Why do people love karaoke, you may ask? Most of us don’t think of ourselves as singers who are accomplished, or rehearsed, or even versed in the verses of the song. In fact, most folks say, “Nah, I don’t want to get up there and sing out of tune, or make a fool of myself.”
And yet they do. They get up, they sing their song, a song of their own choice. And the audience LOVES it. How about that?
Maybe it’s the honesty, the personal truth somehow being revealed in the performance of a song the singer has known all their life and sung as a kid in front of a mirror with a pencil as a microphone. Maybe it’s that the person knows this song is one to be shared with others — and who best to share it with than your fellow UUs?
Maybe it’s just plain fun.
On Friday evening, June 16th, UUSM Choir Karaoke Night was scheduled to go from 7 to 9 p.m., but played almost into the wee hours, ending well after 11 p.m. as our choir director, section leaders, choir members, and quite a few congregants found their way to the stage and sang their songs.
We heard our choir sing “Dancing Queen,” then tenor Kion sang “Something’s Coming.” But then folks started singing their own songs. I knew my fellow UUs, but I didn’t know them quite as well as I do now, now that I’ve heard them via karaoke.
Natalie sang “Don’t Fence Me In,” then Leonard channeled Bon Jovi with “Dead or Alive.”
I think everyone of us connects with a pop song in their own way, for their own reason. Siobhan sings “Something to talk about,” Karen brings in The Chicks, and Greg recalls a distant “Desperado” past. I loved hearing them sing a slice of themselves, their lives.
Hey, ladies! “Ladies who Lunch”? You all are just too cool!
And hello, Saunder, thanks for bringing us together. It wouldn’t have happened without you.
Then hello Amy, whose “Boots are Made for Walking.” Think about it, folks. A person gets ONE chance to sing ONE song in front of a room of friends or strangers. And they pick THIS song, not that one or the other one. THIS one.
Sometimes you’re not sure you want to sing the song, but you want it to be sung. Well, you’re in luck, because you can ask someone else to sing it. That’s what Norm did, when he had baritone David Erik Peterson do “Ring of Fire,” and Roberta asked Chloe to sing “Imagine.” Then Janet asked Jyvonne and Saunder to sing “Born This Way,” because NOBODY could sing that song with such heart to such a welcoming audience as was had that Friday night.
Oh! And then there was the UUSM Kazoo Choir doing a kazoo version of “Super Mario Brothers” themes.
I shouldn’t psychoanalyze, but I do think that most of us really WANT to say something meaningful, but sometimes we frame it as a metaphor for a part of us that others might not see until they look or listen closely. Lois sings “Dream a Little Dream,” and Siobhan talks about “Trouble” from Elvis, while Linda wants to tell someone, “You’re So Vain.” And then Audrey finds Amy and Lars to accompany her on “Summertime.”
Out of the blue, Ryan Humphrey, whom we are used to seeing sitting quietly at the piano, was asked to sing, got bid up to $100 in short order by Kikanza, and then delivered a memorably animated and powerful rendition of “Be Prepared,” in which he inhabited Scar, the evil uncle in Lion King, with Amy assisting.
In the end, a good time was had by all. Even the bartenders, David and Karl, a bit tipsy from taking their job to heart, ended the event with “Sweet Caroline,” on which the entire room joined in happily.
So connections were reaffirmed, and new connections were made.
Cassie, thanks for the photos!
– Karl Lisovsky
Dining for Dollars