Sing the Sun Up
Sing The Sun Up
It is a Thursday. Anything can happen on a Thursday. It is the surprise-gift-day-of-the-week. My day begins somewhere after 6:13am when my stereo wakes me up with its spectral neon blue light. Outside the world is poised in indigo as the sun dozes on behind the moon, carmine fingers curled into a sleeping fist.
For a long time now I have started every day singing along to music. Sometimes it is Billy Ocean, sometimes it is Back To The Planet. It might be Soundgarden, but it can just as easily be Richie Havens. Occasionally, it is The Smiths. Today it is Green and Grey by New Model Army. I sing like a man without ears. Flatter than bread without yeast. I sing with an enthusiasm that carries me from bed to bathroom to kitchen in a couple of verses. I push rubber earphones into my sleepy ears as my coffee machine begins its rainy, chuckling pitter-patter, fresh grounds giving their spicy scent to the morning. I sing and I sing.
I thought that perhaps I was the only person to sing but then I heard a bin man outside, his dawn chorus a salty song from The Pogues that meandered in and out of humming and drumming on the lids of the lumbering bins as off stage the sun yawned, turning over for an extra fifteen minutes.
Riding the slumber bus into the city the window is clear in the cold and I see passing glimpses of other lives shuffling slowly into the morning. We pause en route outside a four storey block of flats that is longer than it is high. It is an everyday morning advent calendar with many of the windows already open:
A woman in a dressing gown hugs herself as she smokes the first cigarette of the day. She sings softly, her mouth shaping the sounds timidly, smoke woven into the melody. She is singing along to a Take That song, eyes half closed as she imagines herself as the filling in an Owen-Orange sandwich.
Above her a fat, topless man with impressive tattoos barks and growls his way through Slipknot’s Wait and Bleed. His fists thunder in the air of his kitchen, whilst five Shredded Wheat in a bowl contemplate becoming sodden.
Three doors down a girl called Cloud waters a tray of small flowers to the murmuring along to the sounds of You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever by Gong.
Next door a younger man with long hair and a hooded top jumps open and down playing and invisible guitar. It must be an instrumental as his lips are set into a 7am scowl.
On the top floor, in a corner flat overlooking a crossroads, a lonely man sliding toward fifty heaps a fifth sugar into his tea to sweeten his day. His fine singing voice is broken with an onset of tears as he tangles with the high notes of Foreigner’s I’ve Been Waiting For a Girl Like You.
Elsewhere in the building a pretty woman in her early thirties smiles as she watches her young children eat breakfast. The three of them are so much happier since the man who couldn’t shape up to the title of ‘Daddy’ left. She sings along to the radio as it plays My Sweet Lord by George Harrison. Between mouthfuls of chocolate cereal the children giggle into the choruses.
By now the sun is up and dressed, still yawning, chancing slow, drowsy steps upstairs to the sky.
Outside the bus magpies chatter a mysterious song all of their own as songbirds chirp an accompanying melody, the lone bark of a tethered Akita bringing in a backbeat.
Across the city, unseen, unknown people accidentally nudge their coffee trying to keep up with the infectious radio rhythms of I Saw You Blink by Stornoway. Others splash cornflake milk as they croak through recycled Beatles’ numbers, some gurgling tunes from yesterday beneath hot shower water.
By now the sky is pink with the arrival of the sun in the Eastern distance, slightly shy as it prepares to burn orange before bruised clouds repossess the sky, biting down hard on the city with snow teeth.
This is just one corner of one city in one county.
We are a nation of secret song.
And if we don’t sing, I wonder, will the sun still rise for us?