To Wussy or Not to Wussy

I am obsessed with the upcoming Moms Night Out with my chapter of the Moms' Club. We are going to a Tex-Mex place for dinner, and afterwards, we’re heading to a bar where a band does live karaoke.

First thing: I sing whenever a song plays. All the time. Constantly. Every day. Dishes, driving, washing the darn toilet--I always have music on. In the grocery store the other day, I accidentally caught the stockboy’s attention while singing "6th Avenue Heartache" by the Wallflowers.

Second thing: I have yet to sing a note in public. Ever. Never ever. I am terrified of singing on my own and have been since I was a kid. I think I'm decent, but the idea of taking the lead without a vocal track to support me is utterly, nerve-wrackingly terrifying. And "American Idol" is not helping at all because a lot of those people think they can sing, too. They can't.

So...I am curious as to my ultimate decision come Tuesday night. I will feel like a complete and utter weenie if I go to the bar but do not sing, but I will be poop-tastically scared if do.

And then there's the tricky little part about song selection. The group lists about a thousand songs to chose from, including a few personal favorites. Otherwise, I wouldn't even consider doing this. Ballads are more poised and me-like, but if you hit a wrong note in a ballad, everyone hears. Faster songs, I think, require a certain familiarity with the stage--a performance arrogance--that I obviously and certainly do not possess. (If I did, I would pick "Message in a Bottle" by The Police and shock the shit out of my Moms' Club friends.)

After perusing the list, not knowing if they have lyrics to read from or not, I decided to go with songs I absolutely and truly know inside-out. Then, after singing half-quietly in the bedroom last night, I narrowed my choices to two.

The first is "The Best of My Love" by The Eagles--which is, second to "Tequila Sunrise," my favorite of their songs. It is slower, longer, melodically steady, and harkens to my early 90s guitar-playing country roots. Vocally, it contains only two kinda tricky parts, but nothing terrible.

The second is "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS--which is, flat out, one of my favorite songs ever. This track is also slow, but it is more soulful and shorter. As a bonus, it contains a wailing part where Michael Hutchence just lets loose. Color me intimidated. I can do it just fine in my bedroom, but on stage, I would have to become all Zen-like and just belt it. Lest I sound like pants.

When I get a few minutes by myself this weekend, I'm going to try both a cappella and see what I prefer. Then, when I actually arrive at this place on Tuesday night, I'll know what kind of wussy I turn into. People sing with bands and karaoke all the time. Just not me.


Jess said...


carrie_lofty said...

You will notice from the list that "Wannabe" is, thankfully, not an option. Seems these guys stopped learning songs about 1985, with the exception of a few novelty tracks and, oddly, "You Oughta Know" by Alanis. Which would also rock... coz of the cussing.

And the other reason I'm considering this is because a) there will be NO video, b) no one I know really well or will see beyond our stint in Madison is going to be there. I like my Moms' Club friends, but if I seriously blow it, I won't have to live with their reminders forever......

lindseysoda said...

OK, I'm going to recommend you avoid "Never Tear Us Apart." It's one of those songs where you might accidentally start yelling, a la Phil Stacey tonight on American Idol. What about a U2 song? There are not many to choose from on the list, but maybe you'll find a good one that you like. It also says they'll do any Beatles song you want. Lots of options there. Try "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," or "Something," maybe "I've Just Seen a Face," or "Baby It's You." Yeah, I think if it were me I would sing "Baby It's You." GOOD LUCK and don't be scared! You can do it!

Keven said...

"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" would have been good. Personally if forced I would have had to do Pretty in Pink, How Soon is Now, All The Young Dudes, Orange Crush, or Sour Times.

Damn Sour Times would be fun. Nobody loves meeeee, it's true, not. like. you. do.....

jmc said...

Congratulations on breaking the psychological block about singing in public!

And on the twin thing: my twin & I *hated* getting attention from strangers far more than our mom ever did. To the point that by the time we were four years old, we refused to dress alike ever and it took major threats and cajoling to get us to wear even similar outfits but different colors/patterns for family photos.