On Singing

by Dawn Corrigan

They could not sing. Specifically, the women couldn't sing at all; some of the men could rumble along pleasantly enough. However, properly speaking, not a single one of that clan of Capuanos and Hogans, not even if we include their cousins the Barries and McDougals, the Montagues and Marianos, or even the more distantly-related Sturzeneggers, could carry a tune. It was their collective tragedy, then, that there was nothing any of them loved more than song. If you are a believer in Lamarckian evolution, as so many of us still seem to be despite the fact that biologists completely discredited that theory decades ago, then you might assume the family’s collective love of song stemmed from its roots in Italy and Ireland, lands where the privilege of song is not restricted to the few and where many of the peasants, from whom our heroes were surely derived, imagine their whole existences through the medium of song. If you do not believe in Lamarckian biology then you'll just have to think of an explanation yourself.


Dawn Corrigan's fiction has appeared recently or is forthcoming at VerbSap, Pindeldyboz, Monkeybicycle, The Dream People, Rumble, 55 Words, Defenestration, and 3711 Atlantic. Her nonfiction appears regularly at The Nervous Breakdown.