“When the road gets dark, and you can no longer see, just let my love throw a spark, and have a little faith in me”John Hiatt
It’s great to be back singing again after eighteen months off due to lockdowns and the ban on live music. I have never been in any doubt how important music has been to my own mental and emotional health, but after such a long break and not being able to sing to an in-person audience it is easy to forget what it means to others.
After only a verse of a song at my first gig back it was reaffirmed to me how I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be and the important role that live music plays in so many of our lives. This story may cause a few tears but will hopefully also warm a few hearts.
My first gig back was to sing at a wedding ceremony in Holywood Methodist church for the marriage of Patrick Murray & Caroline Walker. When we arrived at the church to set up, I was shown by a member of staff the small area designated for the music. I would have been very cramped for myself + my accompanist Eamon, plus I felt it was too close to where the bride & groom would be positioned throughout the ceremony, which would have meant we would also be in shot for the photographs and video. To the side of the altar, there was an upright piano hiding under a cover, which looked like it hadn’t got much use and therefore made me think it probably hadn’t been played for some time. We quickly removed the cover to check it out and see if it was even in tune, and to our surprise, it played and sounded beautiful.
The bride had requested a John Hiatt song ‘Have a little faith in me’ which I had never sung before, Eamon began to play it and I began to sing, after just a few bars of the song I noticed a gentleman observing and listening very closely to us. This gentleman in a high visibility vest was George the caretaker & car park steward, and he now appeared quite emotional, so I finished my practice and began chatting to him. With a tear in his eye, George said “you don’t know how good it is to hear that piano after so long and played so beautifully” then pointing to the brass engraved plaque on top of the piano he explained that he and his family had purchased the piano sixteen years ago in dedication to his late wife who had sadly passed away after an illness. Thank you George for allowing us to play this wonderful instrument. ‘May all who listen rejoice to the sound of music.’
Enjoy this live version featuring Justin McGurk on vocals & Eamon lynch playing George’s piano.