Sunday, July 20, 2014

My history of PDS: Public Displays of Singing

I freely admit to PDA -- Public Displays of Affection -- with my wife Jane.

I am more prone, however, to PDS -- Public Displays of Singing.

Sometimes I wonder in my third act of careers (currently I’m in Act II as a freelance writer after a long Act I career in newspapers) whether to perform as a singer at whatever local bars and restaurants would have me and my band, which consists of Martha, my 46-year-old acoustic guitar.

Lord knows I do enough singing in public as it is now, why not get paid for it?

I have a lot of music in my head and often it just starts coming out of my mouth - and it doesn’t really matter where me and my mouth happens to be.

Partly it’s genetic.

My Dad was a PDSer. He was a U.S. Air Force officer teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy back in the 1960s and the story goes that he walked into class singing the Beach Boys version of “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena”.

He sang: “It’s the Little Old Lady from Pasadena” and the cadets returned with “Go granny, go granny, go granny go.”

My first introduction to my wife Jane came from a PDS moment.

The company I worked for in 1998 was in the process of buying the newspaper in Portsmouth, N.H.,where Jane worked. During one of many transition meetings I led that and that Jane was part of, I walked into the conference room singing the Barenaked Ladies’ song “If I Had a Million Dollars”.

Public Displays of Singing don’t count in the places where it’s perfectly OK to sing out loud -- like home or at church.

My most frequent PSD are at the gym, where I try to ease the rigor of exercise with music via earbuds from a first generation iPod.

All my favorite music - 1,545 songs - is on my iPod. That’s 4.3 days of singing that I could do since i know the words to each of those songs.

So it’s pretty easy for me while I’m at the gym to get lost in the music. And once that happens there may be a little air guitar, there might be some air drumming, and there will certainly be out-loud singing, not arena-volume singing but loud enough to get the occasional stare or wry smile from someone nearby.

I’m beyond the age of embarrassment. Music, to me, is one of the great gifts that humankind has given itself. I’m not ashamed to celebrate that  with my PDS.

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