There was a man playing the piano in Cornmarket this afternoon. Great showy arpeggios. Beside him a tin to put your money. The piano, an upright with the front panel removed so that you could see the hammers hitting the strings, was on a sort of platform on wheels so he could move it from street to street.
As usually happens, the music stopped as I arrived. “What are you going to play next?” I asked.
“What would you like?”
“How about Someone to Watch over Me?” It’s favourite of mine which I play on the sax.
There was a notice stuck on the back of the piano which read: “ God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16”
The man – 50-ish, short back and sides, white sweater,pleasant smile – started to play. He had large hands and quite chunky fingers but positioned them first on the black keys so that they slid smoothly onto the white ones with never a wrong note.
“You liked that?” the pianist asked. Of course. It’s a lovely melody and Ella Fitzgerald sings it with all the yearning Gershwin had intended.
I put my coins in the tin and walked away to That’s Why the Lady is a Tramp.
Nothing personal, I hoped.
.Here’s Ella : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JANcQf3fjuA