The following tale has been factually enhanced, but is based upon many true life events. Any resemblance to real people, either living or otherwise, is however entirely co-incidental.
When asked what is actually like ‘playing the organ’, I often struggle to find an analogy. But I shall use this one which grew via a FaceBook stream, (thank you to all those contributors!).
Playing the organ can be rather like driving a hired left-hand driven car with bald tyres, in a foreign country, without a satnav, in the snow, at nightime without lights or functioning windscreen wipers. The children are in the back seat, with their own private agendas, which could include any combination from a menu including a full nappy, a toy car emitting a cycle of repeated vile electronic siren noises, an empty stomach, a full bladder, requests for the umpteenth repeat of “the wheels on the bus”
It can get no worse – until an angry hornet joins you in the front of the car, and proceeds to get angrier as he bashes his head against the windscreen, then maybe dances around your face, looking for a suitable place to plant his venom.
ONE FALSE MOVE – and the whole of life comes crashing down.
Well I’d say it’s a lot like that! With the organ though, you are only ever one misplaced toe or an over-moist sneeze away from sounding like a complete idiot!
With this in mind, I wonder how anyone who asks you a question when you are playing can ever hope to get any answer out of you that is intelligible, other than a series of rhythmic grunts and groans.
So as you are hacking your way through your semiquaver-ridden post-service voluntary, this seems a perfect time for someone to tap you on the shoulder, and when you have returned back to the stool after having jumped three feet in the air in abject shock, they ask if you are free to play for their wedding in 3-and-a -half years’ time. Then, you are given a verbal list of chosen music and a short performance of a piece to go out to that they “don’t know the name of but it goes “Da-da da Da-da da Da-da da Da-da” – do you know the one?”
“Veedor stack-arter” you manage to hiss through pursed lips and gritted teeth, as you reach the particularly difficult pedal bit….
“How do you spell that? Tracey, get a pen….”
So – “Can I talk to you whilst you are playing?…”
“Yes, as long as I can tickle your feet when you are saying your vows”!
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