It Is One Of Harris's Fixed Ideas
That He CAN Sing A Comic Song; The Fixed Idea, On The Contrary, Among
Those Of Harris's Friends Who Have Heard Him Try, Is That He CAN'T And
Never Will Be Able To, And That He Ought Not To Be Allowed To Try.
When Harris is at a party, and is asked to sing, he replies:
"Well, I can
only sing a COMIC song, you know;" and he says it in a tone that implies
that his singing of THAT, however, is a thing that you ought to hear
once, and then die.
"Oh, that IS nice," says the hostess. "Do sing one, Mr. Harris;" and
Harris gets up, and makes for the piano, with the beaming cheeriness of a
generous-minded man who is just about to give somebody something.
"Now, silence, please, everybody" says the hostess, turning round; "Mr.
Harris is going to sing a comic song!"
"Oh, how jolly!" they murmur; and they hurry in from the conservatory,
and come up from the stairs, and go and fetch each other from all over
the house, and crowd into the drawing-room, and sit round, all smirking
Then Harris begins.
Well, you don't look for much of a voice in a comic song. You don't
expect correct phrasing or vocalization. You don't mind if a man does
find out, when in the middle of a note, that he is too high, and comes
down with a jerk. You don't bother about time.
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