Going Back

In Augusta last Sunday, I wandered into the Historical Museum in the centre of town. Amongst the collections of shipping paraphernalia, faded photographs, pieces of crockery and cream lace, sat two old pianos – and I mean old – one was manufactured in Stuttgart in 1830 and the other around 1900.

As I left I asked the elderly volunteer whether anyone ever played them. ‘Sadly no,’ he replied, ‘and what they need is a good work out!’

I told him I would love to play them but feared that my basic and rusty keyboard skills would never do them justice and we said our goodbyes.

There was something though that begged me to go back, so taking some sheet music with me (I am a far worse pianist without the music than with it) I asked the old gentleman’s permission to play. ‘You’d be doing the community a favour,’ he said.

After I stumbled awkwardly through easy versions of Moonlight Sonata, The Norwegian Cradle Song and Fur Elise, I eventually moved on to an old favourite of my grandfather’s, ‘Danny Boy’ when, without warning, I found I was being accompanied by a beautiful tenor voice.

My piano skills could not match the old man’s velvet notes and sadly I had to retire, but he continued. Bill told me later that not so long ago, he’d sung the leading role in Augusta’s performance of ‘The Fiddler on the Roof.’

Sometimes we are meant to go back.

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  1. Sharon Greenaway Oh Corinne Thank you so much for sharing this. Recently when Bill and I went to Lake Eyre on a coach trip, one of the chaps on the coach entertained us one night at the Hawker pub on the very-out-of-tune piano. I enjoyed listening to the old songs the people sang, of which I only knew a couple of the choruses. I sometimes think I was born at the wrong era (although then I wouldn't be doing the things i do now!)
    October 19, 2011 at 8:31 am · Reply
  2. Kaye Baillie Hi Corinne. This isn't just a blog it's a lovely story. Hope you enjoy your time in WA.
    October 19, 2011 at 8:54 am · Reply
  3. Sue That is a gorgeous story - sounds like you've had a fantastic time! x
    October 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm · Reply
  4. Chris Bell A beautiful story, and a lifetime memory. x C.
    October 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm · Reply

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