There were people lining a sort of a street about twenty persons deep, and I was one of them.
The atmosphere was fantastic – a bit like London’s Notting Hill or New Orleans’ Mardi Gras
The stage was the gap – the roadway, if you like – between the crowds that faced one another.
Performers were taking it in turns to do their thing over a stretch of about fifty metres.
A tall, gangly, thin old black man, who vaguely reminded me of a bald Chuck Berry stopped in
front of me as he was doing his act, and said, ” It’s your turn! The people want to hear your
“I don’t have a song”, I replied, to which, he took me by the wrist, and said, “Everyone has a
He led me by the wrist up the gap between the two crowds dancing – walking as people do in
joyous processions frequently glancing at me and all the while smiling at me and the crowds.
I was very shy, not embarrassed, but I didn’t know what to do
I began to hum, and then sing words that I thought only he could hear. He encouraged me, and
the onlookers seemed to do so too.
Slowly, I started to sing slightly louder. The spectators could not have heard me, but they smiled
and moved rhythmically, swaying to and fro.
As I gained confidence, my song grew louder. I stumbled over some of the words and phrases,
but it didn’t seem to matter… people were on my side, and I loved them, and my old guide, for it.
I woke up before I finished singing my song, but I still had the words running around my brain.
It was Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.