A very amusing thing happened to me this weekend.  We had a concert as part of the Burg Festival in the exquisite town of Bad Reichenhall which is situated in the heart of the Alps.  I’d always loved Heidi and I decided that on Saturday I was finally going to play the part.  So I took my laptop in my hand, found a comfortable place on a field near the festival and started singing.  I’m a bit of a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to practice and the practice session I have today is the same one that I’ve had for the past two years.  It’s only gotten progressively higher and some exercises faster.  So I start my session and I come to ba-ju-var.

Now, ba-ju-var isn’t an exercise for the weak of heart.  This is an exercise for expanding the voice, giving it depth and volume.  And it’s god damn loud!  When you do it, you have to imagine that you want to smash down a wall with your voice.  And about midway through, a man comes running down the meadow towards me and shouts something in German, which I of course don’t understand, but judging from his tone of voice and body gestures, he probably said something along the lines of “what the f*** are you doing?!?!”  So I politely said, “I don’t understand German, I’m practicing my singing”.  And he says “Stop, just stop!” with a very angry wave of his hand.

"What the f*** are you doing?!?!"

Now at this stage, I could have done many things.  I could have thrown my laptop at him, I could have burst out crying, I could have started laughing.  I started laughing.  Because I know that my exercises can be annoying (when I was pregnant and did mingen mongen, my son gave me no peace and my husband leaves the room as soon as I start practicing!).  Besides laughing, I couldn’t resist adding “I don’t suppose we’ll be seeing you at our concert tonight…?”

And that brings me to my point…I’ve already written a piece on my own web site about opinions which you can read here if you like…all I will say is this – opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one and everyone thinks that the other one’s stinks!  So don’t worry what other people say, JUST KEEP SINGING.  I know I did 🙂


  1. Ansgar says:

    Hey Mary…wait a sec; I’ll have to find a way to stop laughing…

    Okay, better now.
    Well, a few things came to my mind (which shouldn’t be taken too serious…).
    First: Heidi is from Switzerland… 🙂 The landscape and the people there are a bit different… (Meaning either they are less aggressive towards strange animal sounds or start shooting before they ask, I’m not sure which)
    And second: What the heck is ba-ju-var?
    The word Bajuvar is quite common in some areas, being the latinized word for “Bavarian” – and Austrians don’t like to be compared with Bavarians… X-D)))

    …okay, my 2c-asshole.
    Hope you had a great gig anyway!
    Cheers Ansgar

    BlackMary Reply:

    Believe me, we were laughing about it all weekend so I know how you feel when you say you have to find a way to stop laughing 😀 😀 😀

    And now that I’ve gotten over my situation, I now have to find a way to stop laughing at your comments 😀 😀 😀

    Anyways, just to explain, ba ju var is a singing exercise for expanding the voice, making it stronger, louder, wider. It’s a great exercise for the singer, hell for the listener!

    And the gig was great!!! 🙂

    Take care, rock on, BlackMary