Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Accent (02/21/13)
TITLE: Agog with Agogic
By Judith Gayle Smith
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
No microphone needed. I could out shrill Ethel Merman, flooding the large school auditoriums, being blessed with lungs surprisingly controlled and sustained.
I was ambitious, yes. Mom named me after the lovely Judy Garland. Enjoying her voice and movies, I aspired/perspired to follow her prettily dancing footsteps into Musical Comedy.
Being dubiously blessed and cursed with a Histrionic Personality, I blissfully filled the air with dramatic songs originally beautifully performed by the moans of the haunted Judy Garland and strived for the perfect pitch musicality of the incredible Barbara Streisand. Oh, and who could forget the smoky performances of Peggy Lee?
I sang more easily tenor than alto, singing along with my Elvis Presley records. He sang in my key! And let us not forget the heart soaring, thrilling yet gentle Nat King Cole, the mellow and dapper, incomparably melodious Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin – so swooningly handsome, he carried my wild adolescent heart. I sang, entranced with the soulful, heartbreaking Johnny Mathis – his voice pure velvet.
Yes, I am a name dropper – but these are such incredible songsters putting their own mark/accent on contemporary music.
1950’s music: “Shake, Rattle and Roll” certainly shook, rattled and caused my folks to roll their eyes. Mom didn’t object to my adolescent crush on Elvis because she had her own crush on him! His songs, so wondrously easy to harmonize – filled and thrilled this absorbing wannabe purveyor of musicality.
Asthma stole from me the sustained breathing, vital for carrying notes to their thrilling finales. I could still belt out a tune – but as a Baritone. Still singing in the key of Elvis, but the feminine lilt was gone, and now I sing like a man – and not well at that.
This was humbling, especially when my Dad informed me that I was a “one note Charlie”. I found out – years later – that he was tone deaf.
Looking back, I find that seeking to make a glorious name for myself was not God’s perfect will for my life. Wanting to be recognized for my incredible gifts to the world? What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking straight. I was a professing Christian, but not a possessing Christian. Pride in self is ego-centric, not God centered. The Asthma may have been God’s way of slowing me down enough to see this.
Amazing – as I write this I comfort myself with the fact that we are to make a joyful noise unto our Lord. Nothing is mentioned about perfect pitch – except the direction of your noisemaking!
KJV Psalm 89:15 "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance."
KJV Psalm 95:1 "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation."
KJV Psalm 98:4 "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise."
KJV Psalm 149:5 "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds."
KJV Psalm 95:2 "Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms."
KJV Isaiah 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels."
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