Last night, we had our annual family outing to a performance of Handel's Messiah. It was a singalong, so as we approached our seats with scores in hand, there was a moment of discussion about the best seating arrangements. I asked Fa-So-La-La and The Shieldmaiden what part they planned to sing.
"I'm singing soprano," said Fa.
"I'm singing soprano, too," said The Shieldmaiden.
And then young Spuddy Buddy pronounced, with a great mix of authority and nonchalance, "I'm singing hilton."
"Excuse me?" we all enquired in unison.
"Hilton. I'm singing hilton."
"Umm, sweetie, do you mean tenor?" asked moi.
"No, Mamadah. You know I don't sing tenor. Now sometimes I do sing bass. But most of the time I sing hilton."
"And what is hilton?" Dying to know.
"Well, I don't sing what the rest of you sing. I sing what I sing. It's a part and so it needed a name, so I named it hilton."
So there you have it. My friend Gayla is so relieved. Says she's been singing her own part for years but didn't know what to call it. Now she knows. She sings hilton. She says it would seem most folks at her church sing hilton, also.
Mark your music, my friends, for this is a watershed moment in the history of singing: SATB henceforth and anon shall be referred to as SAHTB.