Ballad’s of the Balcony

March 29, 2020 — 86 Comments

I took inspiration this week from the videos of people sharing music on their balconies during the quarantine in Italy. I saw these videos on my Facebook newsfeed and I found them so moving and thought that they really celebrated community spirit.

On the Facebook group of our apartment block, there was a request to do something similar at our shared home. So, George and I said that we would be happy to get involved. One resident was worried that as everyone has different tastes in music that we should be careful not to disrupt the normally peaceful atmosphere. Our small community has families with young children, elderly residents and homeworkers so I thought this was a very thoughtful comment and so I suggested that we limit the live music time to after normal working hours and pick a date so that there is as little disruption to everyone as possible.

So last Friday, 27th March at 18:00 George and I were gearing ourselves up to take our electric piano onto the balcony and sing three songs:

  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow
  • Somewhere (West Side Story)
  • You’ll Never Walk Alone.

I must admit that I was a little nervous, I didn’t want to upset anyone so I tried to pick songs that I thought most people could connect with, whilst still sending a message of hope and togetherness. After all the people I would be singing to are my neighbours. But we thought it was time to be brave and try to do something nice for our community using the skills we have.

We set up and let rip. One by one, we saw windows open. People came out onto their balconies. One young woman in the courtyard who was on the phone began to share the experience with her loved one during their FaceTime call. There was a father dancing with his daughter. After we finished the first song, there was applause. It gave us the courage to continue and we started to perform our little hearts out. After the three songs, we were surprised to hear people ask for more and we said that we will try and perform again next Friday if the current situation doesn’t improve.

We were then surprised that our performance was filmed and shared by a few of our neighbours on our community Facebook group and this has allowed me to share this short video with you. Please continue to stay safe and healthy and know that you are each loved.

86 responses to Ballad’s of the Balcony

  1. 

    What a lovely gesture. Your voice carries across so far!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you Christine. I was surprised they were able to hear George and I so clearly. It was quite a windy day and our neighbor who sent us the recording is from the opposite block.

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

  2. 

    Dear, dear Charlotte and George, that was wonderful and so heartwarming. I am sure it will have lifted the spirits of everyone around you. Hope someone videos next Friday too.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 7:50 pm

      Dear Hilary, I am so glad that you found some joy from our little musical sharing. I will try record this week’s singsong. What songs would you like to hear?

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I thought your choices first time were ideal. Fully operatic arias might be difficult in the circs. I was brought up on musicals, and all of these songs hit the spot for many people. Do you know the song ‘Did you not hear my Lady’, adapted from a Handel aria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Worship)? or what about the Scottish folk song, Oh Waly Waly – The water is wide? It’s a rich field! Sing what you and George know and love, that will come through to everyone listening.

      • 
        Charlotte Hoather April 2, 2020 at 4:40 pm

        It’s great to get your feedback Hilary. I agree, that music theatre songs work well for a variety of tastes. I have enjoyed revisiting some older repertoire from this genre.
        I have just listened to Thomas Allen sing Silent Worship, its beautiful.
        Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will have to see if I can get my hands on the music.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cb8jAF-NtA

        O Waly, Waly is a great suggestion – and one that George and I enjoy singing together. I will keep you posted with what we sing this week.

        Best Wishes
        Charlotte

  3. 

    I am overwhelmed with emotion. Thank you for sharing. That was simply beautiful,.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 7:53 pm

      It is my pleasure; I was grateful that my neighbor captured the moment so that I was able to share it with you 🙂

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

  4. 

    Nice one. You are both surprising and unsurprising in your generosity.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Hello Martin, you are so kind. We had a lot of fun singing for our community. A little nerve-wracking at first but luckily no ‘boos’ were hollered out. I do hope to connect with more of my neighbours – that would be a beautiful result of this chaotic time.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  5. 

    What a lovely gift you and George gave to your neighbours, dear Charlotte. Well done!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      It was heart-warming to share joy through music. Thank you Izzy for your photography of your travels on your blog. I have enjoyed looking through them whilst listening to the new music that I need to study.

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

  6. 

    What a generous, thoughtful, beautiful gift to share with your neighbors! You are so talented and to share it with others is a tribute to you both.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:02 pm

      Dear Patricia, thank you for your wonderful comment, I feel consumed by love at the moment and it is lifting my spirits during these tough times. I have taken inspiration from your blog and I think this is a perfect time to send some letters to loved ones. Stay healthy and happy.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  7. 

    What a wonderful thing to do for neighbors, Charlotte and George! Thank you for sharing the video!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      Hello Lavinia, we were glad that the plug for our electric piano could reach the balcony. We had a vision and hoped our neighbours would enjoy to see both of us performing. I am happy you enjoyed it too. Your videos of you singing and playing guitar on your blog are fantastic. George and I have been cooking alongside and jamming to them.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        That is one of the highest compliments I have ever been paid, Charlotte, that you and George have been cooking alongside and jamming to them. I am glad you both have been enjoying the music. 🙂

  8. 

    Wow , super Bravo !!!!!!!!!! Prenez de vous deux mes amis !!!!! Meilleurs pensées, à bientôt après tout ça !!!! wish you the best, artist power !!!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      J’espère que tu as une autre semaine d’idées débordantes. J’ai aimé voir tes œuvres d’art sur Instagram. Prends soin de toi.

      Best Wishes
      harlotte

  9. 

    Good for you Charlotte and George.
    I’m grateful for the technology which not only has allowed me to keep in touch with friends around the world (most became friends as a result of blogging) but it also allowed us a have our ‘usual’ writers’ club meeting on Saturday (as grumpytyke just posted).
    Stay safe x

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Dear Roger, Technology is a wonderful thing! I am so grateful for all my friendships online … I never feel alone. I have just enjoyed reading about your video writers club! That is brilliant news that you have been able to stay connected during this chaotic time. Video calling is such a great tool as it allows you to see faces as well as hear voices. There is something magical about this.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  10. 

    It’s people like you and George who step up to the plate when things are down! What a wonderful idea!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      I like to think of ways I can help, even if it is in a small manner. If sharing my positivity and music brings others joy than I shall try my best to do it! Thank you for your encouragement.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  11. 

    Well done to you both. Great way to keep spirits up. Congratulations. 😃😃

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      Thank you – Stay Positive. Life is a gift, but it’s more than just that. Life is a challenge.

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

  12. 

    Well done Charlotte. Wonderful gesture.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:09 pm

      I am glad that it brought you some joy. I enjoyed reading about your Lego Mustang creation as a result of Lockdown. It really made me smile, and wish I had a lego kit at home!

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    That was fun. Good for you two. I read someone a person inspired by the Italians tried singing from a balcony in New York City and was told to shut up.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      Yes, we saw a video of three short clips: someone singing in Italy / someone singing in Spain / and someone singing in the UK. In the UK clip it ends abruptly with someone saying shut-up. It does make you chuckle, but George and I were a little nervous in case we upset our neighbours. But luckily we were well received.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  14. 

    What a lovely gesture, Charlotte. Thank you for sharing.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      Dear John, I am glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you for writing! I know that I can visit your blog any day of the week and there will be something to give me a chuckle or a new fact to learn.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  15. 

    Fabulous concert, both of you were superb! I loved it😘😘

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:14 pm

      Dear Gill, I am so pleased that you enjoyed the performance. Thank you for your support during the start of the lockdown. I enjoyed discussing ideas and opportunities for this time with you.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  16. 

    How lovely! Thanks for sharing it, and it’d be wonderful if you can do it again.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      It was my pleasure to share the moment with you and I too hope that we get the chance to do it again soon.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  17. 

    Balcony is a proscenium. Again on this pixelated stage.

    Mancunians always uniting people. I remember your M.U. video.

    Take care

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      I love your description of this experience! So poetic and wonderful. I love where I am from, I think it is being exposed to football chanting from a young age – community spirit is a powerful thing.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  18. 

    How lovely! I wanted to applaud, too! Thank you for sharing! Take care, and stay safe and healthy.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:16 pm

      How fantastic that it made you want to clap! I feel lucky to be able to share the video with you. Thank you for your kind thoughts. I hope that you can find positive and creative ways to spend the extra time indoors now.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  19. 

    Bravo!! I applaud and salute you two from across the pond in South Carolina!
    I think that’s wonderful for you to share your talents for your community…well done.
    Stay safe, my friends.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      Dear Sheila, thank you for your kind words from across the pond! It is fantastic that we can stay connected online despite the distance. I am glad that it has brought so many people a little joy during a turbulent time. Stay positive and creative.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Dear Jovina, Thank you for stopping by my blog. George and I are hoping to make your Mustard Panko Topped Salmon for dinner this week. We have been taking inspiration from your blog during lock down and the results have been very tasty!

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  20. 
    Amritpal Singh March 30, 2020 at 4:46 am

    Good morning Hoather stay home safe life

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:22 pm

      Dear Amritpal, I hope that you have a lovely week. Enjoy the opportunity to cook great meals or read a new book.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  21. 

    OMG! That was so good! I’m sitting here at work feeling so moved and inspired.
    Sending lots of love and hope!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      Hello Michael, you have made me blush! Thank you for your sweet comment. Happy writing!

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  22. 

    I think this is MARVELOUS, Charlotte! Wish I were there with a window I could hear it from. You two are going to have a lot of new fans! Stay safe and healthy!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather March 31, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      A little bit of fun to bring a smile to people’s face. I particularly loved seeing the children dancing and watching people come together. Whilst we were singing, I didn’t get to see the flats above me.

      Sending you lots of love and cyberhugs,

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  23. 

    Such a wonderful gesture, Charlotte. I love your song choices, too. Keep up the good work!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 2, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      Hello Liz, thank you for your sweet words. I am so glad that you liked the song choices. I am introducing George to some lovely musical theatre albums at the moment for inspiration.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  24. 

    That was beautiful, I think everyone of your neighbours enjoyed your performance, you are both amazing,well done! I’m sure you made their day ..Stay safe both of you.xx

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 2, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      Your message is so heart-warming. We had a lovely time singing for our neighbours and didn’t expect such open arms and kindness. I hope that you are ok, and you can steal opportunities to enjoy the sun.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  25. 

    Marvelous! Wish I could have been there.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 2, 2020 at 4:42 pm

      I am trying to think of a way to share a performance online, so that you can experience some live music at home. Researching microphones at the moment – so who knows!
      I am glad I could share this short clip with you.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 2, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      I am so glad that you enjoyed our sharing Deborah. After reading your recent blog post on historic recluses, I may start researching the historic use of balconies.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  26. 

    I keep thinking about this and had to come back to your post and comment. You are both so wonderful!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 2, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      It is so lovely to hear from you Karen, I hope you and your family are able to stay happy and healthy during this strange time. Keep creating beautiful paintings!

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  27. 

    How brave and generous you both are! The recording is good, allowing for the distance from you and the wind blowing! I hope you are able to sing again this Friday. Keep safe and well, both of you xxxx

  28. 

    Great work you two1

  29. 

    Just caught up with your blog. What a wonderful thing to do, I am sure everyone loved hearing you sing and are looking forward to next time.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 13, 2020 at 6:44 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to read and listen to my blog. I hope you can tune in with us in the future and enjoy a little music as a community during this crazy time we are living in.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  30. 

    Just wonderful , You and George……..Songs were terrific…….Loved them!
    All my Best wishes……….

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 13, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Dear Darlene, I am so happy that you loved our performance. I am enjoying sharing a weekly video with my blog friends. Thank you for listening.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  31. 

    Always a pleasure to hear your voice and even moreso with your reason for doing it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 13, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      Hello Alex, thank you for your sweet comment, I am so happy that your enjoyed our performance. It is nice to give back to our shared community with music at the moment.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  32. 

    My eyes are leaking. Thank you so much!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 13, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      Dear Andrea, it brings me great joy to hear that you enjoyed our balcony concert. Stay safe and happy.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  33. 

    that is so sweet

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 13, 2020 at 6:48 pm

      Thank you! We hope to share our music whilst our community are self-isolating. Take care and I hope you can enjoy our future performances.

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  34. 

    Thank you.😁 I have suggested we hold a concert on our balcony but I do not think ours would get quite such a positive response.🤣

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 13, 2020 at 6:48 pm

      I am so happy you enjoyed the singsong – I have not heard you sing but I am sure your voice is beautiful! You do make me chuckle though 🙂

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  35. 

    Beautiful voice and lovely to see all the people too. Great thing to do. xx

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather April 13, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you for watching our video and for enjoying the music. It is lovely to see our neighbours come together on different floors of their buildings. It is like a contemporary outdoor theatre!

      Best Wishes
      Charlotte

  36. 

    Awnnn… beautiful 🌼

  37. 

    Your voice is exceptionally inspiring, dear Charlotte! Geporge is perfect with you. I am so grateful!
    Resa
    xo

  38. 

    putting colour back into each day 🙂
    ~rob

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