“Sing me a song…”

Sep 2, 2023 | 0 comments

Marais and Miranda

I was so pleased that my friend Mary followed my blog suggestion yesterday and looked up Josef Marais’ song, “Pity the Poor Patat.”  She made no comment about it, but I was happy to know that someone “out there” had connected, perhaps for a first time, with Joseph Pesssach (1905-1978), a folk-singer from South Africa whose stage name was Joseph Marais.  For many years he sang with a partner and they were known as “Marais and Miranda” — and if you don’t remember them, you may be old enough to recall the Doris Day/Frankie Laine rendition of their song “A-round the Corner (beneath the berry tree}.”

I first learned of Marais and his music from my college roommate Sandra Peters (who, some years later, was to become my sister-in-law, making our children first cousins.)  Sandy came from a musical family, but more importantly to me, a rather quirky one.  Not only did she and her sister share an attic room with a pet bat (!), her dad played the musical saw and Sandy knew more off-the-grid folksongs than I’d ever heard of.

Sydney and Nyel – Wedding Picture 1987

However, it wasn’t until I met Nyel that all those songs (and more) came bubbling forth — perhaps because he said he didn’t sing (and, indeed, I never heard him do so — not even when standing beside me at church during the hymn-singing) — but he always asked me to sing!!  Me!  The one who can’t carry a tune in a bucket but remembers all the words — especially the kookie ones.

Mostly, his requests for “musical entertainment” came when we were on car trips.  Since I have always been pretty much night-blind, he would drive after dark and it was my “job” to keep him awake.  He didn’t seem to mind my tenuous tune-carrying and he enjoyed the lyrics — which often led to discussions about where I’d learned them, from whom, and about the years before we had met.  (It’s hard for me to believe that even as late-in-life as we did meet, by the time Nyel died, we had spent nearly half of our lifetimes together!)

Sydney and Nyel — Oysterville Sesquicentennial, 2004

It both amuses and pleases me that music was such a huge part of our lives, though both of us professed to a severe “lack” in that area of accomplishment.   But… I did follow my mother’s advice to “Make a joyful noise” and, somehow, ended up with the perfect appreciative partner!  And… back to yesterday’s potato patch discovery:  you can never tell what will trigger a song and a whole host of fabulous memories.  They don’t say “music makes the world go ’round” for nothing.

 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *