The Clanger Serenade

Serenaded by a distant busker playing the pan pipes, I spent a couple of hours this morning undertaking voluntary work for MacMillan Cancer Support.

I couldn’t see the individuals exhibiting their musical prowess as they were hidden by shrubs a hundred yards or so away. As such I’m assuming it was a busker(s) playing pan pipes, not a comeback from the 1970’s TV moon puppets The Clangers!

Actually, using serenaded above is probably an inaccurate verb to describe a tune manifesting from pan pipes. On reflection. a serenade should be a pleasing musical sound; something to add an atmosphere of romance to a date with your significant other.

I’m pretty sure that if I was sat in a restaurant with Karen, I’d not appreciate having ‘Cavatina’ on pan pipes played into my lug hole. It certainly wouldn’t be conducive to whispering sweet nothings to my spouse across a candle lit table…… Although then again neither would the fact I’d just rammed a full Big Mac in my mouth!!

I’d be more inclined to shove the pan pipes where the busker wouldn’t be able to play the high pitched instrument.

That’s assuming you cannot play pan pipes with your ass. If it turned out the player could, I suspect we’d have found the 2017 winner of TV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

The song ‘Cavatina’ is best listened to acoustically on Spanish guitar. With a particular emphasis on romance, Karen and I included it as one of the two songs on our wedding video in 1988. The other song was Joe Dolce’s ‘Shut Uppa Your Face’!

It is a beautiful piece performed acoustically; known to many as the instrumental theme tune of the movie ‘The Deer Hunter’ and most famously played by British classical guitarist John Williams…… That’s ‘Cavatina’ that is not ‘Shut Uppa Your Face’!

Image result for john williams guitarist

Karen’s twin sister Sue, who married after us, also wanted to include ‘Cavatina’ on her wedding video. As she wasn’t sure who performed it, she asked her my missus the performer of the tune.

I overheard this and, in a fit of annoyance that she unoriginally wanted to copy her sister, made up a ridiculous orchestra name as the artists. If memory serves me correct, I included the name of one of her mum and dad’s neighbours!…… Remarkably, Sue took this as a genuine orchestra.

When she cascaded the fictitious orchestra name to the guy producing the wedding video, he looked baffled and said he hadn’t heard of them, but would attempt to locate it for her.

Obviously, he was unable to track down this tune by an orchestra led by Sue’s parents neighbour, so in the end Sue went with a badly whistled version of ‘Mull of Kintyre’ by her dad and ‘Shut Uppa Your Face’.

Anyway, back to my collecting with a team of MacMillan Cancer Support volunteers this afternoon.

I spent my time stood outside of a famous bookstore opposite Wakefield Cathedral. it was heart warming to see passers-by were as magnanimous as usual. As I’ve written before, in a world seemingly full of spite, toxicity and confrontation, undertaking this voluntary task goes some way of restoring my faith in humanity.

The fulfilment I gain from this role is great respite from my ventures into the darker places of my family’s  cancer journey. Not to mention the fillip received from the positive and selfless individuals I engage with.

As I was concluding my early afternoon stint, I spotted an elderly woman walking into the nearby book store with a well thumbed book in her hand. I smiled to myself as I pondered whether she was cheekily attempting to return this paperback after reading it.

It led to me thinking of the great comedic value of this woman attempting to return the tome with the request “Can I have my money back as I didn’t like the ending?!”

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