″‘No!’ Mom or Ethan would shout when I wet the floor. ‘Good boy!’ they’d sing when I peed in the grass. ‘Okay, that’s good,’ they’d say when I urinated on the papers. I could not understand what in the world was wrong with them.”
“It was sad like few other hymns I’d heard. I don’t know why exactly, but I started to hum it as I saw more uniformed officers entering the vestibule outside the visitation room. It seemed like something that might help...After a few minutes, the family joined me. I went over to Herbert’s wife as she held him tightly, sobbing softly. I whispered to her, ‘We have to let him go.’ Herbert saw the officers lining up outside, and he pulled away from her slowly and told me to take her out of the room.”
“And well she sang a service, with a fine
Intoning through her nose, as was most seemly,
And she spoke daintily in French, extremely,
After the school of Stratford-atte-Bowe;
French in the Paris style she did not know.”
“She waved at all the people on the train & later, when she saw they didn’t wave back, she started singing songs to herself & it went that way the whole day & she couldn’t remember having a better time in her life.”
“Say she rail; why, I’ll tell her plain
She sings as sweetly as a nightingale.
Say that she frown; I’ll say she looks as clear
As morning roses newly wash’d with dew.
Say she be mute and will not speak a word;
Then I’ll commend her volubility,
and say she uttereth piercing eloquence.”
“Now I want to live like everybody else. I want to have a wife like everybody else and to take her out on Sundays. I have invented a mask that makes me look like anybody. People will not even turn round in the streets. You will be the happiest of women. And we will sing, all by ourselves, till we swoon away with delight.”
“On the way home, we sang with special enthusiasm,
On top of old Smoky, two thousand feet tall,
I shot my old teacher with a big booger ball.
I shot her with glory, I shot her with pride.
How could I miss her? She’s thirty feet wide.”
“All day they fished in a seething sea. The waves were so high and the clouds were so low that they soon lost sight of the shore.
And all the time the Great Storm-Cat played with the little boat, striking it and then losing it, but never quite sinking it. And whenever his claws grew to sharp, Mowzer would sing to him to soften the edge of his anger.”
“The fact was that Lovis liked to sing while she was having her baby. It made things easier, she insisted, and the baby would probably be all the jollier if it arrived on earth to the sound of a song.”
“Rashid Khalifa was so busy making up and telling stories that he didn’t notice that Soraya no longer sang; which probably made things worse. But then Rashid was a busy man, in constant demand, he was the Ocean of Notions, the famous Shah de Blah. And what with all his rehearsals and performance, Rashid was so often on stage that he lost track of what was going on in his own home.”
“Her voice was true, her fingers clever on string, stick or pipe, and she knew the Deathsong. For all Yanus could be certain, the aggravating child had been practicing that song ever since old Petiron started burning with his fatal fever.”
“I felt rotten today. It’s my mother’s fault for singing “My Way” at two o’clock in the morning at the top of the stairs. Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a children’s home.”
“Nayasha kept a small plot of land, on which she grew millet, sunflowers, yams, and vegetables. She always sang as she worked, and some said it was her singing that made her crops more beautiful than anyone else’s.”
″‘Grandaddy came here in his mama’s, Sarah’s, arms,’ Jones said quietly. ‘She wasn’t free yet. The war wasn’t started but it was coming. Only Sarah couldn’t wait. I expect she ran until she found a place big enough to free her troubles. Just the clothes on her back, that half-dead child and the song she sang to him, my granddaddy. He grew up and sang it to my daddy. And he to me.‘”
“While she waited for the bus she skipped and sang: ‘Jam on biscuits, jam on bread, Jam is the thing I like most, Jam is sticky, jam is sweet, Jam is tasty, jam’s a treat - raspberry, strawberry, gooseberry, I’m very FOND…OF…JAM!’ ”
“Ramona considered. Kindergarten had not turned out as she had expected. Still, even though she had not been given a present and Miss Binney did not love her, she had liked being with other boys and girls her own age. She liked singing the song about the dawnzer and having her own little cupboard. ”
“As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.
And down by the brimming river
I head a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway;
‘Love has no ending.‘”
“Oh, how good everything tasted in that bower, with the fresh wind rustling the poplar leaves, sunshine and sweet woods smells about them, and birds singing overhead! No grown-up dinner party ever had half so much fun. Each mouthful was a pleasure; and when the last crumb had vanished, Katy produced the second basket...”
“Virginia stepped forward, and laid on it a large cross made of white and pink almond-blossoms. As she did so, the moon came out from behind a cloud, and flooded with its silent silver the little churchyard, and from the distant copse a nightingale began to sing.”
“His mother always hummed when she was worried. When she held a well child on her lap and rocked back and forth, she sang. But when she held a sick child close in her arms and the rocker moved just enough to squeak a little, she would hum.”
“Every morning the birds sing, and the Owl flies back to his dark hole. When the birds see him, they mob him, remembering his trick. He dare only come out at night, to scrape a bare living on rats, mice and beetles.”
“Except for you I have never heard anyone who could sing as your father did in the morning. In order to make his voice stronger, he would close both his eyes. And he would stand on his tiptoes and stretch forth his long slender neck.”
“Everything was home in a way except school. The United States of America was home and he could feel it when they sang The Star Spangled Banner. And the ranch was home. The house was home. But most particularly the bed was home.”
“Malusi liked doing things slowly. He sang a little after he had pulled on this T-shirt. He played a little and then he put in his shoes - his tackies. There were very old tackies. When they were new they had belonged to Mongi.”
Of speckled eggs the birdie sings
And nests among the trees;
The sailor sings of ropes and things
In ships upon the seas.
The children sing in far Japan,
The children sing in Spain;
The organ with the organ man
Is singing in the rain.