Not mumbling
Friday December 10th 2021, 9:25 pm
Filed under: Knit,Life

High-frequency hearing loss is by far the most common type. And what it means is that you lose pieces of words, because consonants are done tongue against teeth and at much higher pitches than vowels’ vibrations in the throat.

So you hear the song of someone’s voice but not the lyrics, and more so the more background sound you add. This is one reason why the hearing impaired are good at picking up other people’s moods rather than what is being said. A crowd is an orchestra warming up. (For Bartok’s Etudes at times.)

I remember sitting on my brother’s bed when we were teens while he played some of his music collection and worked through with me what Elton John was actually singing. And then a song from the next artist and the next but one can only do that for so long in a day.

Now the words are all out there for the reading, and I have to admit I’ve had some serious disappointments on some really beautiful music. Not to mention it’s a pain to have to go look up my earworms before humming them out loud because you never know what they might mean to someone else who can actually, y’know, hear. Being a deaf musician has drawbacks.


There’s been a crew of five prepping and painting our house all week. The kid across the street 35 years ago who bought a paint sprayer to set himself up in business and got our former owner to hire him to douse the house really quick? Uh, no: these guys power wash, scrape, scrape some more, primer, paint, second coat of paint. By hand. And it looks fabulous where they’re finished.

One guy out there in particular is quick to laugh, quick to sing, and occasionally whistles. Now, I wouldn’t know what he was singing anyway and I don’t think it was in English and as I sat there knitting away, singing being a compelling thing, I had visions of adding in a tune or two myself.

In French. Because then the words would be as nonexistent for them as any in English or Spanish might be for me and we’d just meet at the purity of where the tune carries us. Right?

Except the only French song I can remember the lyrics to are–I apologize in advance–Frere Jacque.

Think Chopsticks on the piano.

How about I not.

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“Il etait un petit navire…qui avais ja-ja-jamais navigue…” Or “Aupres de ma blonde…”
I still have snatches. I added “Pauvre brebis egare, souffrant le faim et le froid…” the chorus of “Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd” attending church in Paris with Dad when I was 17.
(Oh, dear, looking the first one up, it’s a horrific tragedy–I swear we didn’t learn that enough verses to get to the jeopardy of the cabin boy in the shipwreck, and I never understood all the words…)

Comment by Marian 12.10.21 @ 11:47 pm

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