“So, we follow the drum and the unicycle.”
“Yes, then when we get to the “stage” – it’s not a real, one remember - we get into our parts.”
“So, we do Kiss the Girl.”
“Yes. Then if Gail gives us the signal we can do Viva la Musica. After that we shuffle over to the left.”
“Then when we get the cue, it’s Hail Smiling Morn.” He’s just teasing, of course.
“No, Kiss the Girl. The one we’re really here for.” Matt so almost got it right.
“No!” Now everyone is chipping in now. “Can you feel the love?” From the Lion King. But tonight we’re using it for The Lying King.
“And what was the cue again?” Jeff gets ready to write on his hand. It would be interesting to be able to read the layers and layers of song titles that have been written on that hand. It would show the history of the choir. Of all of his choirs.
“Aaaah. Now it’s time for a sad song.”
We warm up in the other half of the neighbourhood centre where we normally rehearse. It’s a workshop-come-store and we have to breathe in a bit as it’s busy tonight. As we exercise our voices and run through our three songs, people pass to and fro: helpers carrying saucepans of something hot, folk with fairy lights in their hair, and members of the emergency services coming in for a brew. And the lanterns, oh the lanterns.
Soon it’s time to set off. There’s quite a buzz as we march slowly towards our venue with the drummer drumming, the clown’s car going round in circles and the lanterns gently jostling up and down. There’s an ice-cream van and a fire engine that blows bubbles as well. We feel important as the traffic has to stop to let us by.
Soon it’s time for us to sing. It’s never easy singing outdoors but out audience listens attentively. People watch as well from the bedroom windows of the old red bricks and from the front porches of the new-builds. We manage to add to the magic of the evening.
The time goes quickly and soon it’s the moment to continue the parade towards the fireworks. The fire engine is waiting for us.
It’s good to be able to give something to the community from which we get our name. To the community that created us in the first place.