Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sing-along with Rod-Boy

Never let it be said that this little newspaper is a slave to tradition. Nay, far from it.

This little-ol’ community newspaper pushes the envelope on a regular basis. This little newspaper – specifically, yours truly, in this weekly column, the very one you are reading right now – is perfectly willing to take you places you have never been…. to seek out new worlds and new journalistic adventures… to boldly go where no man has gone before!

So buckle up. This week, I’m taking you on one of those newspaper joyrides, as we embark on the history-making, World’s-First-Ever, newspaper Sing-along!

Most of my closest of my friends recognize that I’m a big fan of sing-alongs. I’m inclined, on a moments notice, to whip out my trusty guitar any place, any time, and commence to crooning. Sometimes a modest crowd gathers around and joins in. Other times, they scatter like flies, and I’m left with my sing-along of one: my sing-along becomes a sing-alone!

So this is a big moment: We’re having a sing-along right here in the newspaper. First time ever. A history-making event. I think it can be done.

If this were radio, or television, or even the Internet, it wouldn’t be quite so ground-breaking of an undertaking. Heck, Mitch Miller did it every week when I was a kid. But not inside the pages of a newspaper.

Okay, here’s how it’s gonna work…

I’ll name the song, and you’ll be able to hear the tune in you mind. (We’re going to use very familiar songs that I’m sure you’ll recognize. From many years of actual, live and in person sing-alongs, I happen to know which songs most people know the best.) All you’ve got to do participate is nod your head back and forth in rhythm as you’re reading the lyrics to the song. (Finger wagging or foot tapping will also work.)

Or, if you want, you can move your lips. If you’re ready for the next step, go ahead and hum. And if you’re really out there, just let yourself go and belt it out… LOUD, so the other people in the office, waiting room, or restaurant can join in!

Now, put on your Happy Faces, and Sing-Along With Rod-Boy!

We’ll start with an old favorite that I’m sure you know, because everybody does:

“You Are My Sunshine!”
key of E for you folks with perfect pitch

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy, when skies are gray.
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don’t take my sunshine away!”

Okay, we’ll stop with just one chorus. We don’t want to create any disruptions in the workplace. How did you do? Did anyone join in with you?

Okay, next, let’s move to a song actually from the most recent half-century. A little ditty by the Beatles:

“I Saw Her Standing There”
key of E

“Well, she was just 17, if you know what I mean,
And the way she looked was way beyond compare,
Well, how could I dance with another….. WOOOOOO…
When I saw her standing there?”

Tell the truth, did you shake your head when you got to the “WOOOOO”?

From the hit movie “Shrek”…. (and a few decades before that, from the “Monkees”)…. here’s a little ditty called:

“I’m a Believer”
key of E
(This time we’ll try the verse and the chorus!)

“I thought love was only true in fairy tales,
And for someone else but not for me,
Love was out to get me, that’s the way it seemed,
Disappointment haunted all my dreams…
Then I saw her face…. Now I’m a believer,
Not a trace…. Of doubt in my mind,
I’m in love… oooooooooh, I’m a believer,
And I couldn’t leave her if I tried.

If that one didn’t get your toes tapping, I’m pretty sure this next one will. It’s from the 1960’s, and if you were there, you’ll definitely remember it:

“The Ballad of Jed Clampett”
(also known as the theme to the “Beverly Hillbillies”)
key of E

“Come and listen to my story ‘bout a man named Jed,
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
And then one day he was shooting at some food,
When up through the ground came a bubbling crude…
(Oil, that is. Black Gold. Texas Tea.)

Now tell the truth. Even if you didn’t participate in any of the other songs, you had to at least say that last line to yourself, didn’t you? (Oil, that is…)

I could go on all day long with songs you would chime in to, but you really need to be getting back to work, instead of spending your whole day nodding, tapping, and moving your lips. But it was fun, wasn’t it? Maybe some other time we’ll sing a few more.

By the way, if you simply could not move yourself to tune in to a newspaper sing-along, you can perhaps visit my Electronic Internet blog ( where, with luck, you can actually sing along with me. I’ll be the one with the guitar, playing in the key of E… which, you may have noticed, is the only key I know!

And I you don’t sing-along, it will be a sing-alone.

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