Except me. I’m not musical. I don’t play nothin’. Except lead vocals on Guitar Hero, but even there I’m fully expecting Perry Farrell to appear at the door with his lawyer after what I did to Jane’s Addiction’s Mountain Song on Christmas Day. And Brian May, come to think of it, after desecrating the memory of Freddy Mercury with my Don’t Stop Me Now on Singstar (“just give me a caaaa-aaalll!”).
Junior Misssy is starting to play the piano with the tutelage of the singing piano teacher and is getting on fine, but going off like tousle-haired Kenny Gee on a jet-powered skateboard is Indy who is really doing fantastically well on the saxophone. We won’t stop haranguing him until he does the sax solo from Gerry Raffferty’s Baker Street, we won’t.
Even Sonny the Black Menace turns out to be more musical than me. And it’s Sonny I really want to write about. Sonny is not a huge barker but he is a splendid howler. Never much more than when Indy has the sax out.
He howls along like a good ‘un to Walking in the Air; he's like a canine Aled Jones, he is. He howls along to Happy Birthday to You like the Fourth doggy Tenor. But why? Does it hurt his ears? Is he upset by it? How come he doesn’t howl along to CDs or the radio?
My gran’s old dog Lassie would also howl every time my dad got the bagpipes out or anyone played the “mouthie”. But why? Is it because both those instruments have turned people to commit violent acts. If so, why does the banjo not elicit the same response?*
It’s such a hilarious thing to watch that I really don’t want the reason to be anything to do with pain or distress. I go to the internets to investigate further.
A blogger called Aimee Amodio gives this description that satisfies my need to think that the dog is just having a wee laugh to himself and being a general good time guy:
“Howling to music: dogs have approximately the same hearing range that humans do, but they can detect much smaller changes in tone. Their hearing is much more sensitive -- like a person with perfect pitch, compared to someone who is tone deaf. If a musical howler like my dog didn't want to hear the birthday song, he could have just left the room. By joining in, he was taking his place in the pack as they raised their voices in song.”
How great is that? He’s raising his voice in song!
To celebrate the fact that we’re not turning our dog insane, I give you the Maestro himself recorded live in the Flying Martini Music Room!
Am I right though, is he enjoying the music or not? To the comments box if you have any other theories.
* Don’t complain to me if you play any of these things- I am directly offending actual friends and family members with those comments on purpose.
Don't ever miss a Misssive, subscribe!