December, as always, has been hectic, and will continue to be so right up to Christmas. It’s always the same; in October I start to get the miseries because summer has gone and we are into the long, dark fall into winter; November sees me cleaning windows and glass to try and make them sparkle and lighting candles to try to displace the murk - and I start to do small Christmassy tasks like buying cards, then December arrives and all is chaos – just too busy to be the slightest bit grumpy. And much activity has been uke or music-related. I don’t really know where to start, to tell you all about it!
I know…. One lovely thing was that in November LSH (Long-Suffering-Husband) and I went to see the wonderful folk-rock band Steeleye Span in concert. Maddy Prior, my personal goddess of song was front of house afterwards, and as Maddy remembers everyone who has ever been to her singing workshops at Stones Barn in the Scottish borders, she greeted me warmly, and - wait for it - I told her how pleased I was to see her playing a ukulele in one the band’s numbers! This is new, this really new! Maddy said that, yes, the uke is just great for song-writing…
Well, I discovered that myself, about eighteen months ago, when I was inspired by my friend’s daughter’s beautiful wedding in Scotland, and wrote a song about it. My next attempts were for a competition on the Ukulele Underground, “Write a Christmas song…” I wrote two songs, a novelty song about snowmen and a carol. I was thrilled to bits when the carol won – what a Christmas present! The lovely man in Australia who hosted the competition did his own video of my carol, a version I really love – he does it so much better than I do… there’s a link to it on the page “My own songs”.
And that brings me to the thing that has made my day, that moved me and made me weep this morning. I had a message on my own video of the carol, “Tread Softly To The Stable”, a kind soul saying he liked it and would use it with his uke group next year – and that he had seen it because of the version posted by “pabrizzer” on the Ukulele Underground today… now, it was pabrizzer in Australia who held that competition and chose my carol, and he has indeed recorded another version of it accompanied by beautiful cello and a lovely vocal by members of his family, which I’m sharing here. I feel so honoured and moved by this and it made me cry. So I have to, just have to, share it with you…..
You know, I would never have written this song if it were not for the ukulele... the reasons for this will make a good subject for more posts!
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