What you need to know, right at the beginning, is that in my entire life no one has ever asked me to sing. In fact, many have requested that I stop singing. As I told my son-in-law the other day, I may not have pitch or tune, but I certainly do have volume and repertoire. Think of Mrs. Miller -- remember her? I could give her a run for her money.
We were scheduled to babysit for Sam on Saturday night. When he was a cranky baby, Chris used to walk him and sing to him (Chris has a lovely voice and is in the choir). It turned out that a calendar of national anthems provided the material, and "O Canada" evolved into Sam's bedtime song.
So in anticipation of our evening together, I printed out the lyrics for both the anthem of choice and a back-up anthem, and off we went.
Bedtime came, and we got him into his jamas with no argument. The kid was so tired he knew he was tired. We put him down to bed and Joe began to sing "O Canada." Well, you know, most of us can sing the first couple of lines. It's one of the better national anthems; I always like it when our northern neighbors win at the Olympics, so I have a chance to hear it. But about two-thirds through, it kind of trails off for the unpracticed bass. Sam gave Joe a moderately stern look and then quietly said, "Grandmom sing."
My moment had come. I unfurled my lyric sheet and a capella warbled all three verses of "God Save the Queen." At the line "frustrate their knavish tricks" eyes widened. I sang on proudly, not daring to look Joe's way.
And at the end, the darling child intoned, "Thank you, Grandmom." And settled down for the night.