Thursday, August 18, 2005

Karaoke, Carols and Karma


Overture, curtains, lights,
This is it, the night of nights,
No more rehearsing and nursing a part,
We know every part by heart.

Overture, curtains, lights,
This is it, you'll hit the heights
And oh what heights we'll hit
On with the show, this is it.

Tonight what heights we'll hit
On with the show, this it.



Thanks to John, I was inspired for something to write about tonight. I think there is a little bit of an entertainer in all of us. Of course, what is entertaining to the performer is not necessarily so to the audience. There are many forms of entertainment, and certainly blogging can be entertaining. At least when I choose to, or attempt to entertain with my blogging, only cyber tomatoes can be thrown at me.

The above cartoon, as it turns out apropos, was found while I was on an I.P. cruise on the net. Image Pilfering, as I refer to it, not only provides me with an excuse to surf, but also enhances my postings by offsetting the less than stellar verbiage. Thus, if my posts fail to evoke amusement on the part of the readers, I can always blame the GIF (Get Images Free) and the site where I lifted them.

When his children were younger John used to sing his "oldies" songs to them when they went on trips. Of course they didn't know the songs, and the fact that they enjoyed his renditions is as much a tribute to his operatic voice as to the staying power of the songs themselves. The music of the 60s was noted for a plethora of one-hit-wonders. As it turns out, I too used to sing my favorite tunes to my daughter.

As for myself, I cannot carry a tune in a lead bucket. People like me are said to be tone deaf or having a tin ear. I had a Rin Tin Tin ear, because when I attempted to sing, the dogs in the neighborhood would soon provide accompaniment. "Ladies and Gentlemen, live and on stage from the backwoods and boondocks of West Virginia, here is Mike with his backup singers The Beagles." Thank you, thank you very much. Don't applaud - throw money!

The owner of a bar in the Financial District of downtown Boston, once said of me after I had taken the stage on Karaoke Night, "I'd want that man in a fox hole with me." George got as many laughs as I had. He later bought me a drink and said to me that he admired my courage for getting up there. My rousing version of Tommy James and the Shondelles' I Think We're Alone Now did not exactly merit a recording contract. My next sojourn on the stage was better received. Apparently Tommy Roe's Sweet Pea fit my voice range better, because a girl across the bar sent me a drink. She later even put in a request for me to sing Peggy Sue, the Buddy Holly hit.

The following Wednesday night when I dropped into the place, George greeted me with a pair of replica WWII infantry helmets. For about ten minutes the two of sat at the bar looking like G.I. Joes on furlough. To my surprise, both of us still wearing the helmets, he coaxed me into joining him on the stage for a duet of Barry Saddler's The Green Beret. I was hooked from that point on, I became a Karaoke junkie. Eventually and after much practice in the shower, I was able to offer a decent rendition of Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye by The Casinos. It seems funny to me now that that song became my "signature" song on the Karaoke circuit.

All of that is behind me now, and I no longer drink and haven't in ten years. One thing I did vow was that I would never listen to a tape of myself. For some reason, not unbeknownst to me, I did not want to hear me sing a single note, let alone an entire song. To this day, I never did.

Should the day ever come, that for whatever reason, you should be in need of someone to be in a fox hole with you, I'm your man. I'm there.

No.293

1 comment:

schnoodlepooh said...

Pretty funny. I have NEVER sung Karaoke and never will. But I sing songs to my dogs all the time. Usually I make up the words to tunes that I know, or sometimes I make up the tunes also. They don't care. They love it.