After dinner this evening at Eizwan’s, his family gathered on the living room sofa with two guitars, and sat around for a good conversation and some music. The star of the evening was young Hanan, a talkative and confident eight year old who was addicted to pop music and singing. Eizwan’s dad and Eizwan had their guitars out, they accompanied the precocious child through her song catalogue, which I had to admit, was impressive for an eight year old.
When I was eight, the only music I heard was Michael Jackson and the ridiculous Now, That’s What I Call Music albums. This young girl sang Billy Joel, Beatles with a mish-mash of music from the 1950s courtesy of her ancient music teachers in school.
‘I know, ‘Oh Carol” the child announced.
‘Oh, wow!’ Eizwan replied.
‘But I only know it as Oh, Rainbow.’
‘Oh what?!’I interrupted. What are they teaching children these days? Did I hear that wrong?
Hannah proceeds to sing a child-friendly version of Oh Carol, which lyrics were about the colours of the rainbow.
‘Oh, I thought you were singing ‘Oh Rambo!’ I exclaimed with relief.
In moments like these, I think how different Eizwan and my family are. They use music to relax. Music in my family is a very formal thing, with Jazz nights and music education. We don’t come together through music, we each have our Itunes list and our preference in music is eclectic. I’m currently partial towards retro and modern electronica, Hani towards ‘sad emo music’ while my brother, well, Kenny Chesney’s ‘She thinks my tractor’s sexy’ graces his playlist.
It’s not a bad thing, but it did remind me that I am a little uptight when it comes to music. I can’t just let loose like Eizwan; pick up the guitar and then sing with a group of small friends. Music is about hours of preparation and then standing on stage, darkened room, spotlights as you’re finally ready to play. It’s the theatre person in me.
I’m uptight and serious.
‘Hanan, why don’t you sing a new song!’ her mother said. ‘What about something by Lady Gaga.’
‘Oh, I love Lady Gaga,’ I exclaimed.
Hanan beamed as she began singing ‘Just Dance’. She stops singing it halfway. ‘I can’t remember the lyrics. But I can remember Poker Face’
And as the child started to belt out Poker Face, I can’t imagine how everyone would feel or worse, how I would feel if she started to sing at her top of her lungs, ‘It’s love if it’s not rough it isn’t fun!’
‘Tell you what! It’s late, so why don’t we sing another song?’
Hanan was a little disappointed. But yes, at that moment, it crystallized for me. Yep. Definitely uptight.