Monday, March 23, 2009


Have you ever watched the first few weeks of a new season of American Idol? You know, when the wackos and people who couldn't carry a tune if they had a wheelbarrow full of violins all come out of wherever it is they are hiding and go on to bludgeon our eardrums.

Yeah, that show.

Anyway, as a semi-addicted watcher of the show - well,more like husband of addicted - it amazes and horrifies me when someone stands in front of judges and a camera representing a few million more, and then the whole country learns that the someone doesn't have it.

And what's 'it' you ask?

A tape recorder?

Well, yeah, that too. But the 'it' I was referring to was the talent for singing. The ability to have his or her lungs push air up the trachea, and through pursed lips in a manner that pleases other people rather than causing them to clap their hands to their ears in pain.

And half the time this same person, after basically assaulting our auditory senses, doesn't get that they sound like a cat with its tail caught under a rocking chair leg. They think they sound good.

And I, for one, believe them when they are shocked that America can't believe they are the next coming of Wham ... no, not Wham ... Fleetwood Mac ... no, not them, either ... um Dave Matthews. Yeah, we'll go with the DMB.

The reason I give them the benefit of the doubt is because for a long time I truly, sincerely, honestly thought I could carry a tune. What changed my mind? Well, my singing voice put three people in the hospital, caused the entire population of South American llamas to stampede and my own ears to go on a hunger strike for a week.

Not really. I listened to myself on a tape recorder.

I can't tell you how horrified I was when I first heard myself snore, er, sing. Well, the snore-tape was shocking, too.

But, more than shock, I was dismayed. For music is important to me, and I would like nothing more than to be able to participate.

It's a talent I don't have. I blogged about this last week on my blog, because my wife and daughters do have the talent for singing. i don't.

Fortunately, I have other talents, talents that others might think are pretty cool.

But I think this is true for every human out there. I think each and every one of us has a lot of talent. Maybe the talent is something subtle like being able to balance a coin on the tip of a finger. Or maybe you don't know what your talent is because it hasn't had an opportunity to surface yet.

What if you were a poor child somewhere who would never know you'd be a concert pianist if only someone put a piano in front of you?

Talent is like a dog. It doesn't care what you look like, and once you have one, it's yours forever. But talent has to meet opportunity, and if you don't think you have any talent, I believe it just hasn't been discovered.

And it's getting late and I have a talent for something. I can fall asleep within five minutes.



Norm Cowie


Mary Cunningham said...

Speaking as one who is "vocally challenged," I appreciate anyone who can sing!


Iris Black said...

Can't sing... but I am fortunate enough to be able to play a flute while marching around a field!

And I can fall asleep in 2 minutes! lol