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The A to Z Guide to Life: Letter S for Songs and Stories. Monday May 2, 2016

One of the most simple songs by The Carpenters is also one of my favourite. It is called, "Sing".

I suspect that, for copyright reasons, it's not wise to quote the whole song here, so let me lift the themes and you can check it out on YouTube or Spotify... then sing along.

Karen encourages us to sing out loud and strong – which suggests at the top of our voices – with all our heart and soul.

She also suggests we sing about happy and good things, not the sad and bad – there's enough of the latter in the news.

What really struck me, though, was the encouragement to make your song (hats off to Sir Elton) simple enough to last a lifetime – your Signature Song. And, if you really won't bring yourself to sing, your story. What's your song, what's your story, what's your simple message?

I often ask people this question, occasionally framed as, "What's your noble purpose?" It really does need to be simple. I've known mine since I was 18 – to change minds in order to transform experiences. To swap old patterns of thinking for new patterns that offer new choices. Not the catchiest of lyrics but I'm sure I could write a song about it!

What I didn't realise at 18 was that I needed to sing my song to and for myself first – I'm the one who needs to change first. And Karen says that I shouldn't worry about whether my song or my story is good enough for anyone else to hear – it begins with me.

My belief, however, it that when you and I find our song (or make it up) and tell our story in a way that is true to ourselves, then the World will indeed sing along. We know there are over 7 billion people on the Planet now – and many of them, perhaps millions of them, can echo the sentiments of your song – resonating with your message.

Let your story and your song reverberate down the corridors of time, telling of your history and defining your future. I finish with a small direct quote from the song:

Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.

Here's to singing happy songs this week!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Hopeful One Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 6:36am

Hi Lex - a commendable choice for the letter "S". It is well known that singing on its own ,even if it's not in the sense you are using it ,has an immense effect on our minds. I suspect it is because it realeases those feel good neuro chemicals. Indeed in Alzheimers Dementia musicality is one function that survives the longest. As a result of this information there are now many singing groups formed at many Alzheimer's group meetings for carers and suffers alike.. The effect on both has to be seen to be believed. It was indeed by attending these meetings as a carer that I plucked up enough courage one day to go to the voice coach and ask her to teach me how to sing as I could not sing a note for toffee. She thinks I am now good enough to sing at my own forthcoming birthday party which is what I plan to do ! I will have my 'dry run' this Wednesday before the choir she runs .

Here is management lesson no 5.

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says: "I'll give each of you just one wish." "Me first! Me first!, says the administration clerk. I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world." Poof! She's gone. "Me next! Me next!, says the sales rep. I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life." Poof! He's gone. "OK, you're up" the Genie says to the manager. The manager says: "I want those two back in the office after lunch."

Management lesson : Always let your boss have the first say.

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 7:55am

Hi Hopeful One, aside from a most suitable joke for my Bank Holiday Breakfast Show (thank you!), I am SO delighted that your caring has led you in the direction of singing. Happy dry run before the choir, and I know that if you want plenty of wet runs before that, the acoustics in the shower tend to me amazing! L'xx

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 7:56am

be amazing... even

Hopeful One Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 10:25am

Hi Lex - thank you for your comment . Yes the shower is my favourite place to let rip with " The House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals which tests the full scale.

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:04pm

Wonderful, Hopeful One, simply wonderful... I think I even know the chords, but not sure I'll be taking the guitar into the shower! L'xx

Sally Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 8:21am

Hi Lex. Thank you so much for this! Love it! "Sing " by The Carpenters would also be MY choice, as it's so upbeat, and singable . Where am I going this morning ? To a SINGING group! . Singing centres everything ,I believe, and always buoys me up so much. It used to be something I'd look forward to at school, when the teacher got out her tuning fork, and we sang a variety of songs ... Which I still remember today...
I love your interesting observations, Lex, food for thought indeed.

And Hopeful One, I always look forward to a joke from you. Thank you again today.

Go well, both of you, and all Moodscopers everywhere.

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 8:32am

Thank you, Sally. From the birds in and around the garden to the songs on the radio, music is my pulse and I am so glad you are off to a singing group today! Sing one for us all!!! L'xx

Anonymous Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 9:04am

Good morning Lex. Perhaps we could ask Gareth Malone to form a choir of all us Moodscopers and we could sing. For those of you who do not know who Gareth is..he is an English guy who makes groups who have never sung before, produce wonderful music as a choir. Singing is so good for relaxation and breathing, holding onto a note. Personally I think my song/life would be too complicated to write as a song. I wouldn't know where to start with the lyrics. But I will sing along with songs I hear on the radio and am now about to sing..Sing Sing Out Loud by the wonderful haunting Karen Carpenter. Nice blog Lex. Have a nice May Day holiday. After the sunshine yesterday bringing with it raised spirits, today looks quite dull outside..Sing Sing A Song..Julxxx

Another Sally Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 10:18am

If you can get Gareth interested can I come too. I could do with more singing in my life. Thanks to Lex for reminding me to listen to music . Morning everyone, I don't post very often but I do love reading your blog comments. I look for HO's jokes to make me smile and I take heart from the way you/ we all care for each other. I'm glad that Bear posted the other day, along with the others. I like the name 'Bear of liddle brain'. A big hello to worldwide Moodscopers too. From Another Sally

Frankie Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 11:47am

Me too! I LOVE the idea of a Moodscope choir! Frankie

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 12:22pm

I can hear singing! Celebrating you all, all day today every song I sing and every tune I play. L'xx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 12:24pm

Me three! I love singing and don't do it in public as much as I used to! ...thank you, Another Sally...Bear of liddle brain suits me well as I so often am one! Bear hugs x x x

Still picking figs Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 9:05am

To swap old patterns of thinking for new patterns that offer new choices.

Lex, that is awesome. X

Frankie Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 11:50am

You're so right Spf: also "to change minds in order to transform experiences" - what a powerful word "transform" is - thank-you Lex!

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 1:21pm

Thanks "Still Picking Figs" (Figs are great) and Fabulous Frankie... I know what I'm here for... now I need to know what to do next! I know, let's sing!!! L'xx

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:06pm

...actually, you've got me thinking about knitting patterns now as a theme for a book on new thinking... hmmm. L'xx

Sally Ann Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 9:59am

I am so saddened by people who say they can't sing because a teacher has told them they sing out of tune. If you can find a choir that you can join without audition give it a go. I bet you'll get more right notes than wrong ones. There are so many benefits. Meeting up with like-minded people and not having to be the centre of attention or make an effort. At the end of the evening going home able to look forward to next time. When it works - we harmonise and it's great. Other times it's rubbish! The great thing is that the more you sing the more confidence you get and it feels so good. I started out in an "informal" church choir and then moved on to a community choir and I love it. I wish I'd been singing when the dark side of bi-polar took hold of me. I'm so grateful that I gave singing a go. You don't have to read music. Some can, some can't. Courage my friends.

Leah Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 10:08am

Sally Ann I must tell you there are some people like me who are tone deaf and can not sing in tune. I have been thrown out of choirs for the challenged singers, first made to sit outside during singing in infants school. I have made a grown man nearly cry when he had to revise his whole theory about the non existence of their being something called tone deaf!! It is true, when your children promise they will do chores for a week, as mine did when young, just so I would not sing in public, you know you can't sing!!! I have been told to leave singing workshops so singing is not a given for all!!! I am glad it works for you. All the courage in the world will not make me sing in tune!! We all have skills and weaknesses- not everyone can sing.I am not being hard on myself it is my reality. I do however sing in the shower and when alone!!!

Hopeful One Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 10:19am

Hi Leah- when I went to my voice coach I had no idea if I was tone deaf. My coach simply said if you can talk you can sing and when I quizzed her about some people being tone deaf she said she did not believe this was the case as we use tone when we talk and recognise tone in other people's voices. You may need to work harder than most ,but if you are willing to do that ,despite your past experience I bet you that you will be able to sing.

Leah Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 10:24am

Hopeful, Your coach has not me!! I have met many people who believe there is no such thing as tone deaf until they here me sing!! I have tried so many different theories and tried very very hard and it is not meant to be. Thanks for your advice though.

Leah Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 10:24am

first line should read, your coach has not met me!!

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:13pm

Hi Leah, I am very musical but find it very challenging to sing in tune. I have very expensive software on my computer that 'fixes' the tuning of any vocal, and I think I broke that! What I will say is that society, in the form of my art teacher, declared I was not an artist. It was very 'final'. Black and white. However, my personality profiles all point to being an artist and a creative. What I did was to jump to photography to help me express my art, and musical instruments to find another 'voice' through which to release my inner musician. I've not given up on my wish to sing, but it is now secondary to these other artistic outlets. I believe you are musical and artistic, and just need to find the right outlet. Does that help at all? L'xx

Leah Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 11:22pm

Lex, thanks for your comments. I feel I am somewhat creative through my writing and public speaking and ideas!! I actually think my inability to sing in tune is funny and it really does not worry me .

Richard Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 10:00am

Lex. As always, a fine blog. Also, thankyou to Sally for reminding my to consider group singing again.
I'm singing a lot at work. It's good for me, but I need to watch my volume. I was singing "People get Ready" ( Aretha Franklin), and getting one or two smirks. Oh well.

I believe...

Peace & Love

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:14pm

Peace and Love indeed, Richard - great to hear from you. Let them smirk - if your soul has music in it, I say, "Let it out!" As Aretha said, "Respect!" L'xx

Leah Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 10:11am

I like the Carpenters harmonies.
I also like Neil Diamonds 'song sung blue' which is very catchy.
I am more about the lyrics than the tunes. Thanks for a cheery blog.

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:16pm

Ah, Leah, "Song sung blue, everybody knows one Song sung blue, every garden grows one Me and you are subject to The blues now and then But when you take the blues And make a song You sing 'em out again You sing 'em out again..." Looks like Neil Diamond agrees with our thoughts today. Could singing cure the blues? I think so! L'xx

Sally Ann Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 11:41am

Leah, it just goes to show what damage can be done to children's confidence which stays with them. My brothers told me I couldn't sing but fortunately my mother said I could. I have to accept what you say and you have obviously come to terms with it but please, anyone who wants to sing be brave and give it a go. It's much better than a load of pills!

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:18pm

And it's going to create a chemical change in us, isn't it, Sally Ann? Singing could be the best prescription some of us have ever had. L'xx

Frankie Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 11:51am

Thank-you for this reminder of the power of music - my favourite feel-good song is "walking on sunshine" - off to play it now! Thanks Lex

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:19pm

Hi Frankie, oh yes! Katrina's greatest - written on my heart and into my soul. My soul is singing now and making waves! L'xx

LillyPet Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 11:57am

Hi Lex,
I used to love si ging along to that song, it's a real belter!
My song and story would be about sharing joy with children, uninhibited playing, living, learning and singing.
I'm not that good at singing, I often have to switch key to a lower one half way through a song, or skip the high notes altogether! So when I find a song that suits my voice it's a great feeling!
There's a moment when you find yourself harmonising with others, it happens in chanting too, when the resonance between you connects and lifts you all, it's just wonderful!
Thanks for another inspiring blog Lex! LP :) XX

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:22pm

Hi Ya LillyPet... yes, harmonising brings out some of the finest moments between humans together. It works on so many levels - literally and metaphorically. The Choir, The Orchestra - way more exciting than the Soloist. Seems there's a lot of harmonising going on here today too. Earth to Gareth... Moodscope Singers would welcome you! L'xx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 12:36pm

I helped to run a small church choir, where the parents of some complained about one of the girls who sang out of tune. I said it didn't matter - that she gave her all, she turned up for practise and for the performances without fail, so who were they to stop her coming? She may not have managed a solo piece, but her smile and her enthusiast were enough for me.
I sing when I'm gardening, often hum (not in a smelly way!) whilst vacuuming and probably sing too loudly but it doesn't matter as the vacuum cleaner is louder than me!!
Husband sings - sometimes in tune and sometimes not...but I know he is enjoying it. Daughter and I used to sing in the kitchen whilst making's lifts the heart if you lift up your voice :)
Great blog Lex!
Bearofliddlebrain x x x

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:24pm

Oh Bearofliddlebrain, Oh Singerofgenerousheart, Oh Kindnessinbearincarnate - you lift me up! L'xx

Leah Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 11:24pm

Bear , where were you when I needed you in first grade?- ok you were probably 20 years away from being born!! I agree with Lex you showed so much kindness that girl in your choir- that was my problem, not only was I the worst singer but the loudest!!! You are a gembear!xxx

Mary Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 12:44pm

What a co-incidence! Watch out for Wednesday's post. Because that's about singing too. Well - not just singing, but it's all about joining together to make music. An amazing project I have been involved with.

On another note (ha ha), I love singing and like it most when I am part of a competent church choir. I sing for about nine months and then the bi-polar down grabs me and I have to drop out.... and then am too embarrassed to go back when well again.... How stupid is that? Especially as far more people are accepting of mental health conditions these days.

Sally Ann Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 9:43pm

Hel?o Mary, I'm sure they will welcome you back as though you've only been gone a short time. That's what happened to me. I just picked up where I'd left off. It will be just fine.

Another Sally Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 1:23pm

Hi All, it will be interesting to see the average Moodscope score for tomorrow, if we are all singing our hearts out today. This the first time I have made a second comment on the blog in one day. Thanks Bear for the bear hug, I think I needed one today. Now I'll go and have a sing.
Another Sally

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 5:03pm

Hey Singing Sally, another comment, we welcome gladly. I hope you'll realise that when you share, it let's us say how much we care. L'xx

Mary Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 3:52pm

Ah - and I meant to say, it is totally worth finding out your life purpose - it really does make a difference. Mine is to create beauty and generate joy while having fun. I hope my writing does this. Working as a chartered accountant was absolutely not in keeping with it. I found out mine with the help of Richard Jacobs "What's Your Purpose? Seven Questions to Find Your Answer" You can get it for a penny from Amazon or buy the audio download. But beware - this is not something you can do in the car while driving. You actually have to sit down, think hard and then commit to paper. He's the link if you're interested.

Lex Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 4:58pm

Thanks for the link, Mary. I'm glad you've found your purpose too. May you find the courage to return to the competent church choir too. (I've not heard of that Denomination!) All of us facing mental health conditions could actually turn our challenges into a talking point in such circumstances. With one in four people affected by mental health issues in some way, I'm sure we'll find understanding friends - especially when music is so good for the soul. L'xx

the room above the garage Mon, May 2nd 2016 @ 10:26pm

Merci Lex! Songs make my world go round. You've made me think of another 'Sing'... Travis, wonderful, 'for the love you bring, won't mean a thing, unless you siiiiii-ing'.

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