excerpt from 'The Long and short of it: being the recollections and reminiscences of Edna Bold' pp. 23-24 (333 words)

excerpt from 'The Long and short of it: being the recollections and reminiscences of Edna Bold' pp. 23-24 (333 words)

part of

The Long and short of it: being the recollections and reminiscences of Edna Bold

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

23-24

type

text excerpt

encoded value

[The listening experience is from a section of the memoir about music of all kinds in various places, indoor and out, that inspried Edna Bold]

 

In the beginning, music was ‘for free’. In the streets there was an orchestration of clogs clattering, trams rattling, hooves beating, barrel organs gurgling, temperance bands blarting and buskers serenading. 

 

On Saturday afternoons when the pavements were thronged with shoppers, a blind old woman stood on the edge of the pavement opposite our shop.  She stood singing, with a stick in one hand, a tin can in the other. Except for ‘Abide with Me’ I remember nothing of her repertoire. The tapping of her stick, the tinkling of coins in her mug were the sounds I best remember, and the sight of her short, stout figure dressed in black, and her black sailor hat topping a tight grey bun of hair. 

 

Further along the pavement a hollow-cheeked man blew a medley of popular songs on a cornet. As a finale he played ‘Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes” and then took off his cap and ‘collected’. 

 

Beyond him, standing in the gutter, a thin, under-nourished man, cap in hand, sang sad and mournful songs. ‘Thora’ and ‘If those Lips could only Speak’ never failed to extract the coin from thinly lined pockets. 

 

In the side streets the barrel organs literally bombarded the air with ‘Yip I Addy I Ay’, ‘Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-de Ay’, ‘Yankee Doodle’, ‘Oh I do like to be beside the Seaside’, ‘All the Nice Girls love a Sailor’. All the little girls danced and I danced with them. “She should have lessons”, said my father and shocked my puritanical mother. 

 

Weekdays and Saturdays bands marched up the road and down the road, trumpets blaring, drums banging. The noise was terrifying, insufferable. I would run in doors and hide under the kitchen table. 

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excerpt from 'The Long and short of it: being the recollections and reminiscences of Edna Bold' pp. 23-24 (333 words)

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