Weirder warm ups and words, words, words

8 Jun

Hi everyone

Wednesday’s rehearsal was brought to us by the tag team of Mark and Andy.

So no funky warm ups this week, instead we had Andy’s ‘even weirder warm ups’. It all started with what I thought was a rather delicate question from Andy “Hello Newcastle, do you do many men here?” Pardon! Andy explained that to the tune of the William Tell Overture we had to sing “many men, many men, many men, men, men” it seemed difficult, but perhaps easier to handle than the original question. It was difficult to get the words out, but good fun. Then we stuck with William Tell (riding the invisible horse was optional for Sopranos, but obligatory for Altos) and instead of many men it was “Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo, Scooby where are you?”


Inspirationers spotted on their way to work on Thursday morning

Inspirationers spotted on their way to work on Thursday morning


There were a few numbers which had to be by heart this week. I managed ‘This is the hour’, faltered a bit in ‘Phantom,’ and in ‘Raise Your Voice’ I kept thinking (at least twice) that we’d got to the end when in fact there were still a few phrases left to sing. In ‘Raise Your Voice’ I can sing the Latin Alto lines over once, maybe twice, but as this repetition is going on and on and on and on I find my mouth and brain failing to engage. So I sometimes get my “Benny dicky mouse te” muddled, and often find an extra syllable in “Glorificamus te” so it becomes “Glor iffy iffy ick a mouse te”. I will rue the day I ever typed this and made it permanent in the Tefal section of the word learning part of my brain (more of which later).

The Altos tried to funk it up to ‘let them know what they been missin’ in ‘Raise Your Voice’, but Mark said we sounded too middle class. I bet the only time we stop sounding middle class will be next week when we try Ascot Gavotte for the first time. Of course then we’ll be sounding really Geordie “Ev’ry duke an earl an peer is heor, Ev’ry one who shud be heor is heor”.

We tried ‘Masquerade’ which was critiqued as a ‘weird arrangement’ by Andy. The rhyming lines and knowing whether to flash mauve, splash puce, be a fool or a king, a ghoul or a goose, makes this one of the more difficult numbers. We sang this in our 2nd concert with Gary at the City Hall Newcastle in 2004, and we found in difficult then too. Back then we were young and daft, and made up funny words to help us remember. Nowadays we are older, still daft, and still making up funny words which we now have less chance to remember.

Anyway whilst rehearsing ‘Masquerade’ an Alto who was party to the great mis-learning of 2004 was egging me on with her eyebrows. I didn’t sing my preferred version of one of the verses, because I was hoping that you might enjoy singing it too. It goes:

“Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds.

Masquerade! Take your thrill let his testicles astound you!”

As with singing BIG LAD in the last concert, it is best sung loudly and with gusto.


That will cause some burning glances

That will cause some burning glances

Turning heads

Turning heads


But as a word of warning please don’t sing this whilst stopped at the traffic lights, especially so if you are a pedestrian or on a bike.

I hope these new words will now be in the Teflon section of the word learning part of your brains. Unfortunately it is even more stuck in mine now!

That’s all from me this week. I am off to sit in the garden with my iPod, give the neighbours a thrill at my singing, and maybe learn some real words along the way.

See you all next week.

Lorraine x


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