The old boy sat there, with a wistful look on his face.
“I have to tell you why I sang in that funeral in the fall. I hadn’t seen —– in years. Probably in decades.
But when we were at UCC together, we were two very different boys. He was the big athlete. He played first team football, hockey, and cricket. Me, well, I wasn’t a star at anything. I was a bit of misfit in some ways. As a matter of fact, the only thing I could do well was sing…
But —– made it better for me. Even though he was the captain of the football team, he was very good to me. It wasn’t like we were best friends, of course, but he quietly looked out for me. And the others, they seemed to take their cues from him, so I was treated as if I belonged. And that made a huge difference to a boy whose claim to fame was an arts tie. Remember — this was the 60’s.
I never had the chance to actually say thank you to him in any meaningful way, but when I heard he had died, I called up to ask if I could sing at his funeral. I had never done anything like that, and somehow it felt right, because as I said, the only thing I could do was sing.”