It was hilarious. I was sitting in a vehicle with 4 Cornishmen on their way to rehearsal, and trying to understand what they were saying while laughing hysterically. Those Cornish are a stitch. They should all just quit their jobs and do stand-up.
It went on like this for 10 fascinating miles. Once I began to understand them, I quite enjoyed the subject matter. We discussed..
- the Mousehole Male Voice Choir and their concert tour in California (it was smashing)
- their Christmas concert coming up in December, to which it will be almost impossible to get tickets (but they would get me one if I were going to be here ((oh how I wish))
- the pronunciations between Cornish people and Californians (hilarious laughter)
- and then I mentioned Prince Charles, and the topic of what he might do with the Church of England came up, and then there was a small silence.
But there wasn't time to peruse this fascinating subject, because just then, we arrived. The five of us got out and walked along the harbor road in the dark, and 'up the lane' .
Everyone crowded inside the rather small room to rehearse, where I sat nearby, and was awestruck.
Several things of note here:
- the men arrived early in order to arrange their pieces of music and be seated in time to sing the first note at exactly 7:30 p.m.
- someone got up and explained how everyone could escape the place in case of a fire; the two escape routes were described and any quirks of the escape routes were detailed and outlined
- they began by holding their sheet music, but in time used it less and less, until they didn't at all
- the director achieved excellence from them with a combination of humor and kindly badgering
- the director knew every note of every song, bar none
- the director could sing every note of every part of every song, bar none
- the director spoke in a broad Cornish accent that I, and possibly some of the Cornish men, did not understand
- at the end, someone stood to 'welcome the visitor from Canada', at which time my host corrected him and shouted 'California!'. Someone else joked, 'Not much difference, is there!'
Rehearsal over, we trooped down one of the escape routes, filed back down the hill and around along the harbor. Once we had climbed into the car, I whispered to the man next to me, "You were mentioning Prince Charles..?"
He stiffened just slightly, and then whispered back, "Well, all countries have their quirks. Charles is one of ours."
"But what do you think he will do with the Church of England??" I sort of wailed.
The other men stopped talking and listened. "Well, I won't get into that right now," he said. "But I can tell you this. The Queen isn't dead yet."
See you along the way!
The Mousehole Male Voice Choir, in concert