"Someday's gonna be a busy day..."

Sunday, 10 February 2008

I - can - sing - most - an -y -thing!

That is probably the most untrue statement ever made, because a) my voice is not conducive to singing and b) I screw up pretty much every song lyric I've attempted to warble. With a few notable exceptions - which I'm going to list here - there are just so many ways I like to massacre lyrics. Doesn't matter what genre of music. If I can sing it, I can kill it.

I like singing - in fact, it's one of those things that when someone randomly asks, "If you could have any talent, what would it be?" I'd yell, 'SINGING! SINGING! FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, GRANT ME THE GIFT OF SONG!' If I could magically become something I'm not, I'd become a singer way before I'd become a movie star, breakdancing/krumping phenom, lion tamer, snowboard champ or even hottest chick in Bruce County (does that qualify as a talent?). I've pictured myself on stage belting out some heartsick tune a jillion times, a feeling I've only approximated during my stagette karaoke episode at the Silver Spur, which is best not spoken of.

My voice has been compared to Cher with a cold. Which isn't really a compliment,is it? I've heard myself, and there is a slight nasal-infectiony quality to my singing that is not endearing, especially when sung at high volumes.

To make matters worse, I can't even sing the right words when I do sing. You'd think that after years of studying literature and memorizing lines from sonnets and plays and all that other crap that I could at least remember simple songs like "1-2-3-4" by Feist or at least an anthem or two by Bruce Springsteen. But no - I constantly scramble words up, or blank out mid-song and have to resort to humming tunelessly, or switching the radio dial to mask my shame. If I've got D's car and I'm listening to a CD, I've begun rewinding a pesky song at least 6 or 7 times to TRY and figure out the lyrics and sing them just right. Not only is this annoying to other passengers, I still can't get the lyrics right.

D loves to sing. And he's got a decent voice. AND he knows ALL the lyrics to every song he sings. Which is both delightful and annoying. He always tries to coax me to sing, especially on long car trips. "Sing me a song, Kimmy," he'll say. I've whispered the few lines I know from "Wonderwall" and once I even belted out the first verse of a slightly dirty Chris Whitley tune, but mostly I clam up and let D do the singing.

So imagine my delight last week, as I was making the slow 2 hour drive from Waterloo to Kink, when a song came on the radio and I ACTUALLY KNEW THE WORDS. All of them. Okay, the song was Gino Vanelli's "Black Cars," but I don't feel bad about that. What's important is that I KNEW THE WORDS. It got me to thinking, what other songs might I actually know, Christmas carols and Happy Birthday aside? Here's the brief list I came up with:
-> Pink Floyd, The Wall. - I can sing large snippets from almost every song on this album. I spent a lot of time listening to The Wall on my sony walkman in the '80s...usually while walking around New Hamburg feeling so very, very dark inside.
-> Black Crowes, Hard to Handle . Don't ask. Just...don't.
-> Timbaland/One republic, It's too late to apologize, - Only because I've listened to it obsessively for the last 30 days.
-> Always on the Run, Sympathique -A quirky song about only wanting to smoke. I'm especially proud of being able to sing at least a part of it, considering it's in French!)
-> Billy Joel, Uptown girl - Again, no comment.
-> Eagles - pretty much ANY song, although Take it Easy is a fave. This is directly related to having listened to Eagles Greatest Hits repeatedly one summer while trapped by rainstorms in my friend's cottage at turkey point.

And that's it. That's all I know. No doubt my overall tragic inability to remember lyrics is karmic punishment for laughing hysterically at my sister in the 1980's for thinking the words to Eddie Grant's "Electric Avenue" ran: "We're gonna rock down to/electric avenue/and then we'll take your tires."

What do YOU sing in the shower/car/changeroom?


tanzi said...

Ha! I love this post! Ah, Hard to Handle...good times!

tanzi said...

Um, p.s. that was cousin Susan Michnay, NOT ME who thought that it was "then we take your tires"!!!

Kimber said...

Don't lie, it was YOU!