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Thursday, 04 November 2021 07:00

Sing with all your Heart

 2021.59.Singing with all my heart

Have you ever found yourself singing along to a song in the company of another, only to find them looking at you rather strangely and trying to suppress their laughter? Some might experience this if they have a not so in-tune singing voice, but here I am thinking about those times when we catch someone singing along to a song with the words all wrong. Often these words we are singing may make little sense, but we are so used to singing them and are so sure they are the actual words that we continue to belt them out at the top of our lungs.

The truth is that most of us have probably been mistaken about the words of a song from time to time. We might blame it on the fact that the singer mumbles, sings to fast or that the background music is too loud, but what it boils down to is the fact that what we are hearing is actually not what is being said.

A quick google search reveals some classic misheard song lyrics, like ‘sparing his life from a warm sausage tea’ instead of ‘sparing his life from this monstrosity’ (from Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen) and ‘can’t start gravy’ instead of ‘constant craving’ (Constant Craving – KD Lang).

Now my funniest misheard words are not from a song, but from a prayer perhaps many of us pray often – the Hail Mary. The first time I really heard this prayer was at school when I was about 8. Every week my class would go to Mass and I would hear a bunch of little old ladies praying the Rosary before it started. You know that bit that says, ‘pray for us sinners now’…….. well for some reason, whenever my little 8-year-old brain had heard that, I thought people were saying ‘pray for us in the snail’.  Go on, try saying that really fast and see if you can understand where I was coming from.

I can recall thinking, ‘well Mary, this does not make sense, I am not in a snail, and I am pretty sure that most people around me aren’t either’, but I figured there must be some deeper significance given the devoutness of the old ladies who constantly prayed those words.  Now that I know what the words really are, I cannot really even find a tenuous link that makes sense of asking Mary to pray for us in the snail, except to see it as some sort of metaphor for protection.

But why do I really tell you that slightly amusing and slightly more embarrassing story? Perhaps because when I think about listening to God and trying to be in-tune with his movements and thus follow along the way he leads me, it’s probably true that I do not always get it right. I might say yes to too many things and become over-committed, or act in a way that is selfish - I sing the wrong words, so to speak.

Perhaps what matters though, is not that I got the words wrong, but that I am open to those around me suggesting that I do not have the words quite right, or that my voice is a little out of tune. Though potentially uncomfortable, such encounters can really only led us closer to the one who longs for and loves us more than we can imagine.

Mel Edwards