Published on

Expecting a few musical friends. Bring your music.

This card is unused. It has an undivided back and was published by William Lyon, Glasgow under their brand name of ‘Premier Series’ cards.

Aside from the illustration – I purchased it because I think it may be the work of George Fyffe Christie, the Scottish illustrator whose work is quite enjoyable and who illustrated other ‘Premier Series’ cards. I like William Lyon postcards and the illustration reminds me of an event in my past.

My card is undated although I have seen a used copy postmarked in 1911, and I have seen other William Lyon, Premier Series, postcards with dates in the years between 1902 and 1906.

The musical ensemble illustrated looks far from a professional or classical group although for some weird reason when I spotted the card, I thought of the musical quartet who reputedly played as the Titanic was sinking. And, in case any of you may think otherwise, the sinking of Titanic in 1912 was not an event in my past.

In my first year at high school, which was back in 1970 – the pupils were encouraged to tap into the facilities available in the school’s music department. Prior to this opportunity, my only previous experience with musical instruments was in primary school where I graduated from playing the wooden block to the triangle, just before ending up as one of the musically inept pupils in the kazoo section. The chance to learn how to play a proper musical instrument was too good an opportunity to miss.

My first lessons were with drums. At the time, it could be that I may have had visions of sitting behind a full drum set and bashing away like Keith Moon of The Who or even the sometimes soloist Cozy Powell (remember him?) although apparently it was necessary to learn to play by starting with a snare drum and two pieces of wood called sticks. It was then that I learned that Bambi has more coordination when walking on ice than I had trying to work with one drum and two sticks. Whereas Bambi had Thumper to guide and encourage him, I had to make do with a music teacher who was likely giving up his lunch break for these lessons. I can’t recall the words although I think they were something like “I don’t think drumming’s for you.”

My next foray into the world of music was with the trombone. I have no idea why I tried this instrument although perhaps you will understand why I selected a card featuring a drummer and a trombonist.

I loved the trombone. I couldn’t play it but loved the idea of playing it. I did remain in the learning group long enough to get sounds from the instrument, although the sounds weren’t pleasant ones.

I can’t remember the exact words that ended my drumming career but can recall the words that ended my prospects of being a trombonist. It was likely after the third lesson – when I was really getting into the swing of things – when the teacher took me aside and suggested that I forget the Louis Armstrong actions and just concentrate on getting the proper sounds from the instrument. There was, for me, no going back after that remark.

So, by age 13 my musical career was in tatters. It would have been nice to suggest that these early setbacks caused me to redouble my efforts and through sheer determination I am now an accomplished musician although I’m afraid that is not the case. Nowadays, my musical efforts are limited to tapping the steering wheel to music coming from my car radio.

P. S. I have no singing voice either.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I just knew you were Scottish from the humour in your article. Thankyou I am an ex Aberdonian in Adelaide

You need a sense of humour with our weather…although it is 23 degrees and sunny today. The forecast was however for rain so we are wearing coats! You can never be too careful.

Your article and card were both very enjoyable. It is nice to know that I am not the only one lacking musical aptitude.

Thank you. I suspect that there are more than just you and me who are lacking in that area…although we are the honest ones.

My musical downfall was the recorder, which I was required to study in fourth grade. Fortunately, although my father was a professional clarinet and sax man, he didn’t push me to play any other instrument since he saw I wasn’t getting any joy from learning notes and fingering.

I can relate to having a tin ear. In junior high school I had to take music. I was totally clueless and tone deaf. I joined the glee club in hopes that it would help. At the end of the year I was awarded a C for my efforts. The instructor said he would have failed me except I took time to attend glee club practices -and kept my mouth shut.

Your comments made me smile. Thank you.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x