Tag Archives: Ellen Degeneres

Sing-Along With All the Right (Oh My) Words

28 Jan

I recently learned that one of my close friends knows all the words to R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.” This, as you must know, is an impressive accomplishment—right up there with knowing how to fold fitted sheets and do open heart surgery. This is a pal I’ve known for about eight years and naturally I called her a liar. “Prove it!” I dared. And she did.

My usual reaction to an impressive feat looks something like this. Only cuter, and less naked.

Sure, she missed a few lines because she was laughing at my awestruck facial expression.  But somehow, miraculously, she did know the lyrics. When I sing along to this particular song, my accompaniment ends up being more noise than wordsI’m totally with it at the chorus. I feel fine as I sing that it’s the end of the world as we know it. But the rest of the song? I catch phrases or words. Eye of a hurricane. Book burning. Leonard Bernstein.

I’m pretty proud of the fact that I know all the words to Salt n Peppa’s song Shoop. Random, I know, but it’s something Ellen Degeneres and I have in common. But my friend’s total familiarity with “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” takes the cake. I’m shocked that she can decipher the words, and I’m flabbergasted that she can keep up with the high-speed song. Ever since I discovered her secret skill (maybe I’ll suggest that she put it on her resume), I’ve been thinking about songs that are hard to sing along to. If I met someone who knew all the lyrics to these songs, and could sing them like the real thing, I would be mightily amazed. I think I would even be speechless, which, as the voice of Oh My Words, is the highest compliment I could give you.

*Click the song titles to be taken to a youtube video with appropriate lyrics. I challenge you to sing along!

Dog Days are Over—Florence + the Machine

The radio hasn’t quite ruined this song, and I still attempt to sing along whenever it’s played. Lead singer Florence Welch’s voice is beautiful and mesmerizing but there’s something almost yodel-like about it, no? I’ll admit that during research for this post, I looked up the lyrics and realized that the part of the song that I always thought was just a demonstration of pretty vocal range is actually words. (What do you sing after “the dog days are done?”) That means that I’ve been singing something akin to  Heh oh hee oh heh oh ee la he cooo for no good reason.  

 Dynamo of Volition—Jason Mraz

First off, I love Jason Mraz so if you know the words to this song I’m going to assume that you too are a fan and then I will assume that we have the potential of being best friends or soul mates. I adore Mr. A-Z’s clever lyrics with their interesting rhymes and occasional sexual innuendo. This particular song has the trademark Mraz wit, and it’s fast. In theory, I know the words, but I am incapable of singing them as quickly as him. (There goes my rapping career…darn.)

 Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag—James Brown

I’m not sure why I consider this a difficult song to sing along with. Okay, James Brown’s soul sort of muddies the clarity of the words. But maybe the real reason is that it’s because it’s pretty much scientifically impossible not to dance along to “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” so who can spare the brain space and energy to sing too?  I’m not talking about the tapping-your foot-and-bobbing-your-head kind of dancing, but the get-down-and-boogie kind. If you can pay proper dance tribute to this song and sing the words properly you deserve praise, accolades, and a million hits on youtube. (Seriously, could you film yourself singing and dancing because that sounds like a blockbuster to me…..Are you uploading yet?)

One Week—Barenaked Ladies

This song is probably in the same category as “It’s the End of the World As We Know It.” By the time your brain processes the words they’re 12 stanzas ahead of you. I can sing certain parts, but put it all together and I tumble all over myself. In case you’re dying to know, and I’m sure you are, I think my favorite parts of this song that I can never sing along with are:

Gotta get in tune with Sailor Moon/Cause that cartoon/Has got the boom/Anime babes/That make me think the wrong thing.

AND

Like Harrison Ford/I’m getting frantic/Like Sting I’m Tantric/Like Snickers,/guaranteed to satisfy

You Can’t Stop the Beat—from the musical Hairspray

According to the movie trivia on imdb, the cast of the 2007 Hairspray movie called this song “You Can’t Stop to Breathe” because of the speedy singing it demanded. Apparently, Queen Latifah was one of the few who had no problems singing it because of her rapping experience. I found “You Can’t Stop the Beat” with accompanying lyrics on youtube and I’ll tell ya, even when I can read the lyrics as I attempt to sing it’s hard not to gasp for air partway through like a wigged-out fish.

And of course, here’s the song that inspired it all:

Happy singing!

Prop 8 Overturned

5 Aug

Love is in the air, everywhere I look around

Well today was one for the history books kiddos. Proposition 8 (that’s the one against gay marriage for those rock-dwelling, internet users out there) was struck down today by U.S District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker. Deemed illogical (Spock could have told you that) and discriminatory (Sulu could have told you that), the proposition was ultimately judged to be unconstitutional.

Hallelujah. As a friend of mine said: “That’s one small step for mankind, one giant leap for man-on-mankind.” (Okay, the political correctness of that is debatable….and okay I think Jack said it on Will and Grace first. Whatever.)

It’s not a smooth path that lies ahead. I’m sure we can expect a lot of political temper tantrums and tangles. But in the meantime, let’s celebrate with some photos and videos that demonstrate the love, pride, and humor of this moment. Cheers!

Here Goes Something

1 Aug

No more excuses. I’ve been talking about starting a blog for months now but was comfortable citing various major life events and everyday happenings to justify the gigantic delay. Going all the way back to the spring, I was working on Comps, my college’s senior thesis requirements, and told myself  that I couldn’t possibly write a blog when I was busy communing with Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. When that was done, I of course deserved a break. Write a blog? When I just finished writing that big paper? Hmmmm. So tempting.

Later, there was G-day: Graduation. Blogging brought up the rear on my list of priorities. After, The NYU Summer Publishing Institute came and went–along with an arguably perfect opportunity to blog about a great experience. Throw in a family crisis and a dentist appointment, and you should have the gist of what I’ve come to think of as the Blog Evasion Evolution. Along the way, I’ve been reading other people’s blogs. (And it’s true that everyone has a blog. They’re not just for humans anymore, either.) The unfortunate result was that instead of being inspired, I was intimdated. Oh, not by the too-much-information blogs, or pitiful celebrity blogs, or dog blogs. It was the blogs by people like me–recent grads, aspiring writers, unimpressively unemployed–that did it.

But tonight I was talking to my friend Ali (who has heard the “I’m gonna start a blog” speech several times and thus deserves, at the very least, a shout-out) and for the first time there were no more cop-outs. Which is not to say that my life, at this moment, is stress-free and swimming with free time. But I can’t keep waiting for blog time. Normally, I religiously follow the wise words of Ellen Degeneres: “Procrastination is not the problem. It is the solution.” Amen, Ellen. But I’ve decided that it’s time to take the plunge, rip the bandaid off. A little cliche, yes, but metaphors that express pain and discomfort seem oddly appropriate.

So here I am, giving the damn blinking cursor the finger and trying not to automatically go to the backspace button after finishing a sentence. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing or where this is headed but aren’t those the best statements to make right before an adventure?