Sunday, April 22, 2007

Young love

I sang with my kids at church last night. We had a congregational dinner and they had asked us if we could provide the entertainment. I said "yes" and little did I know this was going to be the busiest weekend of my life. To make things even worse, Gaby wouldn't be able to make it, as she had to cater a baby shower at that same date and time. So I decided that instead of singing with Gaby (as they were expecting), I would sing alone; later on, I changed my mind again and decided to include the kids.

Coming up with a theme for this presentation was easy, as I had always wanted to do this one. The theme was going to be 'Songs that my father taught me', and it was going to be some sort of a tribute to my dad. Since my kids were going to join me on stage, I would include some songs that I have taught them already, in order to continue with the Almada tradition.

The idea was for me to do two songs by myself, then two or three with the kids. Coming up with my 'solo' repertoire wasn't a problem: I would do my two favourite "Dad" songs: Young love (by Tab Hunter) and Love letters in the sand (by Pat Boone). Young love is also Gaby's favourite song ever, to the point that she has always regretted that there are no recordings of my father singing it...

Since the kids had liked the John Denver songs we played when we went down to Virginia for Christmas, we decided to do two of them: "Take me home, country roads" and "Late nite radio". The rehearsal at home came to me as stunning: I was having problems singing one of them, because the tone was too low, so Santi -the one who 'hates to sing'- offered to sing it himself. And what a voice he has!!! Even more, he wouldn't mind me singing second voice on top!!! Carolina provided the solo during the bridge and Juan and Florencia sang backup voices along with me (Florencia did some dancing too). "Country roads" provided me another surprise: Juan took on the solo bit this time, only to be joined by me, Santi and Florencia (yes, Florencia) right away singing three voices. I just couldn't believe my ears. Carolina sang too, of course. That just sounded too great, and I was afraid it would be completely different once we got on stage.

Well, I was wrong. It was as good as it had sounded before. The public (about 150) sang along with me, and then just enjoyed the kids' presentation. Florencia was a riot, first running around and hiding, then playing with a doll she had just found while I was trying to sing; she finally took on all the dancing while the kids sang, but also made sure that the public noticed that she knew the words too. To make things even a little funnier, we introduced ourselves as the "Von Almada Family Singers" and even did the opening lines of "The Sound of music" (The hills are alive, with the sound of music...), even with the oh-oh-oh by Carolina. Oh, and the kids were clasping their hands like the Von Trapp kids. We finished our presentation with "So long, farewell". I was playing the part of the little girl...

We got a standing ovation that lasted almost five minutes. The kids couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it. Since Gaby missed it, we performed again once we got back home, just for her. What a great way to finally pay homage to my dad, and also make sure that we continue the tradition of singing together as a family.

But that was yesterday. Earlier this afternoon, I got in the car and left to Niagara Falls. The first thing I did was to turn on the radio. A familiar melody paralyzed me. "Young love" -of all songs- was playing on the radio!!! And it was Dad's favourite version (the one sung by Tab Hunter).

For about three minutes and a half, I'd swear my dad was sitting right next to me, and we were singing "Young love" together once again. That really made my day.

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