Thursday, May 22, 2008

Old St. Louis 

A soft breeze brushes through the rhubarb groves.

Now is the evening of the day and heady perfumes waft prettily in the falling sky, primrose, clematis, chlamydia, while shadows stretch like sleeping dogs across the croquet lawn.
Rex the security guard oils his clippers as Geraldine the Company X goat nibbles daintily at his turn ups.

A perfect evening in early summer.
Away in the distance, Preston hums with the bustle of traffic and trains and drum and bass, but here by the Sunken Heart Rose Gardens all is serenity.
A flickering glow spills beneath the doors of the rifle range, and if you’d just shut the fuck up for a minute you’d hear Bill Surname CEO’s retired army chums and myself rehearsing our competition piece.

“Old St. Louis, you and I, sitting on the levee watching time roll by.
Mammy sings to baby a soft sweet lullaby.”

Soon it will be the Barbershop Off, an annual singing event between a handful of local companies. Last time round we were under-rehearsed and over-stressed, and with hindsight it’s little wonder that Mellor Mops wiped the floor with us.
This year rehearsals have been a lot more relaxed and, hey, we’re sounding pretty tight. The basses strong and forward, leads nimble and well supported, the tenors light as a bird and the baritones almost in tune. Good unit sound.

Steamboats with cotton and sugar cane, banjos strumming away,” we sing, vaguely gay hand movements kept to a minimum. “Gaslights winking down a sleepy lane will show you a glimpse of yesterday.”

Before the break Sergeant Bispham reads the notices, mostly updates on who is having what operation this week.
“Lance Corporal Samlesbury has been in touch. Doctor says he’s permanently lost all hearing in one ear.”
“Put ‘im in baritones,” comes the reply. “’E’ll be ‘rate.”
“And the young couple who watched us last week – they want to book us for their wedding. December 2009.”
Raucous laughter among the ranks. “Did they not take a look at us? We’ll half of us be dead by then!”

Then it’s back to those lovely, lovely harmonies –
St. Louis woman, you know I’ll be true. No shiny new city’s gonna take me from you
- and the western skies drain to inky blue black while joggers stop in their tracks to stare through our window, and I’m so proud to be a part of this, so glad that I stuck it out, as the music floats on the breeze through the rhubarb groves by the Sunken Heart Rose Gardens on this sweet, perfect evening in the summertime in Preston, Lancashire, England, and I’m glad that I did, I’m glad that I did.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Copyright(c) 2004-2010 by Tim, A Free Man In Preston.
It kind of goes without saying, but this is my blog. I own it.

Slightly daft MP3 disclaimer: All MP3's are posted here for a limited time only. Music is not posted here with the intention to profit or violate copyright. In the unlikely event that you are the creator or copyright owner of a song published on this site and you want it to be removed, let me know.