We wait at the back of St Pauls Cathedral, a gaggle of girls in neatly pressed school uniforms, hair checked for tidiness and suitability moments earlier, coloured hair elastics replaced with black or brown, nervous I suppose in some way, but this is the end of our last year of school, new life now.
The Cathedral is full, I remember the years before we were allowed in the choir, when we were too young, when we sat in the rows up the front of the Cathedral singing the smutty lyrics to the carols, laughing at anything that even remotely sounded like it was related to anything sexual (when you are thirteen, it is amazing how many euphemisms you can find and giggle over in a two hour service “Come they told me” was a favorite), being stared down by the teacher at the end of our row.
Then came the Carol Choir years, exams over the last two weeks of school were devoted to rehearsal, every day…my mind hold on to the laughter produced by one of the Choir mistresses calling out to the other “We need more ding dongs” (Ding Dong Merrily on High).
And then in year twelve we got to sing the first verse of Hark the Herald Angels sing as the choir walked down the Aisle to the choir stalls at the front of the cathedral.
But these aren’t the lyrics that linger…it is Silent Night in German that we also sang that year that makes me remember Christmas the most. What it used to feel like. What it does no longer.
My life is strung on lyrics. A song will take me to a place, to a moment, to a person.
I am a lyric girl, some people love a tune they can dance to, I need lyrics that speak to my soul, to my heart.
Every relationship I have, every year of my life, every change has its own soundtrack.
Bub 1’s first year is Travis and “Why does it always rain on me” and also their take on “Hit me Baby One more time” which was bub 1’s favorite song for many years :)
The end of Bub 2’s first year and my emotional disintegration is Avril Lavigne’s ” Complicated” and “I’m with You” and the longing they invoked, the teenage part of me that never got to exist, the bit that was squashed and kept in a box, that was dying to live.
I have lyrics that take me back to moments, to love, to pain.
I could write my life as a play list.
At the moment I am Dido’s “White Flag”, I am Cat Powers ” Come to Me”, I am Jason Mraz’s ” Beautiful Mess”, I am Tim Minchins “White Wine in the Sun” and his “Rock and Roll Nerd”, I am also lyrics that I know not the names of, but that are colouring my heart.
They keep me whole, they let me be me, they give me an ability to feel as deeply as I feel without simply falling apart.
I have lived in music and lyrics, when I go anywhere I am plugged into my MP3, happily lip synching and if, if the music is right and the soul is happy dancing on benches and swinging around signs.
So if, in the next week you see a thirty something woman/girl in black, dancing down a footpath with tears running down her face, seemingly mumbling to herself with headphones in her ears, that’ll be me.
And I’ll be fine.