I constantly remember random activities I took part in as a child, such as acting classes at the JCC (Jewish Community Center. I know. We’ll talk about it later.) and swimming and gymnastics at the Y. Until recently, though, I had completely forgotten about my stint as a singer for the Spring Chorus Concert at Garrett Elementary. I think I was in second grade.
The chorus sang various memorable songs to which I remember all the words (if you ask me what happened in a movie I saw last week, I won’t be able to tell you, but these second grade song lyrics are crystal clear in my mind), but my shining moment came in a little tune called “Down to the Bone.” This is the first verse:
“When I was a baby/a little bitty baby/I learned my ABC’s./I learned about my numbers, and my colors and my letters/it came so easy to me./All I had to do was hear it in the music/all I had to do was sing it in a song/all I had to do was hear it in my mind/and then my heart beat (pause pause) followed along in my bones.”
That is what the other children sang. But I, no, I was special. I had the honor to sing the low point in the song, as at 7 years old, my voice was indistinguishable from that of James Earl Jones. So, while the other children sang their adorable song, I stood on the side, likely with the male gym teacher or something, singing at my lowest tone:
“Down, down, down, down, down, down to the bone,” over and over again. This, until the chorus. The part in parenthesis is what I sang, along with the other man, while the normal children sang their part:
“(Down to the bone) My music makes me feel whole (it makes me whole), it really touches my soul (touches my soul), it gets me down to the bone (down to the bone).”
It was a mannish foray into the world of music, which could be why I didn’t last very long. Was I good? No. I was great. Josh Groban had nothing on me. But I knew that my butch pipes would only lead to a very sad and confusing VH1 Behing the Music, so I gracefully turned down the open invitation to sing in the chorus concert that following fall. Now I only sing in the shower, and I most often chose Barry White.