A Song for the Songless

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Song for the Songless

They sing in the streets and they sing in the bars,
They sing in the churches and trawlers and stores,
They sing in their homes and they sing in their cars,
They sing in the boardrooms and sing on the floors:
The bachelor’s anthem to conquest,
The jilted’s lament to regret,
The sweet bridal hymns of the swan-dressed,
The beggarman’s blues and the barber’s quartet.
Not always, of course, will they court with the air,
For this ev’ryday life is a spoken affair;
But the turn of a phrase or some random percussion
Will start their intoning and stop their discussion.
Their melodies sparkle, of course,
Their voiceboxes throb with a pitch never hoarse,
Their larynxes warble at source,
Their vocals ring loud as their lungs bring the force.
And do I not envy them, do I not bruise,
Do I not see in them something much greater:
As angel and troubadour, siren and muse –
And if they speak now, well, they’re sure to sing later.

I speak in the street and I talk in the bar,
I sleep in the pews and I queue in the banks,
I laugh in my home and I shout in my car,
I sigh in the shower and whinge with the ranks.
And never give voice to the op’ra.
And never enjoin with the choir.
And never partake with the pop’lar.
And never sing lower and never sing higher.
And often, of course, there is no beat or chord,
For this ev’ryday life is in prose and unscored.
But a name or a squeak, and the world is soon scaling –
And flaunting the shame of my harmonic failing.
My melodies waver askew,
My voicebox is mono, my pitch is untrue,
My larynx is cloyed-up with glue,
My vocals are strangled, there’s nothing to do.
But don’t you dare pity me, don’t you dare hoot,
Don’t you dare see me as anything lesser:
As indolent, insolent, cripple or mute.
I need no more shame and I need no confessor.

They sing in the streets and they sing in the bars,
They sing in the nurseries, sing in the field,
They sing for their supper and sing for the stars;
They sing, and the world for that moment is healed.
I’ll never equate them, I’ll never succeed them.
I try not to hate them, I certainly need them.
My vocal chords never ring true when I pluck –
I guess that’s genetics.  I guess that’s dumb luck.

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