Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Ise the Byes by Susan L.

  It's an old folk song from Nova Scotia. "Ise the byes (boy) that builds the boats, Ise the byes that sails her, Ise the byes that catches the fish and takes em home to Li-zer..." I heard a brief snippet of it on, of all places, a classical radio station. It was being performed by an operatic tenor and choir. Somehow it lost some of its charm.
  Now I can't get it out of my head.
  It's a song of my childhood learned when we lived in Dartmouth, NS. I remember practicing it in music class as well as other long forgotten traditional maritime songs. Brookhouse elementary school encouraged the development of musical skills. I'll never forget the taste of the antiseptic Detol. We used to dip the communal recorder mouthpieces in it to prevent the spreading of germs from student to student. Blech! My children were spared that, we had to buy them their own recorders.
  In grade five they introduced musical instruments. I took up the flute. There was a man, name forgotten, who came in the beginning and gave five of us budding flautists private lessons in the hall while everyone else was in the music room. The first time I opened the flute case I was utterly swept away by the silver instrument sparkling and gleaming against the blue velvet lining like treasure.
  I remember him saying that the flute is one of the easiest instruments to play but the hardest one to blow a decent sound out of. It's also one of the smallest and lightest, much appreciated as I took it back and forth to school for many the years.
  It got me out of music class in grades 7-8. All I had to do was practice in the hall to earn an A+.
  I haven't played it for years. Music was what got me through high school. It was completely centred around band practice, and more band practice, sectional practices, private practice sessions, and even being part of a pit band for the school musical and a flute septet. Before school and after school it took up many hours.      
  Music helps me get through the tough times although instead of the flute or the organ, the piano has become my instrument of choice.
  Thanks go to my Mom, for her dedication in driving me to practices and lessons for so many years. Thank you for the gift of music in my life.
  "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn." Ps 57:7-8

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