Thursday, 10 February 2011

The carnival is coming!

Oh yes! I refer, of course, to the BMB carnival, that round up of best blogging, that celebration of the most entertaining on-line writing, the weave of the webs most wonderful words as written by British Mummy Bloggers.

No jokes, please. Daddies can be mummies too. And in keeping with our (reputed) forgetfulness, I'd forgotten that I'd volunteered to host one of these bi-monthly celebrations. To be fair, it was over a year ago. So it's thanks to Becky Goddard-Hill and to JaxB for reminding me. And for asking me whether there was a theme this time. Initially, I thought not. But then I had another idea. Yesterday was National Sing Up Day - that annual celebration of everything to do with singing, especially in schools.

When I were a lad, we did it every day in assembly. And we practised doing it once a week as well. Ah, Hymns A&M... There was also plenty of other free music on offer: I learnt to play the double-bass and - thanks to 'bass players being scarce and my father having a big enough car - played in both the school and district orchestras. But school music is one of the first and easiest things to cut; the days of universal free tuition are long gone and now - with current budget restraints - what's left of the schools music service is suffering.

But singing is free: everyone's got a voice and - contrary to what many people are told - everyone can sing. It also has a wide range of acknowledged health benefits, exercising the lungs and alleviating the symptoms of a range of ailments including depression. As William Byrd wrote in the preface to his Psalmes, Sonnets & Songs, published in 1588, Since singing is so good a thing, I wish all men would learne to sing. (He also set out eight reasons “to perswade every one to learne to sing”... It's just a shame about his spelling.)

Singing is my passion: it's given me so many truly wonderful opportunities - from performing at the BBC Proms to singing High Mass at Notre Dame in Paris - and music is such an integral part of life I couldn't be without it. And so that's the carnival theme: not music, not specifically (though please be my guest if you would like to submit a musical post) - but passion.

The carnival - which will go live next Tuesday, 15th February, will be about your passions - what you couldn't live without be it food, friends, family or fried bread. Pick a post that tells us all about it, and submit it to me by next Sunday (February 13th) and I'll do the rest.

And if you need some inspiration...

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