As I was looking through Youtube for today's song, the only key words I could remember that would be usable for the Youtube search box, were the name of the movie it came from, "Porgie & Bess." I've never seen this film, but the first video I found was the scene from the movie being sung by the original actors. As I watched, I felt a wee bit confused; I couldn't figure out why this song had stuck in my mind as a reminder of my mom. Hoping a different version (or cover) would shed better light on my memory, I kept searching, and found this one:
(***this video has a long-ish instrumental introduction before the vocals begin, but it's worth listening through.***)
With my second click I was highly rewarded. This cover is amazing; there aren't many vocalists today that can sing like this. The era in which this song was recorded was so rich with highly talented singers.
So, how in the world does this song remind me of my mother? I know you're wondering... My mom has a beautiful singing voice; a soprano who can easily hit high C. In Anchorage, where she lives, she has at different times, taken part in the Anchorage Community Choir. Don't let the name fool you; this ain't no chorus full of half-talented wannabees! I'm comfortable saying that there are easily world-class talents within it's ranks. If memory serves me, the audition process is quite arduous, and spots highly coveted. And my mom sang with them for years.
I have many memories of listening to her practice at home; as a teen I sometimes cringed when I'd hear her start because I was so sick of hearing a particular song. It was usually my personal cue to head out to the mall or my boyfriend's house. As you've probably deduced by now, "Summertime" was one of the pieces performed by this choir. Though I had already moved out into my own apartment and my own adult life, I do remember hearing her practicing this song when I'd come to visit. I liked the odd chords and sort of lilting tempo; I was interested in seeing the full performance.
When the night came for the Choir to perform, I sat in the audience glancing through the program eagerly searching for the title. It wasn't the first song, but I was glad it wasn't the last one, either. As the opening notes finally poured from the stage I remember feeling entranced and seemed to hang on every note: it was a stellar performance. I felt so proud of my mother for being a part of this group. And for pursuing something she loved doing.
Though I'm an alto, and certainly not at the level of talent she attained, I also love to sing. At my church I am so blessed to be able to sing in the band for mid-week activities for children. I love watching as each one engages, sometimes timidly at first. By the end of the year, though, most can easily follow along with the hand movements and upbeat lyrics telling them about a God Who loves them no matter what they do; who will never leave them or forsake them. My own very most favorite is one where we do the same verse 3 different times: 1st time in a normal voice, 2nd time in a whispered voice, and the 3rd time as loud as they can possibly be. It has sometimes brought me close to tears as I watch their happy faces belting at the top of their lungs, "My God is so BIG! My God is so STRONG! My God is so MIGHTY! There's NOTHING my God cannot do!" Gives me shivers whenever I think of it. How Hell must groan and writhe as these pure little voices proclaim with all their might the goodness of God! For me, there's little else that compares!
In His love,