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Singarounds- Forgetting your words

harlowpoet 04 Sep 03 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,MMario 04 Sep 03 - 11:11 AM
Sandra in Sydney 04 Sep 03 - 11:16 AM
Snuffy 04 Sep 03 - 11:24 AM
Kevin Sheils 04 Sep 03 - 11:24 AM
radriano 04 Sep 03 - 11:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Sep 03 - 11:37 AM
VIN 04 Sep 03 - 11:37 AM
Watson 04 Sep 03 - 11:41 AM
Mark Dowding 04 Sep 03 - 11:43 AM
tar_heel 04 Sep 03 - 11:44 AM
Steve Parkes 04 Sep 03 - 11:46 AM
Steve Parkes 04 Sep 03 - 11:55 AM
Watson 04 Sep 03 - 12:00 PM
Noreen 04 Sep 03 - 12:05 PM
Peterr 04 Sep 03 - 12:17 PM
Steve Parkes 04 Sep 03 - 12:21 PM
Forsh 04 Sep 03 - 01:01 PM
Linda Kelly 04 Sep 03 - 01:36 PM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Sep 03 - 01:40 PM
Forsh 04 Sep 03 - 01:44 PM
Liz the Squeak 04 Sep 03 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,The Fantum 04 Sep 03 - 01:56 PM
John Routledge 04 Sep 03 - 01:56 PM
Lanfranc 04 Sep 03 - 01:59 PM
Noreen 04 Sep 03 - 02:03 PM
Mary Humphreys 04 Sep 03 - 02:19 PM
Mark Dowding 04 Sep 03 - 02:44 PM
Forsh 04 Sep 03 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,robinia@eskimo.com 04 Sep 03 - 03:20 PM
clansfolk 04 Sep 03 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,robinia 04 Sep 03 - 03:37 PM
Micca 04 Sep 03 - 04:07 PM
Liz the Squeak 04 Sep 03 - 05:04 PM
shortybrenda 04 Sep 03 - 05:30 PM
jacqui c 04 Sep 03 - 05:32 PM
GUEST 04 Sep 03 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Russ 04 Sep 03 - 06:54 PM
Noreen 04 Sep 03 - 07:36 PM
Steve Parkes 05 Sep 03 - 03:51 AM
MartinRyan 05 Sep 03 - 04:39 AM
JudeL 05 Sep 03 - 04:41 AM
harlowpoet 05 Sep 03 - 04:45 AM
MartinRyan 05 Sep 03 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Ray Padgett 05 Sep 03 - 04:58 AM
MartinRyan 05 Sep 03 - 05:05 AM
Barry Finn 05 Sep 03 - 05:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Sep 03 - 05:25 AM
John Robinson (aka Cittern) 05 Sep 03 - 05:45 AM
The Barden of England 05 Sep 03 - 06:03 AM
MartinRyan 05 Sep 03 - 06:07 AM
clansfolk 05 Sep 03 - 06:24 AM
mooman 05 Sep 03 - 07:41 AM
Liz the Squeak 05 Sep 03 - 07:57 AM
Steve Parkes 05 Sep 03 - 08:09 AM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Sep 03 - 08:11 AM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Sep 03 - 08:12 AM
Steve Parkes 05 Sep 03 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 05 Sep 03 - 08:51 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Sep 03 - 08:58 AM
Lanfranc 05 Sep 03 - 09:18 AM
Peterr 05 Sep 03 - 11:00 AM
clansfolk 05 Sep 03 - 11:08 AM
Blackcatter 05 Sep 03 - 11:20 AM
Steve Parkes 05 Sep 03 - 11:38 AM
Peterr 05 Sep 03 - 12:13 PM
Marje 05 Sep 03 - 01:24 PM
John Routledge 05 Sep 03 - 01:32 PM
clansfolk 05 Sep 03 - 07:25 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Sep 03 - 07:42 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Sep 03 - 09:44 PM
Deckman 05 Sep 03 - 10:15 PM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Sep 03 - 04:58 AM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Sep 03 - 05:18 AM
old git 06 Sep 03 - 06:29 AM
RWJ 06 Sep 03 - 07:20 AM
Herga Kitty 06 Sep 03 - 08:17 AM
Tam the Bam (Nutter) 06 Sep 03 - 08:49 AM
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Subject: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: harlowpoet
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:08 AM

Over the years at various singarounds, occasionally, often three quarters of the way through a song, the singer forgets the words, and invariably commences a new song instead.

My view of the matter is that if you forget the words, you should not be rewarded, by getting to do another song, but you should in fact be penalised for not getting it right, and be made to sit it out until the turn comes round again, when you might not be so careless about forgetting the words.

What do other mudcatters think on this?

Incidentally, at our folk club. we're thinking about getting a gong, to signal when this occurs. Anyone got one going spare?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:11 AM

I've forgotten words - often the last verse - but normally you then give way to the next singer - (unless of course ASKED to do something else...)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:16 AM

The famous Black Hole followed our session from the Glengarry to the Shannon to member's homes. Folks who lose the words gaze upwards searching for those lost words. Folks who know them offer them & the song continues. If no-one knows, the next person usually takes over.

Incidentally, the Black Hole has followed singers to Festivals & concerts, too.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:24 AM

If you go blank in the first couple of verses, it's usual to be allowed another song, but after that you really should give way.

(My problem is usually not remembering the words, but the tune)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:24 AM

I tend to simply stop and tell them what happens next (eg "they caught him and hanged him") and let things pass on.

Sometimes it's not simply a matter of forgetting the words. I dried up a verse and a half from the end of "Ekefield Town" in the Volunteer at Sidmouth. I swear I knew all the words that were to come but (in marathon running parlance) I hit the wall and couldn't continue. Well it was Tuesday after all.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: radriano
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:31 AM

Forgetting lyrics is not always due to carelessness, harlowpoet.

Do you think getting a gong to further humiliate a singer who probably feels bad enough about forgetting words might say something about your own intolerance and inhumanity?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:37 AM

I think the gong is a brilliant idea.

There is no excuse at all for fogetting your, erm, you know, whatsits... thingies...

:D


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: VIN
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:37 AM

Of course if you're accompanying yourself on an instument you could play until you remember the words - or schithereee idle doodle your way through it. I think politeness usually allows a person time to 'recover'and carry on especially for those who may be nervous and/or not used to 'performing' in front of an audience, like me,(especially if your likely to get 'gong-ed' or penalised). Usually the person acting as mc will let you know if its one or two songs in your slot. If i fluff on the first song, i would embarrasingly go on to the second. If i fluff on that aswell, i'd apologise and sit down. I've found people are usually quite understanding and sympathetic - sort of 'don't worry mate, we've all bin there' etc.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Watson
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:41 AM

In the singarounds / sessions I go to, Rule one: there are no rules.
I usually turn to my partner and say "what happened next?" she never knows, but it gives me enough breathing space to pick up the momentum.
So, if I dry, I won't launch into another song, I won't be penalised, but there is no humiliation, just a promise to myself that it won't happen again - but it always will!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:43 AM

I'm sure we've all had our senior (and not so senior!) moments when the next word or line doesn't pop into your mind's eye. I can go to a club in the car and practice singing the whole song perfectly without mistake or waver and when it's my turn at the club, launch into the song and forget the first line and completely blow my spot or wonder why the story jumps then realise I've got the verses the wrong way round or I've mixed up the ends of verses (not that it happens very often I hasten to add - I'm not that senile - yet)
Anyway isn't the trend these days to have a book full of your songs in front of you to avoid these moments of forgetfulness? Mind you I've seen people make of mess of reading as well and it doesn't make your performance better either when you're concentrating on the written word. What happened to learning songs in the first place and developing a style of performance?

Cheers

Mark


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: tar_heel
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:44 AM

it happens to me on songs that i've been singing since i was a kid...so,i have the words handy,just in case...BUT,i make the audience feel comfortable about it by explaining that when you get my age(67 in oct,this year)that there is this thing that us senior citizens have called,"a senior moment"...and we all get a good laugh out of it and i see nothing wrong with using words on a music stand...


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:46 AM

Now, now, settle down -- let's remember where we are!

I think harlowpoet is thinking in terms of people who don't take enough trouble to learn a thing properly; after all, they are supposed to be entertaining us, not we indulging them. But as you say, Radriano, humiliating someone who already feels very silly is not constructive, nor is it tolerant.

I've dried in things I've been singing or reciting for years and years: it's a talent of mine! Ocasionally is it due to sloppiness on my part, but usually it's due to the flighty Muse pulling the plug on me. I usually manage to joke my way out of it (at least, everyone laughs at my remarks), but it's still annoying, embarrassing, frustrating for me. Be gentle with us, harlowpoet! I've even seen Tom Paxton lose a song half-way through, so its not just us hams.

Steve

PS The Muse is Anacreon, I think. Does Terpsichore ever do the same to you dancers?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 11:55 AM

I'l have to learn to type faster -- four people posted between me ad the post I was responding too.

When I was a little lad of around ... well, about 26,I dropped into the local student folk club, got up for a couple of songs, and forgot the first one just at the last verse. This was a shame, as it was a comic song, and now had no punchline. I made a witticism or two, then cracked on with the next song (which went accoding to plan, thank goodness). Later on, I was accosted by a youth in the gents (eek!), who went on at some length, bless him, about how great he though I'd been: a musician would have simply played on till it came back, but there was I, naked on the stage, cracking jokes and talking my way out of it. Since then I've never looked back (not in the gents,anyway!)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Watson
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 12:00 PM

Which way do you look in the gents then, Steve? - I'll be sure to stand the other side.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Noreen
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 12:05 PM

understanding and sympathetic as Vin says, is the rule in any singarounds I've been involved with. It can happen to the most experienced, best prepared singer- I was heartened(!) when Martin Carthy lost his words in the middle of a long ballad in a concert a couple of years ago- he did some clever things with his guitar to fill in til he found them again.

Unaccompanied singers don't have that option, and the silence accompanying the forgotten words can be painful as everyone wills the singer to remember the words. Problem is, the more you worry about forgetting the words the more likely you are to forget them... so I trust your suggestion of a gong is a mere bagatelle, harlowpoet!

Mind you, at Jude's splendid singarounds in the Tap & Spile at Whitby, a badge saying 'Learn the Words' is passed to a singer at the first hint of a fluffed or dropped line. The badge is then worn with pride until it's passed with great hilarity to the next unwilling recipient... so it all depends on how it's done!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Peterr
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 12:17 PM

Likelihood of forgetting words is closely allied to quantity imbibed.
Still and all, I believe you should do people the courtesy of learning your words, not using a book. If the powers that be make you forget them at the critical moment, we've all been there, but better to have tried etc.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 12:21 PM

I think Peterr has hit the nai on the head. The more you drink, the more relaxed you become, and theeasier it is to relax and let the words simply flow. The first sign of nerves or tension, and they dry up!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Forsh
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 01:01 PM

I remember my 1st time at a folk fest, Bromyard in 1974, I was at me dad's side, (Alan Forsh') and mostly stoned or pi**ed, Every song/chorus that I tried to join in with, I mucked up, much to Forsh 1's embarasment. On the last night, there was a camp fire thing going on in a field, (No, not a load of foppishly dressed limp-wristed englishmen, I meen the other sort of camp) Vin Garbutt was there, joining in, with a few remaining copies of 'Valley of Tees' under his arm. They were all doing a wonderful rendition of 'Martin Said', the harmonies grew better with each passing verse, and, wishing to impress Vin and the crowd at the fire, I drew attention, indicating that I had a verse to add, well, I Folked it right up, and the song fizzled, I was left to slink off alone, eyes burning my back, I decided that I had to either learn the songs better, or write my own!
'on the last night of the festival, sitting round a fire, singing 'Martin said to his man' I was pi**ed & Wrecked & tired,
but I joined in with the singing of that famous old folk song,
and when it cam to my turn, I got it bloody wrong!

The folk around the camp fire, turned & stared at me,
it seemed that I had ru-i-end their 5 part harmony,
I snuck of like a thief in the night, but then thought 'wot the hell'
I will write me own folk songs (and get them wrong aswell)

If anyone woould like these lyrics in full, just say so!
other lyrics wot I wrote can be found here:(CLICK)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 01:36 PM

forgetting words isn't necessarly about not learning them properly -i forget words of songs I have written. A gong is a crass idea. People should not restart but finish the song. If they cannot remember anymore they should not be encouraged to start another as that is also tiresome. You can make them miss a go -but I can name you some top flight singers who regularly forget words and I would rather have half a song from them than a whole rendition of Matty Groves sung by someone word perfect and off key throughout.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 01:40 PM

Mark Dowding:

I would NEVER use a book or printed words when singing in public! Well, almost never; I suppose I have at some time in the past, but I can't remember when it might have been.

I won't say that I've never come up dry in full flight on a song, but it's as likely to be a song I've been singing for fifty years (and maybe sang last night) as it is a "new" song that I've not learned the words to.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Forsh
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 01:44 PM

Never mind the shame of the gong or the stigma of the Tap & Spile Badge, why not go the whole hog and throw fruit and vedg, in the true tradition, you horrid folk facists! :)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 01:53 PM

Depends how embarassed you want to be... I used to be embarassed about having a book in front of me, but decided it was a lot less stressful than forgetting the words to every song I ever learned or wrote, and yes, I do mean learned. I can sing them all, word perfect, sitting here at the computer, in the car, at work (to my colleagues annoyance) and in the bath - but put me in front of a knowing audience and they all dissipate from my head.

The gong is not nice, the badge is funny but could be taken in the wrong way if it's a newcomer and their first time. Best of all, learn tolerance.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: GUEST,The Fantum
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 01:56 PM

The best prepared fail with words sometimes it goes with the territory what should not happen is to make the singer feel worse than they already do.
There aint enough of us folkies to start discouraging each other.
No gongs no badges no stigma lets do a bit of helping our fellow man.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: John Routledge
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 01:56 PM

All most of us seem to require is that the "forgotten words" singer retire gracefully :0)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Lanfranc
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 01:59 PM

Although I will sometimes work "off the dots" for some songs on a long gig (say 2 hours plus), I do try to work from memory. Up to press my memory has been quite good, but increasing antiquity can cause the odd "senior moment".

Busk or make it up is usually my solution.

"In the middle of Sir Patrick Spens
I forgot the twenty-seventh verse
So I sang the forty-second
Twice as fast and back to front
And no-one noticed!"
(Parody of "The Boxer" - Noel Murphy et al)

To my knowledge harlowpoet always reads his poems, so ...

Tolerance is best - "Judge not, lest ye also be judged"!

Alan


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Noreen
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 02:03 PM

(The badge wouldn't be given seriously to anyone, particularly a newcomer.)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 02:19 PM

I think the best strategy is to ask if anyone knows the words. Usually someone does.

I have been at several sessions/singarounds where being able to help out with the few forgotten words has saved both a song performance and a singer's self-esteem.

And it has happened to me in the past too - no-one can say they are going to be word-perfect. I always appreciate someone giving me a clue as to what the next few words are, 'cos that's all it takes to get back on line.

My opinion on singing from books is best kept to myself.

I do, however think that making an example of someone who has trouble with learning words is not a very kind way to encourage them into what is a very dwindling interest group. Why can't we be generous and welcoming?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 02:44 PM

Uncle Dave O - I'm glad to hear it. I will admit I've had the odd time where I've had the words with me as a safety net if it's a song I'm learning but I go to a club that wonders how the hell I remember all the songs I do as they shuffle through folders and files to find a song - there's another thing - if people must read from words why don't they get the song they want out of the file ready instead of spending time looking for it?

I don't know whether clubs that run singarounds where you "sing from where you are sat" are getting more prolific than the "get up to the front to do your bit" type of clubs which makes it easier to have a book/folder open on the table in front of you? Maybe we can get an idea of that through this thread. I go to two clubs that are "sing at the front" and one that is a "sing where you're sat"

If I know the words that someone's forgotten, I'll always put them back on track with a reminder - I had cause to do that the other night; and I'm very grateful if someone does the same to me!
I had a song - King Cotton by Mike Harding - that I just couldn't get through without forgetting it or getting the verses wrong - so much so that I didn't sing it for a few years. I then revisited it and relearnt it - no problem with it now - I hope!

Somebody told me that Jake Thackray had a terrible night once doing a concert where he couldn't get through his songs and he didn't have any words with him as a reminder. He was most embarrassed and apologetic to the audience so it happens to the best of us.

Cheers
Mark


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Forsh
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 03:16 PM

I see Liz the Squeak, Guest Fantam and Mary Humphreys have got my drift. I s'pose that if you are in a club where you are a regular, and among friends, a bit of a barrack aint too bad if it's in jest, but I still say that encouragement and an ability to tollerate mistakes with a smile are my idea of pre-requisites at any Folk Club I would frequent. :)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: GUEST,robinia@eskimo.com
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 03:20 PM

So


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: clansfolk
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 03:27 PM

Let him who is without sing cast the first tone!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: GUEST,robinia
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 03:37 PM

Someone asked if the muse ever deserted dancers like this -- with complicated Scottish country dances it surely does, and it's darned embarrassing when you've messed up a whole set of dancers! With me, at least, I think the loss of memory hinges on a critical loss of focus (saying "oh this is a piece of cake" and then, suddenly, wondering where I go next...)
       robinia


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Micca
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 04:07 PM

On Having the words handy, I find it less embarrassing to have the book handy than that of forgetting the words, this especially applies to songs I wrote (it is easy to get side tracked into ealy drafts of a song). Having said that , At Towersey this year the number of singers that forgot the words in the singaround was so large it looked like it was almost expected of everyone to Fluff at least ONCE!!!!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 05:04 PM

Noreen - and anyone else who gives out badges of shame - what 'you' find funny and what others find funny are completely different things. 'You' may pass on something in the spirit of taking the piss, but sometimes, the recipient may take 'you' at 'your' word, in which case, 'you' will end up with an unhappy punter who feels insulted. Should this unhappy, insulted punter then go off and tell their friends, then 'you' will end up with a terrible reputation and no-one in 'your' club.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: shortybrenda
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 05:30 PM

My favourite trick in a singaround is forgetting a complete verse, consequently I sometimes do very short songs. I don't go back and try to fill in the gap. If I forget during a verse I tend to lah lah, and I find that generally people are very forgiving. However I do feel that someone who starts more than 2 songs on one turn should learn to give in more graciously until the next time round.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: jacqui c
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 05:32 PM

I've been singing now for about three years and still have the book with me when I go the the various singarounds in the area. Some songs I do know right through and can do without recourse to the words but others I just haven't been able to keep in my head. I think it is nerves - a good friend of mine, good guitarist and singer, who has been into the music, although not performing, for many years still finds it difficult to work without the music and words in front of him because, being rather shy, he gets very nervous when he performs. If he didn't have that paper he wouldn't play and that would be a real loss.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 05:44 PM

I remember reading a saying that amateurs practice to get it right while professionals practice so they can't get it wrong. No-one's being paid at a singaround so it's fine to fluff it as long as you've tried to get it right. As for starting another I would agree with previous contributors that it's OK if you've just started and forgotten the first or second verse but after that it seems a bit self indulgent. All down to context and numbers of participants as well though.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 06:54 PM

harlowpoet,

I apologize for being dense, but why do you (and apparently the rest of your folk club) care whether someone sings a song or a song and a half?

My experience has been that when a group decides to go round-robin everybody is pretty relaxed about it and nobody keeps score.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Noreen
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 07:36 PM

Liz, thank you for your revolutionary analysis. Credit 'me' with some sensitivity.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 03:51 AM

Missing out a verse is my favourite trick, especially if it'scrucial t the story. The Appalachian "Mery Golden Tree" version of "The Golden Vanity" is a real song with a crucial verse missing (I forget which one!), and it's been handed down with a story that makes no sense.

Steve

PS Liz, I'd never have associated your name with "dissipation"!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:39 AM

I've been singing a (relatively compact) version of The Flying Cloud for many years. I know its not the full thruppence-worth but it DOES make sense and I CAN remember it! Any way, after years of good-natured slagging about my "Readers Digest" version, I started to try to slip in one or two more verses to flesh it out (make it obese?). So far, I invariably trip up as I reach them - the seams still show. Sometimes, then, the problem is not remembering the words - but forgetting the gaps!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: JudeL
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:41 AM

It's embarrassing enough blanking on a song without some self rightous twatt subjecting you to further humiliation by banging a gong or pinning a badge on you. I admit I often have problems and blank on words and it isn't that I haven't learnt them. Songs that may be relatively new to me or have been learnt recently (often to fit in with a themed session) I am more likely to have someone sitting with the words so If I have a problem I can be prompted. It's more frequently songs that I know very well and have been singing for a long time that for some unknown reason I blank on a word and I can & have done this when totally sober so it's not only alcoholic amnesia. & then there's the problem of knowing more than one song to the same or similar tunes ( not alsways parodies) and suddenly realising part way through a verse that you are singing an odd verse from the other version!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: harlowpoet
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:45 AM

Thanks to all the replies to this thread, which I hope is seen as a lighthearted one. Keep em coming.

Actually I mentioned the gong as a bit of a joke. Our folk club has always been laid back and very tolerant anyway. I'll come clean and say that I'm a reciter rather than a singer, and as Lanfranc mentioned I usually have the words in front of me.

If I did sing I'd probably forget the verses anyway.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:53 AM

..and then sometimes I just forget to close my HTML tags!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: GUEST,Ray Padgett
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 04:58 AM

every one forgets words, odd ones escape me, but you can usually pick up on the next verse. My complaint is about long ballads etc sung from sheets ~ everyone should try to learn and hone the song, it should be a matter of knowing why you are singing the song, that it means some thing to you, I can't learn songs that don't mean something
I agree with JudeL about crassness ( sorry Lady Alfleda) of badges, sometimes you can laugh it off like John Kirkpatrick, large repertoires of songs need to be constantly refreshed, and 4 pints to one song is not a good average (tho'usual in a singaround) particulary at Whitby
Many of the sing arounds I have Mcd I have been able to prompt or some one else has,( if a well known song) and helps keep the gist/momentum
good singaround hosts, who actually listen and are empathetic are hard to find, and it's not easy to listen for hours on end, hosts are often taken for granted (is my slip showing ?)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 05:05 AM

Yes - there's a difference between "forgetting" and "not attempting to learn"!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 05:24 AM

I can't think of many, pros included, that haven't at one time or another missed a verse or 2 or ccouldn't finish what they started. Those that earn their keep from singing practice far more than most & they are constantly refreshing their stock so they tend to forget less but still most forget once in a while. I'd always give the singer a chance or 2 to recover or if I knew the line I'd pass it along but if the song has been sung more than a few verses pass it over. I can't imagine some one singing a 10 verse ballad & forgeting the last 2 verses then start up with another 8 verse song only to get through most & lose it again at the end, bad taste. But to call some one on forgetting it is just not the way to go about it. How about a little encouragement or "hey you made a good go at it. It's a nice song would you bring it in again". Personally I'd rather not see books or notes unless someone's trying out a song & is looking for feed back. When the singer makes the song theirs, & they should IMHO before they sing it, I'd rather hear half a song from them than a word perfect song that isn't theirs sung off a sheet. When the singer has internalized the song & made it theirs it's a lot easier to sing it even if they haven't done it in a year or so, it makes it a lot easier to refesh it just prior to singing it too. Some sessions every one brings in a book & notes & does the same song off the same page all together, over & over. Makes for a pretty boring sing. If someone wants to start up a practice session that's something else. If the singer's a beginner that's a horse of a different color too. They should be encourged to sing the songs they want to & learn them, then help to weaned them away from reading the song. The RUS sessions have been hashed & rehashed here over the years I'm not about togo there. Be kind to the singer you may learn a thing or 2 from them, even the beginner & the novice have things to teach (they may not know it but) & offer to others to those more seasoned. There's always the side (& responsibility) where the seasoned should take the unseasoned & help them along the road a bit. Barry


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 05:25 AM

Actually, more times than not, harlowpoet does his pomes without the words in front of him. And from time to time he totally blanks out, like the rest of us.

Interesting to see the numnber of people here who took his tongue-in-cheek suggestion seriously. It seems it's not just some of the Yanks who have a bit of problem with the irony at times...   

Sometimes it isn't the words that go missing, but the tune, either remembering how it goes, or finding a key that doesn't leave your voice stranded at the top or bottom, more especially when you aren'tb using an accompaniment.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: John Robinson (aka Cittern)
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 05:45 AM

"you should in fact be penalised for not getting it right"

Was there ever a time when singarounds where meant to be fun?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: The Barden of England
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 06:03 AM

I come from the school of thought that believes if you're half way through a song and you can't remember it, and if someone prompts you, you still can't remember it then pass on, it's only good manners. On the other hand I can't see the objection to somebody having words with them and using them as memory joggers or even to sing each and every line, as no-one seems to object to dots, i.e. some-one reading music, so what's the difference - forgetting the words or the music? As for professionals, well Sid Kipper and Les Barker read from their lines all the time, and there are times I wish Roy Bailey would do the same. It's an elderly moment for many of us.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 06:07 AM

When the singer makes the song theirs, & they should IMHO before they sing it...."

Exactly!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: clansfolk
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 06:24 AM

ditto JB

-----------

Why make rules and if there "has" to be rules? - who decides they are the ones to make them?????

We ALL forget words, hit bum notes, play wrong chords, have strings break, cough, break wind and beltch etc........

It doesn't matter!!!

What makes one way right and another wrong???

People are dying all over the World because one set of people are trying to impose their version of "right" on others.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: mooman
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 07:41 AM

From what I've read here it seems that forgetting words (a quite human trait) is mainly more a problem of the audience than the singer. I therefor support what Cittern, JB and clansfolk and some others have said.

Music is to be enjoyed...not judged!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 07:57 AM

"Interesting to see the numnber of people here who took his tongue-in-cheek suggestion seriously. It seems it's not just some of the Yanks who have a bit of problem with the irony at times..."   

Isn't this the point I was trying to raise with the badge thing? If you have put a lot of effort into something, and are probably sh*t scared and shaking whilst doing it, then the last thing to make you feel comfortable and wanted is some git pinning an insensitive and offensive slogan on you.

Steve - I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not.... but thanks.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 08:09 AM

I'm not either, Liz!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 08:11 AM

If you are the poet I think you are, you READ your poems, and never sing at all!
No offence if I'm wrong,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 08:12 AM

Sorry, just read your post where you owned up.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 08:15 AM

Occasionally I've asked for a prompt from people who've heard my song before, and I never get one. Does this mean they never listen? Being a bit deaf, I wouldn't know what the prompt was if I got one! I doubt if I could prompt for a song I'd never sung myself.

I find the trouble with using the words is that (a) you lose eye-contact if you're reading from the paper, (b) if you use it as an aide-memoire you lose your place on the page and have to stop singing to find it, (c) you keep looking at it even when you do know the words, (d) you never learn the words anyway.

Steve

PS I mistyped (c) as "you keep looking a tit ..."! Freudian slip?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 08:51 AM

In my usual shy and self-effacing manner I'd like to add a few points.

I have a 'catalogue' of fifty-or-so songs that I can 'do', using five different guitar tunings. It's a lot to remember - especially when you're an old fogey like me. So I have my 'safety-net' in front of me, for reference should I dry. I wish, oh how I wish, I could remember them all but I can't, and no amount of pressure from pontificating folk-nazis is going to change that. Should I be denied the pleasure of performing simply because some intolerant tit regards forgetfulness as a crime?

Professional performers as a rule do around twenty songs, give or take, in a performance. They forget words too, and are readily forgiven by their admiring audiences - why then can't the same forgiveness be afforded to the enthusiastic (and probably scared shitless) amateur?

Personally I don't care whether a performer memorises or reads his/her songs, it's the performance that matters. I've heard some great performances by readers and some pretty poor ones done from memory.

Bye guys,
JB


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 08:58 AM

"If you are the poet I think you are, you READ your poems, and never sing at all!"

Actually more often than not, unlike most, he doesn't read them, and he has been known to sing.

I think using a book of words works pretty well as a prop for a poet. It can for a singer too - anyone who saw Henry Kipper in action will know that very well. If you are using the written words I think it's better not to try to be surreptitious about it, but even to flourish them to punctuate the song. (That's not so easy if you are playing a musical instrument of course.)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Lanfranc
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 09:18 AM

OK - irony filter suppressed!

Since most of us (those who don't read from books or notes, anyway!) tend to sing with our eyes closed at least part of the time, the answer is to have all your lyrics tattooed on the inside of your eyelids!

Demand that this become available on the NHS (Medicare or whatever) free for all singers of a certain age!

Or use the "Subterranean Homesick Blues" technique - HUGE flash cards!

Or, maybe, just lighten up!

Alan


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Peterr
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 11:00 AM

Steve Parkes - congratulations on being a singer who alcohol intake relaxes to allow words to flow - I hope you're being ironic too? (Tone of voice doesn't come out very well in the written word).
Ok so I can sympathise if the words are needed as a prop in case you forget, but looking at them all the way through the song including the chorus.....?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: clansfolk
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 11:08 AM

"Ok so I can sympathise if the words are needed as a prop in case you forget, but looking at them all the way through the song including the chorus.....? "

that's VERY kind of you!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Blackcatter
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 11:20 AM

"Interesting to see the numnber of people here who took his tongue-in-cheek suggestion seriously. It seems it's not just some of the Yanks who have a bit of problem with the irony at times..."

Many of us have seen or heard really negative attitudes during situations like this - that is why we took the post seriously. The open-mic night I'm part of in Orlando works hard to be welcoming to newcomers and new performers precisely because many in the area can be a brutal experience for them.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 11:38 AM

Peterr, I'm afraid I was being ironic. I have a problem (it's a long story) which gives me heartburn if I drink or eat too late in the evening, or if I drink alcohol any time in the evening (it's OK till I lie down).

Steve (very dry)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Peterr
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 12:13 PM

Sorry if I hit a nerve, clansfolk. It's just that I would never use a book when I'm singing, and in a session will make sure I've got the song. Can't remember what I had for tea last night, though.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Marje
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 01:24 PM

I'm sometimes surprised when a singer forgets the words and then gets so wrapped up in their embarrassment that they don't realise there are others who konw the song and will help them thorough it.

And I agree with the vital point that there's a huge difference between forgetting the words and not attempting to learn them in the first place. Using some sort of crib-sheet as a security blanket, just there if you blank out, is a world away from reading every word from a file and turning the page back to read the chorus every time.

And what difference does it make, some are asking? The difference, in most cases, between an enjoyable and engaging performance and a stilted, boring rendition of a song that seems to mean little or nohting to the singer. You have to sing the song as if it matters, and if you don't appear to know the words at all, the impression you give is that it doesn't matter, which turns many of your audience right off.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: John Routledge
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 01:32 PM

Thanks Marje - I have been looking for the words to say exactly what you have done. A cyber prompt :0)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: clansfolk
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 07:25 PM

"The difference, in most cases, between an enjoyable and engaging performance and a stilted, boring rendition of a song that seems to mean little or nohting to the singer"

"as no-one seems to object to dots, i.e. some-one reading music, so what's the difference - forgetting the words or the music?

Peterr - "Sorry if I hit a nerve"

not really Peterr, I'm happy (and have been for over 40 years) to use aide memoir's when I felt I required them and have no objections (or feel I have the right to have) to Anyone using whatever they require to join in and make music..... Maybe ALL artificial aids could be banned from music etc....   eg glasses (optical) to be handed in at the door, music for orchestras banned - and why a professional like a vicar still reads from the Bible - Heaven only knowns.

Re. Boring renditions.......   One regular at a local club known 2 songs (without need for words or prompts) and sings them week after week - with NO FEELING whatsoever - At least with the aid of a song book we might get some variation! - But He enjoys what he's doing and fee "part" of the group.....

Pete - with no rr's :-)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 07:42 PM

You know, it realy makes me cringe sometimes. The amount of crap that so called intelligent people spout. Let me put it in a nutshell.

PEOPLE FORGET THINGS.

No more. No Less. No excuses.

If I forget some words I expect to have the piss taken out of me. If someone else forget words I take the piss out of them. If they are so thin skinned that they cannot take it they should not be singing in Folk clubs! Easy. Lighten up. It's a hobby we have. None of our lives rely on us remembering the words to a song that has no relevance to our lives anyway.

Sheesh. Get a life people...

:D


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 09:44 PM

Right on Dave...

um, now what was I going to say....

One point, is that nowadays we are accustomed (by several generations) to RECORDINGS, both visual and aural. When making recordings, there is a pressure to "get it perfect" as the damn thing will hang around forever...

I wonder if this discussion about performing things "to perfection" was so heated in the days before the technology existed. Of course, actors in a play in those days may have said exactly all the things said here about performance.... I doubt that "folk singers" in our ilk existed then...


Lumpy Diaperbrains


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 10:15 PM

I have found it quite useful to have a smattering of several tongues. I actually have, while trying to remember key a phrase, gone to the minor on the guitar, switched to Finn for a verse or two, and then recovered back in English ... explaining with a straight face that anyone can do it all in one language! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 04:58 AM

A local musician (Clem of 16String Jack) uses a music stand with the lyrics on.
Recently he was singing a song without needing the lyrics, but from habit continued to stare fixedly at the empty stand. One of the regulars periodically leaned over and turned the invisible page.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 05:18 AM

You see keith,

It's a form of self hyponsis that puts one onto the correct frame of mind to allow the recall system to work properly. Same with all the "tricks" - including those who seem to have no trick...

Love the page turner's sense of humour though!

Robin


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: old git
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 06:29 AM

hear hear Dave the Gnome!!!!
in defence of Jude's badge......her singarounds are probably the least hostile environment in which a nervous performer can sing....it's relaxed and enjoyable...the piss is taken constantly out of good and bad singers..and everyone has fun....the badge is usually passed on at the request of the singer who has "fluffed" and it is certainly not imposed on any one...in fact it helps to take the embarrassment away.....lighten up LTS!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: RWJ
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 07:20 AM

If I dont forget the words people wonder whot is wrong


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 08:17 AM

I will carefully remind myself of the words of a song (especially if it's one I've just decided to sing, because prompted by an earlier song or comment) and then, when I come to sing it, fall over on the chorus! (I even managed that with Marcus Turner's Chocolate song in a singaround I was running at Sidmouth..).

We have a really good singer at Herga who always used to sing with the words in front of her. Breezy told her she was good enough to sing without them, and she has been singing at festivals this year (including Warwick, Sidmouth and the Endeavour and Tap and Spile in Whitby) without them.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Singarounds- Forgetting your words
From: Tam the Bam (Nutter)
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 08:49 AM

There is nothing worse than forgetting the words to a song, I have a terrible memory when it comes to singing songs, so I take a song book/folder with me to a folk club, And I don't really care what other people think, if it helps me remeber songs then good. I sometimes look at the words and then it all comes back to me. However banging a gong if someone forgets the words to a song is terrible, I mean the person is already nervous and this just embarrasses them even more, and might put them off singing in public for good.
I meand we are supposed to encourage each other instead of humiliate them.
When I forget the words to a song I just stop and then let somelse take over.

Tom


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