This little story is a flashback brought to you by Mama Mia and ABBA and my childhood. I recently saw the movie “Mama Mia! Here we go again”. It was great and if you have not gone to see it, I highly recommend it. If you have not seen it you are still welcome to read my flashback as it will give no spoilers to the movie. In fact the only spoiler was the dashed dreams of me singing as a girl.
I loved ABBA as a girl and so did my sister. We would dance around our living room or my brother’s room because those were the two places that had an 8-track player and we were listening to our ABBA 8-track tape. By the way I remember when the 8-track went, it was playing Elvis and Elvis’s voice got all melty and then there was smoke. Any way, enough about my nightmares, My sister and I would always sing together.
I just a few days ago purchased the ABBA greatest hits album on iTunes when I was fresh from the movie Mama Mia 2. I was so excited. I got that sucker pulled up on my iPad and lets just say I was stoked to sing along. But a really sad truth is I only knew the “Boy parts” as we used to call it. *Not to be mistaken with the other “boy parts” because that’s just gross. Why is it that I only knew the deep singing parts of the song.
*Insert flashback music and wavy scene maybe in black and white or perhaps Technicolor because it was the seventies.
My family was highly musical and everyone played an instrument. I played the spoons. I am calling that an instrument, it is in the percussion family. We had amps and microphones and guitars and a keyboard and a drum set so obviously I was given the spoons from the kitchen drawer. If you play the spoons first of all I say to you Bravo on your selection and welcome to the spoon players of America. Also (not to dash your dreams) spoons are an appeasement instrument. Much like the wand in Harry Potter, the instrument chooses you. Mine chose me with “Here stop crying and play these!”
Sometimes when we were playing “Band” it was just my sister and I. I would step up to the mic with grand dreams of being the ultimate of all lead singers. When My sister would open her mouth and sing my part. I would look at her and say “That’s my part. I want to be the girl!”
“But you’re always the boy! Besides you can sing lower than I can.” she would respond.
*children’s rules if you take the undesirable part once it will always be your part by default. That’s why I was the fucking dolphin.
We would rewind the tape and again begin, but if you listen to ABBA the boys don’t really sing much. So there I am with my sorta low chipmunk voice singing “Supapa Troopapa” and realizing that this is some bullshit. The next song would come on and I would start to sing first and this would always end with my sister reminding me that I am essentially a boy singer with the beautiful bass to go along with it.
I would then sing some sort of boy background words and the whole time I was wondering how do I become a lead singer only doing these dumb boy parts.
One day my sister was not home and the mic was Hot and waiting for me. I stepped up to that thing like the rock star that I was. I belted out Mama Mia. I belted out Dancing Queen. I was forever meant to be the lead singer. I was so happy to be alone and singing any part that I wanted. But I missed my sister because no one was there to appreciate the performance I was giving. When my sister came home I was like “Do you wanna play band?”
“Sure! Let me go change.” We always dressed in some outrageous outfit to play band, with my mom’s vest and some belt tied around our heads. We probably looked some waifs taken in off of the street that had been living in a donated clothing bin.
She comes out and damn she looked good. She steps up to the mic and she is all “Ooh You can dance You can Jive”
I was all like “You CAN DANCE YOU CAN JIVE”
Because I was just going to sing louder, because everyone knows that’s how you become the lead singer by aggressively singing louder and a bit off-key.
“Becki, what are you doing?”
“I’m the girl this time.”
“You are always the boy.”
It wasn’t until years later that we found out that ABBA had two girls that sang. We could have avoided many arguments by doing a little research or perhaps looking at the picture on the 8-track tape.
Thanks to my sister I have great range, I can hit both the high notes and the low notes. Also I don’t sing in public so I may not actually be hitting any of the notes. But that’s not my point is it?
Moral of my story: Some one has to be the boy! That’s a terrible thing to say. Wait, women empowerment! No one has to be the boy! That’s equally terrible. What’s my moral here? I got it! There can be two lead women singers in a band and they can both be equally awesome. Nailed it!!!!!
Until next time 🙂