A musical muse

for The Sunday Muse which is hosted by Carrie





He was no Elton John, nevertheless, Fred Flatley had entertained people for many a year by sitting at a piano and singing, despite being somewhat less than note-perfect! 

Tickling the ivories had taken its toll on his fingers, even his right ankle had begun to complain after all that time pressing the loud pedal.  His voice, which was not the best even in his heyday, was beginning to croak rather than croon.

It was to be his swan song, his final performance. He’d booked himself a slot at a local pub known for its music nights, The Crotchet and Quaver.  When he arrived he was delighted to see the turnout. The place was full! 

If truth be known the attendees had turned up to see the other acts, local band The Flutterbyes and singer Rustie Mugg. 

When it was Fred’s turn to perform he took to the stage, plonked himself down on the stool and spread his songsheets out on the piano. After a quick ‘one-two, one-two, testing’, he was off! He seemed totally unaware that his audience had largely turned its back on the stage and gathered around the bar.

His ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’  was a bit wobbly and his version of Another Brick in the Wall was missing one or two, but unperturbed he carried on.

As his performance came to an end, an enormous cheer went up; there was clapping and screaming! He was so proud… until he realised the enthusiastic tumult was due to the unexpected arrival of superstar Snake Hips Sean.

After gathering up his bits and pieces he worked his way, unnoticed through the crowd.  Fred had left the building.

On his way home, he passed an old folks’ home. He heard the sound of a piano and people singing, a little out of tune but in a happy way. It gave him an idea.

‘Perhaps my career’s not over after all’ he thought.


Here are the pictures I chose to help me with my tale!


29 thoughts on “A musical muse

  1. Suzette Benjamin Apr 23, 2023 / 14:16

    “The Crotchet and Quaver” and “Snake Hips Sean (what an exhausting image!!,)…LOL.
    Yet, I feel that perhaps Fred is on the comeback trail touring retirement homes…eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christine Goodnough Apr 23, 2023 / 14:28

    You have such a way with names, Keith! The Flutterbyes sound much more appealing than, say, Iron Butterfly. And good for Fred. The seniors will welcome him. Never say die!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Truedessa Apr 23, 2023 / 15:50

    You have a way of bringing characters to live and I could vividly see the scene. Yes, perhaps he just needs to try a different venue. Long live the songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Syl Apr 23, 2023 / 16:25

    Great way of drawing people into a scene.
    Especially with names like that!

    Enjoy your week!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sadje Apr 23, 2023 / 17:52

    Perhaps he will still sing to entertain people. Nice story and great ending Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Helen Apr 23, 2023 / 17:59

    I love this tale of Fred and his career … i volunteer in a retirement memory care unit and think i have listened to “your Fred” a time or ten! CHEERS, here’s to once more around the block!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. poetisatinta Apr 23, 2023 / 18:46

    Haha 😄Keith, love old Fred Flately and his piano playing – and very clever too incorporating the photo prompts

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim Apr 23, 2023 / 21:09

    Oh yes, us old folk like visiting musicians. Better yet the can sing.
    “even his right ankle had begun to complain . . .” reminds me of my
    right foot big toe, I broke it a year ago and it didn’t heal, just calcified.
    Last night I jammed and shooting pain woke me up from sleep at
    2:30 PM. Bummer, I use the gas pedal with that foot, always have
    braked with the left.


    • Keith's Ramblings Apr 24, 2023 / 10:46

      Thanks for dropping by, Jim. Oh dear, looks like you’ll be a one-foot driver from now on.


  9. pensitivity101 Apr 23, 2023 / 22:23

    Loved this Keith. Reminds me of the Wednesday evenings Grandad, Dad and I would go up to the working men’s club. I was 16. I’d sit at the old piano and play the favourites while the old boys sang along. Happy days.

    Liked by 1 person

      • pensitivity101 Apr 24, 2023 / 18:49

        The old boys loved it, and I enjoyed playing for them as Gramps didn’t have a piano so it was a way of keeping in with my music.


  10. Patricia Apr 24, 2023 / 03:54

    Good for Fred. We need more more folks like him to show young people that old doesn’t mean done for and dead.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The Sicilian Storyteller Apr 24, 2023 / 12:00

    Excellent! I love a jazzy piano! Great little story and the names you chose were terrific. Wonder job, Keith!


  12. Carrie V. H. Apr 24, 2023 / 20:31

    Move over snake hips Sean! Fred is taking center stage at the old folks home! Such a wonderfully told story my friend! (Sorry for my late arrival to your page my friend!)


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