In the spring,
a young man’s fancy
turns to thoughts of….
Or actually, as it is here,
hazelnut pollen season poisoning.
Which is a real bear normally anyway,
but when, as at the moment,
the temperatures suddenly shoot to sixty,
drop to minus twenty,
shoot to seventy….
the result is a pollen count well well well over the norm,
the drugstores totally sold out of allergy medicines,
and people hacking profusely all over small,
well maybe not so small,
who are trying to get them ready for
and the men’s glee club review.
And for those of your who don’t know really what a glee club review is:
a lot of drinking men
talking about the glories of their youth,
and singing songs like “The rooster of uncle Giacomo”
or bellowing the Russian barn-burner “I believe in the power of love,”
competing with younger men
talking about their motorcycles,
and bellowing “we are the champions”
or the Beachboys’ Barbra Ann,
as the mixed choirs,
along with all of the mixed sex barbershop groups over here,
a “novelty act,”
take all the prizes.
(I actually was once told by the president of a men’s glee club
that they wanted me to conduct for them,
but I couldn’t start till after they had had their fathers’ day outing.)
Apparently, they felt uncomfortable doing what they do
when freed from the strictures of family
and small town,
with a woman aboard the bus.
since the last director, female, had apparently gotten very drunk,
or was pretending to,
and sat on all their laps
as she sang opera. I swear this is true….)
So anyway, here I am,
facing relatively short performances at a street festival,
and two “friendship sings” with other glee clubs,
ie, all the Giacomos,
and Barbra Anns,
and some very very very resolute women-
(Don’t EVER mess with the five hundred Sweet Adelines from Munich,
called the Harmunichs,
in their tailored and name on the back travelling uniforms,
and not nicely spirited club officers,
although, I’ve got to give them credit:
they are totally organized,
they sing brilliantly,
and they even got on German television
despite not singing in German
(a total no-no over here)
where they were promptly not allowed to do their own choreography.
And still won the prizes.
But still, hack hack,
spring is sprung.
And I decided to get my own form of revenge.
On the hazelnuts, not the people.
Our “gospel choir”- which, until I came had only sung
simplified pop, jazz, rock,
and what over here is called “new modern church hymn-”
along the lines of “Michael Row The Boat Ashore,”
will be singing
- at least one real gospel at the fall concert, and
- at the glee club fest, a piece I wrote
called “I like to sing,”
since I was suffering extremely from allergy at the time,
(don’t even mention allergy medications to me)
contains the lyrics
“I go out walking down the street,
me and the birdies tapping to the beat,
ain’t got no worries, just got happy feet,
and so I dum, da dum, da dum, da dum….”
Did I mention I had allergies?
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