I watched Amy as she went to join her friends. I caught Sam's eye and pointed to her. I hope she would get what I meant. Steph started the intro for I'll stand by you by the Pretenders. I love songs that I can feel connected to, that have meaning to me personally. I felt that Sam had never had anyone who had stood by her. When she had revealed who she was, people had turned away, so much so that I don't think Sam believed in herself any more. Didn't value herself. I wanted her to know that I had faith in her beautiful soul. I didn't know if we would ever be more than friends, but, like the song says, I've seen the dark side, so I knew some of what she was dealing with and still believed in myself and her. I couldn't keep eye contact with her, she was off to the side and it was just too awkward, but I sang it to her and for her.
Again the crowd went wild. It was a heady feeling, but a bit overwhelming. Fortunately the next song was an internal one and much more sedate. I sat down again and closed my eyes and sang Fields of Gold. Such bittersweet memories. I believe those that love you, never really leave you, you just can't see them any more. When I sing Songbird and Fields of Gold I can almost, or at least I imagine I can, feel my father close by.
Once the audience was quiet again I stood up and started the more up tempo songs that we had prepared. Fight Song. I may be small, but I will stand up for myself. You can knock me down, but I will get right back up again. And small actions can have big consequences. It was such a release to get that angst out of me.
Then we waved the girls on and they set themselves up in front of us. I didn't see this until I could watch the video later, but they set up a diamond formation again. Ellie was in the middle. About halfway through me singing Happy, Ellie came through to the front shaking her hands in the air, did a few moves and then retreated behind the girls again. I think the audience was going to die from a sugar overload, it was so cute. Finally I sang Walking on Sunshine. Both of those songs reflected how I was feeling at the moment. It felt good to let the world know and share it with them and my family, Tracy and Steph.
It was over. I had enjoyed myself so much. Yes, I had been quite nervous, but being in front of such a large crowd and hearing their appreciation as you let your emotions out through song. Well, there were not words to describe it. Awesome. Wicked awesome. Wicked amazing awesome. Nope the words were not enough.
Tracy took the microphone and thanked everyone for coming and the locals for their help. She tried not to miss anyone. When she thought she had covered all her bases, a little voice piped up, just close enough to be picked up by the microphone. “What about me?” Ellie asked. So we especially thanked the dancers and Ellie in particular. She tried to make it quite clear that the next time we would be here was the 1st Sunday in January, weather permitting. I don't think she wanted to leave Martha with a huge crowd next Sunday and no one to sing to them.
There was a group of 6 or 7 girls Ellie's age or thereabouts who were talking animatedly with Ellie and the parents of those kids all gathered in a group as well. Hopefully that meant Amy would have some more students. Amy was talking to them with Martha as well. Sam, Harriet and Sarah came over to me. The BBC team were interviewing Steph and she was gesturing for me to come over.
She introduced me as Sophie Hastings to the camera then turned to me. “So Sophie, how long have you been singing?”
“Err...I think it is 3 weeks now.”
“You have been campfire singing for the past 3 weeks, and before that?”
“Err...I used to sing to myself in the bathroom.” I didn't think I could mention singing to my father. I didn't have a lot of information about Abigail. I know she lost her parents at 14 but not how they died or anything really. I was going to have to be vague.
“No formal lessons?”
“No.” I hoped that was the right answer.
“Well, I have to say you have great talent. How do you get so emotionally involved with your songs?”
“I think about my past and connect to the emotions I was feeling then.”
“Could you tell us a bit about that? I understand you used to live on the street.”
“Who told you that?”
“One of your friends at the shelter. I think it is wonderful how great talent can raise anyone above their circumstances. Can you tell us a bit about your life on the street?”
I wonder what else the pack has been saying about me. I had only been living on the street for one day, not even one night. I wasn't going to pretend to knowledge I didn't have. “Err...I have been much more fortunate than many. I found the shelter and more importantly I found Tracy.”
“Who is Tracy? And how did you find her?”
What was this, the inquisition. Nobody expects the inquisition. “Tracy in my adopted mum. Steph introduced us. I'm sorry, I am feeling really tired.” I turned away from the presenter to look into the camera. “Thanks for listening.” With that I made my escape.
The presenter interviewed lots of people, apparently, at random. How much, if anything, was going to be shown was anyone's guess. The girls were thrilled that the BBC had recorded them.
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