I can make grown women cry, with my singing.

There are two things I am pretty rubbish at, one is learning the Italian language and the second is singing. I always thought my singing was, well quite wonderful really, however Mrs Sensible says I am tone deaf.

In my defense, it must be said, I have sung at some pretty auspicious places, I sang with Craig at the Welsh National Stadium and  I even once sang with the school choir, you notice I said once.


Ah the bliss of school.

Craig a friend of mine from Sheffield introduced me to the delights of singing at the top of my voice while standing in the rain with a meat & potato pie in one hand and a cup of bovril in the other. I learnt the words to The Greasy Chip Butty song and sang it as Sheffield United played football.

Craig was a keen supporter of Sheffield United and his enthusiasm wasn’t diminished for his team, when during the match he jumped in the air and landed badly on his foot. He turned to me and calmly said “I think I have just broken my ankle” he then turned back to the football match and shouted “COME ON YOUUUUUU REEDDDDSSSSSSS”. After the match we walked to the pub to celebrate, (admittedly Craig was limping a bit) and the following morning the local hospital confirmed he had indeed broken his leg so they stuck a pot on it.


The lyrics to the Greasy Chip Butty Song (search on You tube for it)

During 2005 Mrs Sensible took me to her church in Sicily, she introduced me to her friends and then walked off with three of them and left me standing with Giuseppe or maybe it was Marco, anyway I noticed people were starting to sit down. As I went in search of Mrs S, I noticed that all the chairs around her were full! I ended up sitting five pews back and on the other side of the church.

As the first hymn started, I noticed two things, of course everyone was singing in Italian and second, none of the words I knew were included in the hymn. Mind you how many hymns start with the words , ‘hello, I like red white and where is my wife?’


I knew the tune, just not the words

So I just stood there and listened. I think they were singing the second verse when I felt a little nudge in the small of my back. I thought it was a little strange to be nudged whilst standing in church, so I ignored it. And then I was nudged again. I turned to see a little Sicilian man holding an open hymn book for me, and his wife was smiling and kindly nodding. I took the hymn book, smiled and turned around. Taking a deep breath I joined them.

Pecora Nera Singing

I sang with gusto

I didn’t just mumble my way through the hymn, I sang with gusto, with fortitude and with absolutely no idea what the words meant or how to pronounce them.

I felt at one with the congregation and my maker, well until I looked down and saw a very small and worried looking boy staring at me from behind his mothers legs.

2016-04-18 12.18.40

Please make him stop!!

I smiled at him and gave him a wave, he quickly disappeared from sight. After the hymn had finished I turned and handed the book back to the man and thanked him. I think the moment must have been too much for  his wife, because she was dabbing the corners of her eyes with a lace hanky.

After the exertion of singing I sat down and listened but understood nothing the preacher was saying, it is a problem that still besets me. And then they stood and started singing another hymn and I felt the familiar nudge in my back.

Orangutans Laughing

Give him the Hymn book again

After the service, Mrs Sensible told me I was welcome to visit the church whenever I was in Sicily, at least somebody must have appreciated my singing.



17 thoughts on “I can make grown women cry, with my singing.

  1. I think I can relate, I only sing when alone in the car and nobody can be hurt. Shifting gears, I have to know…what is a greasy chip butty?!


  2. Thanks to having several English friends (including you) I know that a butty is a sandwich…as in jam butty but had never heard of this one. Since I’m a lover of chips it looks right up my alley…but unfortunately they don’t serve them here in the Seattle area. Lots of other greasy food but this one hasn’t made it yet.
    I can’t really sing either (more lack of training because I have a good ear…thus my ease in learning Italian). I’m reminded of an ad I cut out of a magazine…It was either for cat food or cat litter and had a lovely black and white cat. The caption read “has heard you sing and not laughed once”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Beth, on a Monday I teach English to four classes, the oldest is nine and the youngest class is six.
      Despite knowing my singing is appalling, I have been using songs to help the children to learn English.

      Lord knows what the other teachers think


    • Elaine, you have never had a chip butty? What never! I thing you are missing out.
      To make them taste wonderful, a little bit of salt and vinegar should be added.

      When I was at school (days that I try to forget) At lunch time Chris and I would climb through a hole in the school fence and then buy a small uncut loaf of bread. We would ask the baker to cut it in half.
      As we walked to the chip shop we would eat the soft bread from the centre of our own half of the loaf.
      At the chip shop we would each buy a portion of chips, and once outside we would cram them into the hollowed out loaf, give it a squeeze and we both had a giant chip butty.


      • Chip sandwiches (I don’t think butty was a word I heard until I lived in England) were just not done in my family (heaven forbid that we should have something like that!) and I don’t remember my friends having them either. The first time I saw one it seemed like a very odd thing to eat and I suppose I have stuck with that thought. I suppose I should be adventurous and try one! Although I wouldn’t want to eat it, I love the idea of you and your friend going the baker’s and getting the bread – it sounds like something from a story book. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh boy the nudge in the back. I guess the old guy wanted to see his wife laugh till she was crying tears, for the second time. Very funny story. Don’t feel bad. Not everyone can carry a tune. 🙂 Just can’t and there is nothing you can do to fix it. You just have poorly developed vocal cords, I guess. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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