…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menogobbling... A Menory Lane Post following a musical thread

Regular readers will have noted occasional mention of musical leanings. The onset of menoplyxinaemia has resulted in some croaking and alteration to register, which I call menogobbling. (We will discount disuse...)

I was, (that is to say, I was told I was), a quite fine soprano.  A sweet voice rather than overly strong.  Good for plain chant and other early choral works.  As early as 7 years I was taken into school choir and until my late thirties, I found various outlets for this creative pursuit, particularly in church choirs.  I did also play piano and recorders (from bass through to the sopranino) and could even fill in on percussion when required.

As a family, the MacLeans could hold their own.  Mac1 was pretty nifty on the guitar and Mac2 had a very acceptable contralto voice.

Sure, we could do the chants, but we were also rather popular for social gatherings when we peeled off favourite Scottish ditties, a country song or two and let's not forget 'Leaving on a Jet Plane'!

A work colleague in Edinburgh had been a long-term member of an amateur musical group and she invited me to join up.  I spent three seasons with the SMYCMS (Saint Michaels Youth Club Musical Society).  First there was The Most Happy Fella (Frank Loesser). Next was Lilac Time (Franz Schubert) and then my favourite, The Merry Widow (Franz Lehar). Favourite not just for the music, the story or that it was so big we had to move to a larger theatre.  It was the costumes. I was built for those costumes. This is the only photo I have and the scanning has not improved it. The tiara was hand made by yours truly. The dress was all mother's work. It had a lush 'train' and there was just a hint of 'bustle' about it.

When I transferred to Australia, I was involved for a few months with a progressive city church. It wasn't long, of course, before I was netted for the choir and at Easter we held a modern Passion; the music and lyrics were all produced by various members of the group. It was a rewarding and powerful experience.

As I settled into my new country, though, it became necessary to find affordable accommodation and that meant moving away from the city.  

I had also been following my spiritual side more deeply and freely than was possible in the old land. Which meant that I joined no more churches in any formal capacity... but that is another tale for another time.

The voice kept on.  Recorder, to some degree. However, gradually these things had to take a back seat to life and other interests. I haven't sung seriously for something like 15 years now. I can still hold a tune.  Quality of tone is no longer there. The joy is though, as well as the appreciation when I hear a good note sung well.

That's the nutshell journey through my musical life.


  1. I could never sing, or carry a tune. I have a friend who does, and I enjoy listening to her sing in a group.

  2. My husband says I'm singing impaired. Lucky you to have a lovely voice!

  3. Love the photos, Yam. :-) My voice too is no longer what it was after damage from inhaled steroids. That doesn't stop me singing though and I keep being told singing is incredibly good for us as we get older. So open your mouth and let rip regardless,. :-)

  4. How wonderful to share this part of your life. You are so fortunate to have a good singing voice and, even though it has perhaps faded a tad, I am sure you still enjoy singing for your own entertainment.

    Me? I've even been asked "Do you try and whistle too?" I love music but only to listen to and not join in. I did though love playing piano for many years.


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