I learned something about myself this week, people: I am terrible at karaoke. I know! It came as a surprise to me, too, but it turns out I only know the words to about seven songs, and anything by Cyndi Lauper is too high for my vocal range.
Granted, I have no vocal range, nor can I really sing. Usually, what I lack in talent I make up for in showmanship and pure enthusiasm. But this past Friday, while launching the new “Passing Period Karaoke” initiative in the social studies hallway where I teach (we are in a quasi-competition with science over which department is more fun), I learned even rock-solid rhythm and superb snapping can’t save someone from the embarrassment of belting out the wrong line or mumbling through a forgotten chorus as a throng of confused but highly entertained teens captures every moment on social media.
Luckily, I wasn’t alone. Several other teachers, including younger, hipper ones, struggled to accurately sing along to Billy Joel, Neil Diamond and the Village People. We did a pretty good job with “My Girl” and the national anthem, but other than those we couldn’t find an appropriate song that everyone knew. Of course, later, as I rehashed my missed opportunity for internet fame, I came up with several that I would have nailed, including but not limited to, “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” and probably Poison’s “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn.” Also, anything from “The Sound of Music,” though Broadway doesn’t generally play well with the under-20 crowds.
Not to be deterred, I shall try again next week!