?’ asked my Canadian/Italian friend Tiziana back in November. ‘This will be our third year and it’s just good fun, mostly the group are Italians and we sing Christmas songs.’
I love singing, I take after my mother, she always had a song suitable for every occasion. My friend Linda is also the same…at any time she’ll burst into song after you have said something like… ‘good morning’…she’ll start,
Good morning, good morning
We’ve talked the whole night through
Good morning good morning to you… etc., Gene Kelly version I think.
I don’t want to turn into my mother, or Linda in fact but it is great to sing. It makes you feel good, something to do with endorphins I expect…I do sing, intermittently throughout everyday and if I don’t, then The Man thinks there’s something wrong with me.
Back to the Christmas choir then. I accepted the invitation and joined the choir with seasonal glee…(*groan*)
There were about four rehearsals usually a 9pm start but as most of the group were Italian they actually began somewhere between 9.30pm and 10pm. They were/are a lovely bunch of people but for the first three sessions, there was only a core of about four people who remained the same! Numbers kept changing and I had to try and remember so many different names.
Our song list contained most of the popular songs, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, (for which we donned red noses of course), Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Jingle Bell Rock and several more. Imagine was the favourite with the Italian audiences…we had to sing it twice when we performed at the old people’s home in Petritoli. Fairytale of New York proved to be a hard one to come to grips with but we managed it in the end – I love that song – we couldn’t have managed it without John Healy on guitar…or could we? hmm. Happy Christmas (War is Over) was equally popular and quite emotional to sing. It seems every year it is topical, sadly.
The name of the group is, The Walking Singers, it came about not because they walk at the same time as singing but because the first year they performed they sang in a piazza in Fermo then walked a bit and sang in a different piazza, then another little stroll and a little sing, and so it went on. This year, we did actually sing and walk at the same time and as we strolled through the streets, shop doors opened, people wished us well, smiled and looked happy. We were spreading goodwill in abundance and it felt good.
So, 2015 saw three performances one at the Casa di Riposo (old people’s home) in Petritoli; one outside Bar Primavera in Fermo (we were given vino brule, which is mulled wine, it certainly helped oil the vocal tubes. The final singing event was on Christmas Eve and took place under the Christmas tree in the big Piazza del Popolo in Fermo town. The atmosphere was…well…Christmassy…with a skating rink set up in the middle of the square, lots of twinkly lights, stalls selling Christmas tack bric-a-brac, children playing, bells ringing…all very nostalgic and magical until we started singing…J Only joking. The crowds gathered to listen, we sang our hearts out and even The Man joined in. His contribution was to play the tambourine with skill and passion especially in We Wish you A Merry Christmas…we never did get any figgy pudding though!
Happy New Year! Good wishes for 2016 to all.