Three lions and an avalanche

26 Jan

Hi everyone

I’ve missed 2 weeks of rehearsals because of the snow. Since my dancing on ice episode, when I was stranded on a icy pavement and left hanging onto a postbox until rescued, I’ve been scared of falling and making my back pain worse. So I’ve been shuffling around like a penguin, jealous of others more confident and gliding passed me without a care in the world.




It’s like Iceland here (not the one that does mini pizzas, king prawn rings and Dessert Platters for 1,000) the other one, the country which I imagine is cold, snowy and freezing. It’s some way North of that new country we discovered today in rehearsal Nantsy Gon-ya.

We hummed in warm ups this week with ‘Mmmms’ then ‘Nnnnns’, ending in a Gary nose knows best test with ‘Ng’ and putting your fingers to your nostrils to stop the sound.


It works if you do it right!

It works if you do it right!


We got through loads, including the ‘Lion King’ 3 times (but more of that later).

First was ‘Sunrise Sunset’ which is very low for us Altos and always catches me out. We didn’t get any marks out of ten, but I think lazy and no commitment was mentioned I can’t remember I think I nodded off. But the next time we sang it, we were back on form and more committed. Feedback from Gary this time was “there’s no effing swiftly” which I thought was a bit rude 😉 as we were really trying. He was talking about our diction again. It’s so difficult to sing swiFtly and not swit-ly, well I thought it was difficult until I faced ‘ubuse ngo than do ubse ngo xolo busa Simba, busa Simba‘. In hindsight putting an F in the middle of an English word seems easy peasy.


The basses grumpily gave their words of wisdom and it didn't help to ease our ways

The basses grumpily gave their words of wisdom. It didn’t help to ease our ways


Woo hoo the ‘Lion King’ next. Now this was split into 3 sections with a big paws break of a different song between to help our aching brains.  To make it more of a challenge we worked backwards from the end, which sounds confusing but it kind of worked. In sections one and two we concentrated on the Swahili words (slowly, then slowly again and then still slowly). The third time we sang it was a full run of the whole medley. Confused? You will be.

I’ve decided to name the two Swahili bits ‘no’ and ‘fat’.


‘Fat chants’ starts around Lion bar  bar 213. ‘Busa le lizwe bo’ which we sang at slow speed. I was ok until we got to ‘is-‘kha-thi si-fi-ki-le’ which sounds like something you might get a glimpse of on ‘Embarrassing Bodies’. I like the ‘Hem na iyo’ bit because that bounces along nicely.


Hem na iyo Hem na iyo. Funny pussy cat playing in the snow

Hem na iyo Hem na iyo. Funny pussy cat playing in the snow


When I hit words like ‘ngo xolo’ my brain stops, and my mouth and singing goes into freefall. I’ll get it by the 17th March, I just can’t guarantee the year I’ll get it …… may be 2013, may be 2014 who knows.

‘With One Look’ gave us a rest from ‘fat chants’, and this is to become a by heart number by next week. I’ve written it down, so now feel like I’ve promised myself that I’ll learn it well it’s less stress than learning it two days before the concert.

After the break we moved onto the ‘Lion King II’, or ‘no chants’ as I now like to call it.


This started around Lion bar bar 61 and included the ‘wait-wait-waits’. Gary was like one of those dancing policemen directing the traffic, and I still couldn’t work out when he was pointing at us. Sorry Gary.





No chants’ has the ‘oh oh i-yo’ in, which is my current earworm. This lion does not sleep at night and as soon as I close my eyes I hear ‘oh oh i-yo’. It’s rather irritating,  kind of like I’m being watched over and it lives in me. Wonder if you’ll hear it tonight?

We worked right back to the start of the ‘Lion King’ and that is where we discovered Nantsy Gon-ya. It’s a laugh trying to make up phrases that sound like the Swahili, but it could result in some mishaps. I’m sure I was singing ‘le fartsy la bonata rona’ at one point.



See thee……um


Our singing of Les Miz, and in particular the Les Miz march, moved the building and caused a whole load of snow to fall off the roof. It wasn’t falling slowly, if you get my drift, it came down in a giant huge mini avalanche. Was it our singing that caused the snow to move, or were we marching out of sync and that caused the building to rock? I’m going for a bit of both, loud singing and the wave effect of our right-left ah missed it, left no right, ah bugger can’t do it now marching.

We ended with the mane main number we had been building up to the whole rehearsal ‘Lion King III’, the full medley. Our hard work paid off and we survived. We have tamed the lion and it’s not as roar raw now.

I’ve completely made this up for the sake of a cheap joke, but here we go – Gary said we coped well with the ‘Lion King’ and the Swahili was excellent, in fact we did it so well we never have to practise again as we know it.





I enjoyed the rehearsal and it was worth making the epic journey across the frozen tundra to the slushy, wet snow in Gosforth. We hit another Inspiration milestone by using the power of singing to move snow.  Did anyone check  there weren’t any innocent casualties, wiped out in a big Le Miz snow splat?

As the day has been lion based I feel the need to end this blog post in the old-fashioned way (Norma would be so proud of me). So that’s good night from me and goodnight from him.



See you next week.

Hopefully life will be back to normal by then and the snow will have melted.

Happy word learning.

Lorraine x


One Response to “Three lions and an avalanche”


  1. Concert day – Sit down you’re rocking the Sage | Singingalto2's Blog - July 16, 2013

    […] on the stage could march. After all we didn’t want another march induced mishap like the great Le Miz snow splat of earlier this […]

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