If there's anything blatantly obvious about me, it's that I am frustrated diva without a stage. I will sing at literally ANY given opportunity and some of my best days out with friends involve trips to a private karaoke booth, where I can warble to my heart's content. So, it feels appropriate to write a story all about singing!
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Keep A Song In Your Pocket
Shelly was always singing. She sang in the shower, she warbled on the way to school and she hummed whilst doing her homework. It drove her parents up the wall!
"Just sing a little quieter," Dad would plead, as he tried to watch TV.
"Do you know any other songs?" Mum would ask, after Shelly had sung a particular favourite five times in a row.
And: "Go away and sing somewhere else!" Shelly's older brother, Sid, would snap, whenever he got tired of her constant tunes.
But Shelly just couldn't stop. She loved to sing more than anything else in the world. It made her feel happy! And not only that, but it helped her with all the other feelings she had, too. When Shelly was angry, she'd sing a loud song, playing air guitar along with herself. When she was tired, she'd sing soft, gentle songs to soothe her as she drifted off to sleep. And when she was sad, she'd either sing a bright, cheerful song to lift her mood, or, if she felt like it, she'd sing a slow, sad song and wallow for a little while... There was a song for literally every occasion!
One day, Dad announced that the family were going to visit Shelly's Granny. She lived quite far away, so it would mean a long car journey. Shelly sang an excited-sort-of-song as she packed her bags. Shelly didn't see her Granny very often, so she was in a very bubbly mood, by the time she climbed into the back of Dad's car.
Unfortunately, ten minutes into the journey, it became obvious that her parents and brother were in different moods.
"Shelly, you sing very well and I'm glad you're happy, but maybe we could have a bit of quiet for a while?" Mum suggested.
"I need to be able to hear the traffic announcements," Dad added.
Shelly bit her lip and stared down at her lap. She wasn't trying to annoy anyone. She was only singing because she was happy, after all! Soon, Shelly closed her eyes and tried to sing quietly in her head. It wasn't the same, though, and by the time they arrived at Granny's, Shelly's happy mood had gone.
Granny gave Shelly a big hug and everyone had a slice of homemade carrot cake. Mum and Dad told Granny all of their news from home and Sid went out to play in the garden, with Granny's dog, Joe. But Shelly was very quiet. She sat in the corner, twiddling her thumbs. She stayed quiet all through dinner and even when she went up to bed, Shelly only spoke to say "goodnight."
Shelly was just snuggling down under the covers, when the bedroom door creaked open. Shelly was sharing the spare room with Sid, but he was still in the bathroom cleaning his teeth. Shelly sat up and glanced at the door. "Hello?"
Granny smiled at her, as she wandered into the room, walking between the two little beds and sitting on the edge of Shelly's. "Now," she said, in a firm, but kind voice. "You don't seem at all happy and I'd like to know what's wrong?"
Shelly let out a huff of air. "Oh, it's nothing," she moaned. "I'm just annoying, that's all."
"Annoying?" Granny exclaimed. "You're far from it! Whatever could you do to annoy anyone?"
Shelly shrugged. "I sing," she said. "A lot."
"How is that annoying?" Granny frowned. "I love to sing! I sing all the time!"
Shelly gasped. "You do?!"
"Of course," Granny smiled. "Music has power, Shelly. A song can protect you when you feel afraid or alone. It can bring back memories, make you smile, make you cry... Songs can even teach you things you never knew. Never let go of the songs in your heart, Shelly. You carry on singing them. Sing them to the whole world!"
Shelly beamed at her Granny. "Really? Because Sid's always telling me not to be so noisy..."
Granny tutted. "He's at a funny age, that's all," she said. "And maybe he just thinks you need to go and learn some new songs and sing them in a place especially for singing."
"I wish there was a place especially for singing," Shelly sighed. "Maybe then I wouldn't get into trouble all the time..."
Granny grinned. "Tomorrow, I'm going to take you to my choir," she said. "We meet once a week and we sing songs and sometimes, we even give special performances on stage! I think you'll love it."
And Granny was right. The next day, Shelly went with her to choir practise and discovered that the choir was made up of all sorts of people - young and old - all with one special thing in common: they loved to sing. Shelly spent the day singing her heart out and she loved every second.
As soon as Shelly and her family got home from their visit to Granny's, Shelly went to find out whether her school had a choir that she could join. And when she realised that it did, she was over the moon.
From that day onwards, Shelly never lost her love of singing ever again. She learnt all kinds of new songs, made lots of new friends and felt happier than she ever had, before. She finally had a special place to sing her songs. And even Sid had to agree, it was nice to hear her crooning away, once more.
Well... Most of the time.