WOE: Music

I’m back but my head is still out of shape so bear with me!  This piece was inspired by an anecdote about a pregnant concert pianist, truly.


It was the last day of term.  Mrs Winter popped a CD into the classroom music system, something light and bright, to go with the radiant sunshine that was dancing off the walls and the euphoric mood of the children, eager for summer holidays.

A couple of tracks later, several eras of frothy pop tunes later, she looked up, catching giggles and jeers in a corner.  She was surprised, confused.

Little Paul Rivers was literally bawling his eyes out.  It was the first display of emotion that she had ever seen from the boy.  It was a small school and although she hadn’t been his teacher all the way through the classes, she had seen his journey from reception up.  He had never cried, ever.  Not even that all-testing first day when his mother had let go his hand and let him walk into the playground all by himself, loosing him free to the hordes.

But children didn’t always cry, she knew that from her many years of primary school teaching.  You could never predict how a child would react and this seemed to be a case in point.  What on earth had happened?

She bustled over to his table, in the corner by the artwork, and came down low and looked at the six children.  The ripples were just starting to spread to other tables and she wanted to put a stop to it.  Paul was already looking a little uncomfortable.

“What is going on here?”  she asked sternly, looking at the other children but it was Paul who blushed deeply.

“It’s Paul,” answered a girl.  “He just starting crying!”

The other two boys on the table clearly thought that this was amusing and giggled some more at her statement.

“Like a girl!”  jeered one of them.

He quickly withered into silence after Mrs Winter aimed a well designed look at him.  She moved around the corner of the table and looked at Paul carefully.

“Paul, who made you cry?”

He wriggled uncomfortably but Mrs Winter held his gaze until he awkwardly surrendered the answer.

“The song,”  whispered low and with shame.

“Which one?  Why?”

“The last one,” his head hung lower.

Mrs Winter was even more confused.  The previous song, like all the others, had been a jaunty pop number.  She sent him out of the room to wash his face, silenced his peers and looked at the clock, grateful that there was only another fifteen minutes left of the day.  She would definitely be speaking to Paul’s mother this evening.

She asked Paul’s mother to step into the classroom for a word, singling her out from all the other parents bustling in the playground.  This wasn’t a mother who showed her emotions on her face but there was definitely a flicker of frustration, even embarrassment.  Paul looked embarrassed too.

Mrs Winter quickly explained the situation, appreciating the mutual feeling of having to wait around on the last day of term.

“I don’t know why.   I don’t recognise the title.”

Mrs Winter asked if she could play it, maybe it was something he’d heard as a younger child.  The song started playing.  Within seconds, the controlled mother too had tears pouring down her face.  Mrs Winter was embarrassed now, she hadn’t thought that she would cause that much distress by a simple song.  She apologised and quickly turned the music off.

“It’s Chris’ song,”  sobbed the younger woman.  “He’s never heard it, I haven’t heard it since I was pregnant with him.”


Yes, it’s a little over!  But I’m just glad that I found something to write, it’s been a tough week and the writing just hasn’t been happening.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood


39 thoughts on “WOE: Music

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  1. I got what you will, thanks for putting up. Woh I am pleased to judge this website through google. Thanks For Share WOE: Music I Spy with My Idiosyncratic Eye ….

  2. I loved this! Music can bring such a strong emotion out of us. The connections that are formed when a child is still in womb are so strong. Great post!

  3. So very frustrating not to have the whole story about why the song makes them cry so… but I love the idea behind it, and your portrayal of the teacher and her classroom is very nicely done.

    1. I know it’s kind of frustrating, there are days when my ideas just don’t want to yield to a word count but I’m glad you liked the idea and enjoyed the piece. Thanks for visiting. :)

  4. Don’t apologize. Everyone writes what someone needs to read. I do understand the music in relation to tears. After my brother died we all cried whenever we heard “his” song. We still do.
    Beautiful little story.

  5. Aw, that was so heartbreaking! Having him react to a song he only heard in the womb….but I wonder why it would make him sad? Would his mother cry when she heard it as well and he also absorbed that in the womb?

  6. It’s very interesting, but I feel like I’m missing something or that there is a lot more yet to come. More specifically… who is Chris?

  7. oh wow… I feel like i’m missing a piece – who’s chris? But at the same time, it kind of leaves it hanging in a good way, because you know the song brought up a sad memory for the mother. Eerie that Paul should remember it too. Great job!

  8. I’m glad you wrote! It was so good and the ending really touched me. First before I remembered Chris, I thought it might be a brother or a twin and even that intriqued me.

    My dad who will be gone 16 years this year loved music and the songs that remind me of him, that make me tear up are ones like “ROCK THE BOAT” and “THE HUSTLE” not songs that would ever make a dent in someone else…music is MOVING and you really got to the root of that here. :)

  9. Wonderful, your description of the classroom and the children. I felt as though I was sitting at a table in the room. I was a little confused about who was getting the withering looks, but that may just be my old eyes!

  10. LOVED THE ENDING:~) You caught me by surprise. I really didn’t expect this. Spooky, but good.

    I loved many of your descriptions. For example, “He quickly withered into silence after Mrs Winter aimed a well designed look at him. ” I like the words “withered into silence.” It’s a perfect visual!

    Well written. I enjoyed reading this writing.

  11. Oh my. Loved the ending! Interesting and creative choice. Also a little bit romantic, since Paul remembered it from the womb. :-) Very sweet… and refreshing that it isn’t another bad relationship piece (which are good, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve just read 6 in a row from other people).

  12. Oh wow. That’s awesome. When I was walking to work this morning, I talked to a friend of mine who teaches a middle school reading course. One of her students had a really rough day yesterday and my friend was completely emotional about it. Reading this, I felt like i was in her classroom, or your classroom- doesn’t matter. Such a good description of the surrounding and an even better ending!

  13. I know – don’t tell – I went a little over too but was just so happy that I was finally inspired to write something again! I loved this! Made me wonder about that little boy – he certainly has some gifts doesn’t he?

  14. “loosing him free to the hordes”
    GREAT line.

    And I love the idea of a child remembering a song from the womb. We used to play my daughter in the womb, and my husband read to her all the time (we’ve never stopped) and I love the connection between a son and a lost father here. There are more than a few happy songs that make me teary eyed because of the people I associate with them.

    1. Thank you, glad you enjoy it. I do believe that prenatal experience can have a really strong affect on an unborn child and reading is definitely one of the most precious gifts to share with a child. :)

I'd love to know what you think, concrit is especially welcomed on fiction pieces. Thank you.

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