As featured in Lucky Bag: The Victoria Wood Song Book, 1st edition published 1984 by Methuen, ISBN 0-413-56140-2 (hardback), 0-413-56150-X (paperback).
I don’t play with my left hand. That’s the first thing. You can if you want to. We’ve put some notes in for clever chaps who do want to go bashing away with both hands at the same time, boring everybody stupid. You’ve probably got a food processor as well, haven’t you?
Also, do lots of wrong notes. We haven’t written those in, feeling it’s more creative for you to make up your own. We haven’t included any raffia, Stanley knives or wholemeal macaroni for the same reason.
Playing the piano, as discussed earlier in my paragraph of the today inst., is quite simple, viz., keep smiling and don’t get too much banana sandwich on the black notes. (Doesn’t show so much on the white ones, unless the bananas are over-ripe, in which case, reverse the above advice.)
People often ask me about pedals. I say, yes do get some. Piano pedals are best, but those of you who are dismantling an old moped may find they have the urge to waste not want not. Don’t. They don’t sound as good, and anyway, they look stupid.
Trills? By all means, but don’t blame me if it chips your nail varnish. Also, there is some sort of both going on about arpeggios. The new Common Market arpeggio is shorter and, I think, not as effective, but this is the price we pay for watching the television when we could have been out voting in a referendum.
Raising the hands very high above the keyboard may get you another couple of bouquets at the end of the concert if you’re Vladimir Ashkenazy, (and I don’t think you are, are you? He’s taller with more of a moody expression,) but it doesn’t really help the average ivory tinkler, unless you like painting the ceiling in between chords.
As far as singing goes, you may come a bit of an embarrassing cropper if you’re tone deaf or blush easily. We’re hoping to publish another book especially for the tone deaf, but it’s not the sort of thing a big publishing house will touch, and it may have to be done on the photocopier at the Reference Library (and Heaven only knows how many five pences we’ll need, at least twelve I should think).
If you’re the sort of person who likes to get drunk and have a sing-song round the piano very late at night, perhaps you’d better move house. And although we certainly do not give permission for these songs to be performed in public, there’s bound to be some nit in Bromley who takes no bleeding notice, so here are some performance guidelines. Emphasise every other word, and perform all the others as if they were in ‘inverted’ ‘commas’. I also recommend plenty of winking, pursing of the lips and explanatory gestures of the hands for such words as ‘you’, ‘me’, ‘I’m buying a bungalow in Weybridge’, etc.
Finally, choosing an instrument. Uprights damage less paintwork on the way in, but grands are more useful if you do a lot of dressmaking, or need a flat surface for mixing concrete.
So it’s up to you. Some people have found this book very useful, especially those who had trouble with a wobbly wicker plant stand. And I hope you get as much pleasure out of reading this book as I did from the egg and chips with three eggs I had last week. Till then, take care.
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