20 Oct


The art of singing to music, generally in a crowded room, and often out of tune.

In Japanese the word means ‘empty orchestra’. In western civilisation it normally means ‘had too many drinks, got false sense of confidence, cleared bar’. Everyone has done a little bit of karaoke at some point in their life; at their mums wedding, or at someone’s eighteenth, or even just in the pub on a Tuesday night when they went for ‘one’.

The advent of games such as ‘Rock Band’ and ‘Singstar’ have brought the idea of being too embarrassed to sing in public to a different audience; the shyer ones amongst us are now able to gather with a small posse of their nearest and dearest and belt out their favourites. Sing Alannah Miles in the shower as if you were at Wembley? No problem, you can now indulge in this in your front room, complete with microphone.

(I am aware I am slightly lobster. I had flown back in from Portugal for my friend’s birthday (la-di-dah!) and burnt on the last day!)

The girls and I went through a stage of absolutely loving both Singstar and Rock Band. I personally can’t keep up, and am only allowed to do the guitar bit on ‘Eye of The Tiger’ as it’s fairly simple. Anything else is my round to sit out due to a severe lapse in concentration, and when my turn to do the drums comes I am duly banned due to a lack of being able to drum my hands and tap my feet at the same time. It basically means that the whole team loses because one person can’t do it (Not naming any names, team effort, big foam finger being pointed in my general direction).

At least with Rock Band there is a certain skill involved. I cannot sing, but on the same note I’m not totally tone deaf. When I warble in the shower people don’t clap, but they also don’t call the vets out as a matter of emergency, thinking there are feral cats in the garden. Singstar is however, flawed. It matters not whether you are singing in tune, but gauges the pitch of your voice. So if you are a rugby boy singing ABBA perfectly in key you are likely to time out due to the depth of your voice and if you are trying to hit the right notes of Barry White in a falsetto then frankly you are screwed.

My friend summed it up perfectly when her and another friend were doing the duet on Super Trouper. Friend one was in charge of the lyrics and the friend two the ‘oopahpah’ in the background. Turns out that’s quite a long one, and friend two soon realised that as long as she sung in the right pitch, she could sing whatever she liked. So it turned into her singing “super, troup-ah-pah, i hate this song –pah-pah, oh will it end pah – pah, feeling like a number ONE!”


In London they have this fantastic idea where you can rent a booth to sing karaoke. You are locked in with your nearest and dearest and have a waitress bring your drinks, so you never have to open the door and risk being seen by actual civilised people while you are belting out Chesney Hawkes with the rest of them. And everyone has their favourite karaoke song, even if they aren’t brave enough to sing it anywhere else than in the comfort of your own home. One of my friends proudly warbled Lionel Ritchie “All Night Long” and informed me once that he knew the entire African bit in the middle. He wasn’t joking, I realised after her serenaded me with it.


Mine is Cher, Just Like Jesse James. And I don’t care who knows it!

What’s your karaoke track? And could your friends tell me what it is, or is it a guilty pleasure?

10 Responses to “Karae-OK?”

  1. susielindau October 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    I recommend a vinegar bath for the sunburn and surrounding yourself with close friends for the Karaoke! Hahaha!

  2. freespiritjourney October 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Enjoyed reading.

  3. rommel October 21, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    I love playing the songs in Rock Band. I used to religiously play it until I broke the drum set :(. My couple friends used to have the full band -drums, 2 guitars and the microphone. I loved singing “Creep”. hehe 😀

  4. prenin October 21, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    I only went on Kareoki once when rather drunk – Dutch courage – and sang ‘Wild Thing’ which had everyone laughing because I sang it to Tonie’s guide dog who seemed to thoroughly enjoy the exercise, but then I’ve ALWAYS been good with animals and children! LoL!!!

    Love and hugs!


  5. kathryningrid October 21, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    I recommend a vinegar bath to chase away your close friends in case of karaoke! That MIGHT be my own utter lack of talent speaking, however.

  6. sparklebumps October 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    I used to sing “Just Like Jesse James” all the time!

  7. planetross October 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    I sing “Stand By Me” usually at karaoke.
    … and sometimes Creedance Clearwater songs, but that’s it. … except “Land Down Under” by Men at Work.
    … but that’s it really.

  8. Team Oyeniyi October 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    ME TOO ME TOO for Jesse James! Love that track!

  9. Garrett McKenna October 24, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Wow! Cher’s “Just like Jesse James” is not only an AMAZING song, but its also a dear friend of mine’s top choice for karaoke. (We always says that we are going to go to Las Vegas some time and do Karaoke…)

    Mine is a toss up between The Bangles “Walk Like and Egyptian” and Salt n’ Peppa “Shoop”!


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