Hiccups and a Hard Candy Christmas

9 Nov

Hi everyone

I’ve missed a few rehearsals, so it was nice to be back singing on Wednesday. I’ve been practising whenever I get the chance, which could mean in the bath, in the car, or even at work. But of course it’s better singing with everyone else (and it sounds much better too believe me).

We started the rehearsal with some mouth stretching warm up exercises, the ones where you end up sounding like one of the Teletubbies.


Eh oh! Noo Nor

Eh oh! Noo Nor


Then we moved on to a full run through of the concert. To shake things up a bit we did the second half in the first half, then the first half in the second half. Confused? Nor Nor.


O Come All Ye Faithful. Gary knows it's difficult to let go of, but Gary doesn't want us to sound like we're singing in a school Nativity play

O Come All Ye Faithful. He knows it’s difficult to let go of, but Gary doesn’t want us to sound like we’re singing in a school Nativity play


‘Christmas Day’ is rather haunting and different, but I quite like it now. It takes a bit getting used to, because it’s easy to get dragged into singing other voice parts (any one but your own). Gary was testing us with his Italian musical terms and trying out some new dynamics – poco diminuendo – crescendo to fortississimo – quattro stagioni and garlic bread. Pah!

Then the ladies became less ladylike, put on a Dolly twang (that’s an accent by the way, not skimpy underwear) and sang ‘Hard Candy Christmas’. We had the instruction to sing like we were out of work hookers. How did you feel about that?


Fine and dandy

Fine and dandy

I'm barely getting through tomorrow

I’m barely getting through tomorrow

I can't let sorrow bring me way down

Still I can’t let sorrow bring me way down


Obviously this took our best acting skills, after all if you’re going to be a hooker then you may as well be one that’s in work. I think it sounded pretty good. Gary said it was full of nostalgia for being a whore, though I’m not really sure if that’s a good or bad thing 😉

In the row in front of me there was a bit of hiccup hysteria in the middle of ‘Believe’. This brought in a new element of wonder to the song, as we all stood around wondering when they were going to stop. We were [hic] dreamers [hic] not so long ago [hic] but one by one we [hic] all had to grow up ………. [hic]. You’d think the shock of being called a hooker would have cured them swiftly quickly wouldn’t you?

Before the break we were told of another Upstairs Downstairs swap. So ladies if you were on the floor on Wednesday, then next week you’ll be up a height.


Those low women upstairs. How very modern

Those low women upstairs. How very modern


We seem to be rattling through this term and already have a few numbers by heart. I came out of the rehearsal feeling all Christmassey and as it’s passed Bonfire Night it officially doesn’t feel too early to sing Carols any more. After all the barrage of Christmas adverts have started on telly, the queues have began to form for Fenwicks Christmas window, and one of my favourite Christmas YouTube videos is being given another airing.



I’ve still got more than a few things to work on:

  • the key changes in ‘White Christmas’ – I can do them on my own, but not with anyone looking
  • my train still moves ‘swiftly’ now and again, I can’t ‘Believe’ it can you?
  • for some reason now I’ve started singing ‘Jesus you are King’ – why? why?
  • I’m still stuck in a snowdrift in parts of ‘Snow’ – the snow I wash my hands, my face and hair in and not the snow that fills the fields we used to know
  • then words, words, words, words…….buying a highlighter is not enough to make me remember them!


Trying on a Dolly twang

Trying on a Dolly twang


See you all next week for the next instalment of Upstairs Downstairs. Oh that reminds me have you worked out your Downton Abbey name yet? It’s your grandmother’s first name (or grandfather if you are male) followed by the name of your first school, and from that you can tell if you’d have been a servant or one of the landed gentry.

So I’d be Mary Knoplaw – most definitely a tatty peeler or pot washer downstairs in the servants’ quarters. Look forward to hearing your Downton Abbey names.

Happy word learning and note bashing.

See you soon.

Lorraine x


3 Responses to “Hiccups and a Hard Candy Christmas”

  1. Susan Ward November 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    I would be Harriet St. Paul’s. Definitely upstairs with a name like that. So get me a cup of tea at once, Mary!

  2. bob gladwin November 11, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Hi LorraineThoroughly enjoyed your missive – I think this is probably the best and funniest one of yours that I have read.The illustrations are excellent, especially the ‘hookers’ I am sure i have seen a few of them amongst the altos and sopranos – not to mention the tenors (lady tenors that is).Am thoroughly enjoying the current concert as I know quite a lot of the numbers from previous attempts and the new ones are quite simple.Take care and I’ll see you Wednesday.FondestBob Gladwin

    Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2013 17:20:16 +0000 To: bobgladwin@hotmail.co.uk

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