Wordly Goods Monologues
page 12

Mini stories about first experience of music


What is your first memory of music?
Take a moment , what comes to mind... here are some of ours

John - Leaning against a window in my front room in a terrace cottage on Alfred Street, having watched a man come carrying a violin case to a house across the tiny street. There was a piano, a guitar, the fiddle and maybe a double bass and a drawing room tenor, I listened to it all, I've often thought what a lovely way to spend an evening, heart-warming.

Someone walks across room with violin case, a guitar

Mabel - I was born 3 months before the Great War, in the air raids we went downstairs. The all clear was played by boys on bicycles playing trumpets, two notes, the tune was “Come to the Cookhouse door boys”. Make trumpet sound of Come to the Cookhouse…etc
There was always a background of music.

Mary - There was always music in my home too - I picked up the Teddy Bears Picnic from the radio when I was 2 and half, three and classical music came from choirs, my mother sang in choirs until I went to school. I remember Hiawatha

The Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Berry - My mother played the violin so that would have been my first music. She had been a professional player till I was born then became a teacher, it was not a great memory as the sound of the violin meant she was working, it took her away from me and my sister.

A snatch of violin music

Silvia - My mother was a very good pianist with a sweet pretty voice, there is an old home recording of her, musty. She was jealous of me when I went to the Royal College to sing.

Recording of old soprano singing with piano

Jean – My first memory of music...well there was a second hand shop, Hilda my best friend and I used to rummage in the man’s bits, he used to say “bugger off, don't keep touching things!” A Jewish man. We found a huge cardboard box - 'can we look' we found a huge record Enrico Caruso singing Pagliacci 'can we buy it?' A bob, we put our money together. we took it to Gertrude, Hilda's mum, to play it 'don't break it.' I thought we had been diddled as it was only on one side, we put it on and wound it up. We stopped in our tracks - the sobs, the clown's story. We used to play it and play it that old record in the heavy paper sleeve. It was the first time I heard such singing, such perfection.

A moment from Pagliacci – Pavarotti

Sylvia - When I was evacuated my older sister, six years older, and her boyfriend played the piano we used to sing and sing, Londonderry Air, You are my Sunshine. My Dad played the harmonica, the saw, the spoons and sang, he was a tenor. I remember Claire de lune.

All sing a snatch of Londonderry Air

Betty - We were evacuated too, to Somerset. We used to climb the lovely old apple tree, all eight of us, and sing for hours and hours.

All sing: Don’t sit under the Apple Tree

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