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Happy Place

By Sally Whitwell

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Voice, Ukulele, Choir, SA, Choir SA, Ukuleles, Toy Xylophones - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Sally Whitwell. Pop. 11 pages. Published by Sally Whitwell (S0.440867).

Item Number: S0.440867

Composer’s Note - Happy Place

I’m a lesbian who came-of-age/came-out in the mid 1990s, which means I caught the tail end of those lesbian stereotypes you used to hear about. It made me feel like I’d never inherited The Lesbian Gene. I was never one of the herbal tea sipping, yoga loving, hemp textiles wearing, hippie happy clappy campers of that time. I had girlfriends who were and I tried to humour them sometimes but it was always a strain.

I had this one girlfriend who made me go camping once, a gathering with her hippie pagan friends. It was all inoffensive enough, I was having a very nice time sitting in the shade reading my book. Rather stupidly, I made the mistake of letting someone rope me into a thing called D​rumming The Boundary​. They thought I’d be good at it, being a professional musician. I thought it would probably please my girlfriend if I got involved, so I agreed to go along.

To my surprise, the drums they’d set up were great instruments, some really top quality djembes that you’d be paying some good money for, so I made the rash assumption that the leader of this activity actually knew what she was doing. We were instructed to start drumming a h​eartbeat​ together, whereupon I discovered that these are people who couldn’t even play a plain old crotchet beat in ensemble. But they seemed to think they were playing in time, swooning and swaying and closing their eyes to ‘feel’ the music. It was starting to make me giggle. These were presumably the same lesbians I’d seen out in Sydney nightclubs who couldn’t dance in time with an electronic beat that repeatedly hits you over the head with its obviousness?! Once I’d had that thought, I couldn’t help my giggle becoming a full-blown guffaw. The dreadlocked hempy lady in charge glared at me, telling me I needed to relax into really f​eeling the heartbeat. ​Could she not see that it was because my whole body was shaking with hysterical laughter at their arhythmic playing? Honestly...

I guess I just really don’t like hippies. There, I said it out loud. I tried, I tried really hard, but I just prefer my city life. It’s my ​Happy Place.​

-- Sally Whitwell

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