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The Versatile Singer
by Leslie Sittner

I sing in church choir
Holy. Holy. Holy.

I chirp Doris Day tunes
yodel as Teresa Brewer
growl as Marlene Dietrich

I sing in high school choir
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah Chorus

I doo-wop as the Chiffons, Chantels
get some respect as Aretha Franklin
jazz it up as Billy Holiday

I sing for my supper in a college bar
harmonize with Peter, Paul, & Mary
warble as Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon

I take lessons with Joyce Voice
learn to croon Anne Murray, Nora Jones

I honky tonk as Dolly, Loretta, Tammy
croak as Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt
scat as Ella Fitzgerald

I take a performance class
sing Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings
at a New York City nightclub

I am ready
I make a demo

WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME I SOUND LIKE
BOB DYLAN JOINED BY WILLIE NELSON?

Still,
lately I am Adele

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION:  This is me in 1983 singing on stage at Dangerfield’s. It was the promised gig for the students at the end the singing class. My boyfriend came in from Boston to see me. He said it was great…Fortunately, this production was early, before the club opened to the public.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve always loved to sing. In the shower, driving in the car, when I clean the house, to soothe my (deaf) dog. No one really heard me as far as I know. Until that performance, I imagined I could sing. I guess not. The tape of it didn’t lie. Writing this forced me to think about all the singers I like and why. Also, how much a speaking and singing voice changes as you age. Deeper, less range, more effort with weaker results. Although it’s not so disturbing if you didn’t have much to work with from the beginning.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Since returning to upstate New York after 25 years in Manhattan, Leslie Sittner has been turning to the written word as a form of self-expression and reflection. She began this journey two years ago and is finding her voice in different formats. Two of her stories are now available in print in The Apple Tree by Third Age Press, and on-line prose at 101Words and 50 Word Challenge. A variety of prose and poetry can also be seen on-line at Silver Birch Press. She is finishing a book about travels with her ex-husband and hopes a publisher will find it as humorous as she and her friends do.