Sayonara, Karaoke, Or: The Songs That Got Away

You know I love karaoke, but unfortunately, it's no longer a happening thing.
July 15, 2013
On an international level, in The Buggles' opinion, video killed the radio star. On an American level, in my opinion, the video star was killed by the combined forces of "The Monkees", "The Young Ones", "Remote Control", "The Big Picture", "The Half-Hour Comedy Hour", "House Of Style", "The Real World", "Road Rules" and "Beavis And Butt-Head". Recently, on a local level, another act of entertainment-related death occurred.

If you look back to 2009, you'll see that I wrote an article called "Karaoke Nights":

In that article, I wrote about the songs I sang, the fun I had singing them, and the many different things that happened there. 4 years later, there was a sparsely attended session in January. The woman who runs karaoke said it was going on a Winter hiatus and would come back in the Spring with the warmer weather. Spring and warmer weather came, but karaoke didn't. I spoke to both the woman who does karaoke and the woman who owns the bar, and they said they would do a few sessions a year. Finally, the Spring turned to Summer, but as a regular thing, karaoke entered into an eternal Winter. I was told by both women that there would be the occasional reunion, but as a regular thing, it wouldn't be around anymore. It just died quietly...No fanfare, no announcements, no final rager. It just faded into the ether.

I'm in mourning...It may seem like an odd thing to mourn, considering it's an event and not a person, and there will be the reunion evenings. The thing is, I'm 30 years old now, and unfortunately, there's not much for people in their 30s to do in my town. If you're into drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages every night, there are lots of places to do that. If you're not a drinker, though, than things are boring as all get-out.

I mourn because I was able to grow as a person there...I mourn because I had quite the following as a singer...I mourn because there are so many songs that I wanted to sing, and now I won't have the chance to perform them. I'm predicting that I won't be able to do this at the reunion evenings, since those will be more about the greatest hits of the singers who were regular.

Most of the songs I wanted to sing were 80s songs, but there were a few songs from before and after my favorite pop-culture decade that I'll never have the chance to perform. I'd like to discuss them of them in this article.

My first choice is an unusual one. It comes from the movie "Casablanca", as sang by Dooley Wilson, who played Sam.

That song is, of course, the legendary "As Time Goes By".

They did have Jimmy Durante's version of the song, but not Wilson's version of it. Even though Wilson didn't actually play the piano, he still bought a great vocal to the song. When I think of this song, I think of not only how great "Casablanca" was, but also of how love can override hate. It was because Rick (Humphrey Bogart) loved Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) that he let her go...It was the French expatriates' love of their homeland that led them to drown out a Nazi song with "La Marseialles"...It is love that's bought together many of the people I performed for at karaoke. I would like to have performed this...I would've invited all the couples onto the floor for a slow dance.

Of course, for all the great love songs out there, you also have great break-up songs as well. One of my favorites that I never got to perform was by The Gap Band.

While I did perform "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" and "Early In The Morning", I was never able to perform "Burn Rubber". I would really have loved to perform that song, but unfortunately, the woman who ran karaoke could never find the track for it.

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I love a challenge when singing, and the way things were challenging with this song was with the vocals. Some of the lyrics went by really fast, like these, for example:

You told me to go up the block
And get you a strawberry pop
When I got back to the flat
You had burned rubber out the back

I went to the closet and saw no clothes
All I saw was hangers and poles
I went to the phone and called your mother
And told me you had burned rubber on me, Charlie
OH, no, no


You could probably read those in a slow way, but the vocals were delivered with high speed. I love songs like that, because they give you a chance to work out your vocal chords. I had planned to point the microphone at the audience for a call-and-response when it came to the repeating of the words "Burn Rubber". I don't know if they would've known what to say, but then again, I loved the call-and-response. One time I performed Huey Lewis And The News' "I Want A New Drug", and during the lengthy instrumentals, I did some of the call-and-response chants from the 2 Live Crew song "If You Believe In Having Sex". It worked:

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I must confess that in doing a call-and-response for that mash-up, I also threw in a line from the 1988 movie "The Accused". That line? "1-2-3-4, poke that pussy 'til it's sore". I only said it because it seemed like the kind of thing 2 Live Crew would've said.

From songs I did do, I go back to songs I never got the chance to perform. We recently reached the 4-year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, and while many of his hits were accounted for in the karaoke books, there was an album cut that was missing that I always wanted to perform.

The song I wanted to perform was "Burn This Disco Out".

Songs about dancing are fun to perform because they allow you to plus up your performance. Not only can you sing, but you can also throw in your own dance moves as well. Sometimes I would dance when performing, an extension of the days of my youth when my dancing could distract people from making fun of me. I just went with the music...I didn't have a particular style. I just improvised the whole thing.

Improvising is something that all the best front men and women are able to do. One of them was David Lee Roth, which leads me to my next song.

I had performed The Beach Boys' version of "California Girls" several years ago. It unfortunately didn't get a good response, mainly because I couldn't equal the Boys' vocals. At one point in that evening, the owner's fiancée decried my attempt to do something different, saying that he was the Simon Cowell of the bar. Of course, Cowell had a lot of experience in the music field, while the owner's fiancée never sang a note. I think I might have fared better with David Lee Roth's version of the song.

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I think I could've done better with Roth's version because his voice has always been a little deeper than Brian Wilson's. As I've said to some people, there's no way I could hit Wilson's notes unless I could manage to kick myself in the crotch. Roth, on the other hand, had a voice that I could go along with.

Although I do love fun songs, I also enjoy songs that are reflective of the past...Where we've gone and where we're going. One of those tracks I loved, but never got the chance to perform, was by Jimi Hendrix.

The song was a tune about the way time changes things, and it was called "Castles Made Of Sand".

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As I listen to the lyrics, it makes me think of how appropriate it is for the ends of things...The ends of friendships, the ends of relationships, the ends of activities you used to enjoy doing. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. I actually used those words when speaking to the owner of the bar. Unfortunately, it seems that pool has become more popular than singing. I'm not good at pool...The times I played it at my aunt's house came to a close when a cousin-in-law told me I was playing it wrong. That's why I like karaoke...If you do things your own way, it's okay.

This next song is sort of a cheat, because I did perform it before, but the version I wanted was not the one they had. It was a track by Elvis Presley.

The song was one of his later hits. It was a track called "C.C Rider". The version I wanted to perform had "Also Sprach Zarathustra" from "2001: A Space Odyssey" as the intro. Here's the version in question, so you can know what I'm talking about:

It's easy to make fun of this era of Elvis' career, but I like the song. I'm a particular fan of the horn work. I'd performed "Jailhouse Rock" before, but this is the one I enjoy the most. It's another break-up track, but one performed from the perspective of the person doing the breaking up and not the broken-hearted one. If I had been able to perform this version, than during the 2001 lead-up, I would've done a speaking bit asking if there were any single people in the audience.

Another 80s song I was hoping to perform, but never got a chance to, was performed by a singer named Pamala Stanley.

She started out as a singer-songwriter, but in the early 80s, she gave the world one of the best Hi-NRG tracks ever created. It was a song called "Coming Out Of Hiding".

I would've changed boy to girl whenever the word came up, and I would've opened up the evening with this song if karaoke has resumed as a regular thing. This song is all about getting out there after having been cooped up for a long time in a place you don't want to be. In my case, it would've been my home. I like my home, and I'm not hiding in it, since I go out to work, get food, visit the library, et al. It's the idea of bursting out of the every day and doing something different that I love. That's really what karaoke was to me...Doing something differently, and 90 percent of the time, getting cheered for doing so.

I would often perform songs originally done by women, but I never got a chance to tackle a Pointer Sisters song. Those ladies could really belt out a song.

I first heard "Dare Me" when I purchased a Greatest Hits compilation of theirs' back in 1997. It was a great song to dance to, and I would have loved to sing it as well.

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This is a song with an attitude to it, and that attitude is a tough one. It's about taking charge and not being passive. I can be like that at times...Not in romance. I'm still trying to love myself. Until I do that, I can't even think about romance. How am I taking charge and not being passive? I do that at work. I reached my 11-year anniversary at Wal-Mart back in May, and I take my job very seriously. If I see things that strike me as wrong, I automatically follow the rules and do something about it. Work is where I'm most confident...A lot of that was helped out by karaoke, which gave me a boost when I needed it.

The next song on the list comes from yet another one of my favorite 80s singers, the lovely Taylor Dayne.

"Don't Rush Me" is a song I thought would've been great to perform.

I wanted to perform it because, as I listen to the lyrics, it struck me as a song that could be interpreted as a song about sex. I always did really well with those. Besides the aforementioned Huey Lewis And The News/2 Live Crew mash-up, I did, I've also performed songs like Clarence Carter's "Strokin'" and, as duets, Berlin's "Sex (I'm A)..." and Animotion's "Obsession". I could easily imagine throwing in a few sex jokes in the instrumental parts. That's another thing I liked about karaoke. It allowed me the chance to express myself in ways that could've gotten my family angry at me or my job in jeopardy. It wasn't just about singing...It was about freedom.

Venturing away from dance music for a bit, one of my favorite 70s songs was performed by Rick Nelson.

Yes, "Garden Party" may seem like an unusual track for me to like, considering it's about moving past your youth and trying to mature, and considering that I tended to perform older songs, but to me, it's about trying to be the best person you possibly can and not worrying about others.

The lyrics "You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself" stuck with me from when I first heard as a teenager. I bought up the lyrics in a high school class, and they thought I was making a masturbation reference. No, it wasn't that. It's a theme that stuck with me. I've always been worried about fitting in with others that I've done a lot of things. I changed my personal beliefs for a period of time because I was tired of being attacked for them. I called 80s stuff "cheesy" for a while, even though I didn't actually think was. I basically molded myself into what other people wanted me to be since they didn't respect me for who I was. Only in recent years have I been able to think for myself, and that's what I get the most out of this song.

From the 70s, we jump to 2001 for the next song on my list. It was a breakthrough track for Pink.

If I had the opportunity, I would've performed her 2001 smash "Get The Party Started" at karaoke one evening.

I was hoping to not only perform this, but actually aim it at somebody. The owner's fiancée was a guy who never sang himself, but took it upon himself to criticize others. I mentioned him a few articles (to be specific, in "A Real Defense Of Fiction"). There was one lyric I was hoping to aim at him, and it was this:

"I'll be burning rubber...You'll be kissing my ass!"

Why was I hoping to say that to him? Well, earlier in the article, I mentioned bombing when performing the Beach Boys' "California Girls". The owner's fiancée trashed my rendition, and called himself the Simon Cowell of karaoke. This is my big thing...It takes a lot of what Vince McMahon would call testicular fortitude to get up and take a chance with a song you've never done. It's the effort that should count, but to some people, effort doesn't mean a thing. I would've sang this as a response to him, and by extension, all the people who sat back at the bar and didn't sing a word while a band of men and women did something they were passionate about.

We jump back to the 80s for a song by a band that many associate with the 90s. The band is Nine Inch Nails.

Although many associate them with the 90s, and the Millennials know Trent Reznor as a well-groomed Oscar winner, Nine Inch Nails actually got their start in the 80s. "Pretty Hate Machine" came out in 1989, and the biggest track from it was "Head Like A Hole".

This is a song of great power. It's a song that's about taking people to task for the problems they've caused. This is the type of song which I would begin with a short story from my youth. Listening to songs, I can associate them with times in my life, good and bad, even if I didn't hear them until years after those times happened. This is a song I associate with wanting to prove to the people who disrespected me as a kid that there was more to me than they knew. I was actually able to do that with some of the people at karaoke. They bullied me in my younger days, but they eventually came around to liking me, in part because of my singing. I guess I didn't need this song...I would like to have given it a go, though.

From 1989, we go back to 1980, for a lesser-known song by Rupert Holmes.

Many associate Holmes with "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)", but that's just a novelty track compared to the follow-up entitled "Him".

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This is a song that, although I didn't hear it until 2013, I associate with my ex-girlfriend and her designs on my best friend in high school. While he didn't reciprocate, it was still heartbreaking. If I had the chance to sing this, I would've sang it, but also tossed in a few lines from Sam Kinison's "Emotional Tampon" routine. To refresh your memory, that's this number:

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While I often rewrite lyrics on the fly, there are some songs I would've liked to play straight. One of them was by Sammy Davis Jr..

It's easy to make fun of him, but I find myself thinking of a song he sang that was all about having confidence in who you are. It's his legendary track "I've Gotta Be Me".

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This song first came to mind when an uncle of mine said that being clean-shaven and having a close-cropped hairstyle made me look presentable. This was after a visit to the barber where I had my beard shaved off and my big, long hair shorn. I liked that look, but it was getting hard to manage. If it weren't hard to manage, I would've kept it. I was happy with how I looked. Unfortunately, not many in my family shared my opinion at the time.
For better or worse, Sammy Davis Jr. was himself. He caught a lot of Hell for it and died a broken man, but to the end, he was his own person. That's something that everybody should be...They shouldn't bend their opinions, appearance or anything for anybody who would criticize them. Be an individual. It's been hard for me to go by that advice at times, but I've been making an effort.

Continuing our alphabetical journey, we come to a lesser-known song by Dead Or Alive.

It's a damn shame that everybody only associates them with "You Spin Me 'Round (Like A Record)", which I also performed at karaoke once. The "Youthquake" album was full of great songs, my favorite of which was "In Too Deep".

This is the type of song where I would've done some dance moves while performing it. When I first heard it years ago, I even came up with hand signals for some of the words. For "in", I would've pointed at myself. For "too", I would've put up the peace sign. For "deep", I would've pointed downwards. Stuff like that is what I would've done to plus up my performance. I was always doing stuff like that when performing. When I performed "Bad" by Michael Jackson, I actually gave myself a few hard slaps to substitute for the lyric "If you don't like what I'm saying, then won't you slap my face?". Yes, I was willing to hurt myself to put on a great show for the viewers. Feeding off that energy gave me a lot of inspiration.

The next song I always wanted to perform, but never had the chance to, is by Oingo Boingo.

Their songs were often satirical, from "Little Girls" (which I performed at karaoke several times) to "Nothing To Fear", but they occasionally did a more straightforward track, and so that was the case with "Just Another Day".

Just listening to the lyrics, I envision a world in chaos...All Hell breaking loose as the wrath of God is being loosed on the world. I tended to mix up the songs I sang...Sometimes I performed lighter-hearted material, sometimes I performed serious work. This would've been one of my more serious songs if I could've performed it. I probably would've opened up the number by talking about a typical news story...Maybe a story about a rape or a murder or a rape-and-murder. I would then say "if it bleeds, it leads...unfortunately", and launch into this song.

Something to note as we're past the halfway point in this article is that I don't know if a lot of the songs I've listed have had karaoke versions. Since this is about songs I didn't get to sing, I guess an element of fantasy is at work here. Not only would it have been nice to perform these songs, it would've been nice if there were karaoke versions of them.

It's July of 2013 as I'm writing this, which means that it's time to mention a Christmas song, this one by Dean Martin.

The 2nd Rat Pack member to show up in this article, this is a song that I had actually sort of performed once...Unfortunately, there was a guide vocal accompanying the karaoke track, so I wasn't exactly able to sing. The song was "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow".

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If I had been able to perform this song without the guide vocal, I probably would've tossed in a few lines from "Die Hard". After all, many 80s fans associate this song with that movie. It wouldn't have been that new for me...After all, one time at karaoke, I performed "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms and tossed in a few lines from "Lethal Weapon". It seems like some of the most famous action movies take place at Christmas.

The guide vocals were a little annoying...With most karaoke tracks, there are some vocals, but usually they're just mirroring the back-up vocals. To have them through the whole song...Well, for some people it might be a help, but for others, it's a hindrance because they want to be able to sing on their own.

The next song on my list is a rap track by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.

It was one of their biggest hits, and a song that set the pace for the news rap of artists like Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur years later. It's the song known as "The Message".

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When I listen to this song, I think about how things haven't really changed in the years since the song came out. Granted, "All My Children" is now aired exclusively online, "Dallas" is a revival and not the original, and Sugar Ray Leonard has been out of the boxing game for a long time, but the lyrics about how Hellish city life can be, the references to a bad economy, the issues with education and doing things you don't want to do in order to survive...We're still dealing with all that stuff more than 3 decades after the song came out. That's the sign of a song that remains relevant...If you can sing it decades after it came out and know the world is still the way it was back then, you know you have something special.

The next song that got away is by Talking Heads.

I had performed several song by them at karaoke. "Once In A Lifetime" got an okay response..."Psycho Killer" got a better response, although I couldn't do the French lyrics. The one song by them that I would've loved to sing the most was "Naïve Melody (This Must Be The Place)".

This is a song that, to me, is all about trying to find your place in the world. We're all doing that, from our school days to our dying day. In a way, for a long time, my place was karaoke. It was the place where I could truly be an independent man. At home, I had to deal with a mother who could be loving one minute and cruel the next, and my brother has been the same way since her death. At work, although I have no problems with the job, I take the job seriously, which is also an adult thing to do. When I say "an independent man", I mean doing things my own way. It's the "I've Gotta Be Me" thing again.

The next song on my list is another rap song. I don't know whether to classify it as a 90s song, since it came from a 1999 album, or an 00s song, since it was released as a single in 2000. It was by DMX.

The song in question is "Party Up (Up In Here)".

It's strange how I don't care for most 90s rap, but I like this song. I could imagine performing this song and making some references to how people think I'm crazy. My Mom questioned my sanity for speaking badly about the cab driver who insulted her...My old psychologist called me crazy for taking something seriously...My intelligence has been called into question all over the place. In a way, by performing this, I could've said to people who questioned my mental faculties "If you think I'm crazy, I'll show you crazy". Basically using the insult as a badge of honor...Isn't that how most epithets end up eventually (as long as you're a member of the group slandered by the epithet)?

Another song that I would've liked to perform was by another performer who had a name that began with the letter D...That would be Doris Day.

The song in question is the Academy Award-winning "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)".

I would've changed around the lyrics and made it from the perspective of a boy, than a man, asking all these questions. This is a song that I find myself thinking of now that karaoke is no longer around. Basically, it's time to start thinking of something new to do. Will that new thing be something I'm good at, or something I'll fail at? I guess that, since "the future's not ours' to see", the only way I'll find out is by getting out there on my own. That'll take a while, though...I have given thought on occasion to moving out on my own, but it's been difficult. Something will happen, though, and, well..Que Sera Sera.

We go forward a quarter-century and head back to the 80s for the next song on the list, this one by another blonde singer. The woman is Debbie Harry and the group is Blondie.

Yes, as you can tell from the picture, the song by them that I would've wanted to sing is "Rapture".

As you've been able to determine by now, if I like a song, it doesn't matter if it's by a man or woman...I'll sing it. This is a fun song with an interesting rap section. The section about an alien could've served me with the chance to make reference to some of the sci-fi movies of the 50s and 60s, the kinds that played on double bills at the drive-ins. In a way, rap was an alien culture in the early 80s. It's hard to believe that now when rap is the dominant force in the music industry, and has been for 2 solid decades. Don't let the grunge rock fans tell you that Nirvana's "Nevermind" was the music industry's game-changer...It was Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" that would set the pace for music at the end of the century and into the next millennium. With the help of artists like Blondie, though, rap became well-known. I would've enjoyed performing this track.

This next track, I first heard in 1992, the year that I first saw "The Blues Brothers". It was performed by The Blues Brothers, their band and Ray Charles.

From 9 years old, this song has always gotten me to dancing. It's the song "Shake A Tail Feather".

This would've been another one of my audience participation songs, taking my cue from the variety of Chicago citizens dancing in this scene. I always encouraged people to get into the action if they were sitting back...I invited them to call-and-response, dance, do anything. Sometimes on evenings when people were quiet, I would ask questions like "Is this an audience or an oil painting?". Karaoke was a great democratizer...Anybody could do, and I encouraged that experience. In "The Blues Brothers", similar things happened all throughout the picture.

Another John Landis movie with a great musical scene was "National Lampoon's Animal House". It was the song with which we were introduced to Otis Day and The Knights.

The song is "Shout". I had actually tried performing The Isley Brothers' version of it, but it started out too fast. The Otis Day version gives you the instrumental part and ad-lib at the beginning to ease you in, though.

If I had the chance to perform this, I would've gotten the "a little bit softer now" part down to a whisper, and I would've gotten the "a little bit louder now" part to the point where you could hear me from the road you turned on to get to the restaurant where karaoke was held. Normally, I saved the scream for songs like Guns 'N' Roses' "Welcome To The Jungle" and "Bodies" by Drowning Pool. I don't scream anymore, though...That's because of the right medication and the right therapist, though.

As you know, "Beverly Hills Cop" is not only one of my favorite movies, but one of my favorite soundtracks.

Back in the Winter, when it was still said to be "on hiatus" and not cancelled, I suggested on Facebook to the woman who runs karaoke that "Stir It Up" would be the perfect song to announce that karaoke was back.

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Listening to the lyrics, it's about getting out there and having fun. For some people in my town, fun comes in alcohol bottles of various types. For others, it comes in the form of a board game or a book. For me, it was in the form of karaoke. When I hear this lyric:

"World's too crazy, I can't take no more/I won't stay here locked behind the door";

I think about how freeing it was for me to perform. I know that's been a recurring theme in this article, but it was one of the most important parts of karaoke for me.

I never got to perform this song, either, and I would've done it as a duet. It came from the movie "Mary Poppins".

I know that the last time I spoke about Disney in an article, "A Real Defense Of Fiction" became my first piece to land on the back pages since 2009. I'll make this brief, then. The song "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius" always sounded like a lot of fun to sing.

I would've let the woman in charge of karaoke take the lead, and I wouldn't have attempted a British accent, but it would've been fun to perform. They didn't really have a wide selection of Disney songs at karaoke. I was sometimes told when performing that I should stick to more popular songs since less popular songs didn't exactly get a good reception. I think this might have done okay, though...After all, "Mary Poppins" is a classic movie.

Speaking of freedom, just as Patti LaBelle's "Stir It Up" was about the topic, this next song I never got to sing is all about that as well, and it also comes from a police movie.

Yes, it's Michael McDonald's "Sweet Freedom" from the soundtrack to "Running Scared".

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I had already performed some of McDonald's Doobie Brothers material, as well as his solo hit "I Keep Forgettin'", but I never got to tackle this track. I would have loved to perform this, because it's such a hopeful song, and at heart, I'm a hopeful guy. I know that many of my articles have been depressing, and my life hasn't been easy, but I haven't thrown in the towel yet. There were plenty of times I could've done it, a few times I actually attempted it, and one time my Mom actually scared me with it, but I never gave up. That's what this song sounds like to me...Not giving up, moving ever onward and upward. That's what I'm determined to, and will continue to do, with or without karaoke.

We're now entering the home stretch with another love gone wrong song, this time by Mike + The Mechanics.

The song "Taken In" sort of describes the way I felt when I found out karaoke wouldn't be coming back.

As alluded to at the beginning of this article, I was told on Facebook that karaoke was "on a Winter hiatus". I kept on getting mixed responses in the ensuing months, but nothing was ever said to me until a few weeks ago about karaoke coming to an end. I won't lie...I was both sad and a little angry. Sad because an activity I loved so much was over, a little angry because I felt like all the talk of "a winter hiatus" and "a few sessions per year" was a lie. I know it wasn't...That things just ended up this way. It's just that when I first heard the words "Winter Hiatus", I was expecting it would be back in Spring as promised. Maybe I was taken in after all.

Let's lighten things up with the next track on the list. This one was by "Weird" Al Yankovic.

I had performed "Perform This Way" by him one time in 2012, but I never performed any other tracks by him. If possible, I would've loved to perform his theme from "Johnny Dangerously" entitled "This Is The Life".

Even though it came years before rappers started boasting about their riches and plunder, this song sounds like the basis for all of it. It would've been fun to add in my own lines, like "Kanye, eat your heart out". Of course, there's no way I could earn enough money to buy "a solid gold Cadillac" or be the one man who "pays the bills...calls the shots...grease the the yachts". It's just fantasy, and that's what I would do when performing. I would act when I was singing...The songs were like mini-movies and I would assume all sorts of characters from criminals to millionaires to ladies' men. I guess that it was the last refuge for my performing ambitions.

Our long journey draws to a close with a track by Lionel Richie.

As you can tell from the picture, the song by him I wanted to sing the most was "You Are".

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This is one of my favorite 80s love songs. I would've dedicated this song to the happy couples in the audience, of which there were many most nights. Boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, there to relax and have fun...I would've asked them to come to the floor and slow-dance while I was singing.

So many different songs...So many opportunities I'll never have...At least not in my current hometown. I had quite a lot of fun over the course of 6-and-a-half-years. Most evenings were good, a few were bad, but all provided me with experiences I'll never forget. I'll attend the reunion evenings, but I'll always remember the grand and glorious times I had as a singer. Somewhere down the line, I may move out of town and I may come across another bar that does karaoke, but as of now, I'm no longer a singer in public. I'll always have my memories, though, and that's better than nothing.

With that, the floor is open for discussions: Have you ever lost the opportunity to do something you enjoyed? What songs did you always enjoy, but never had the chance to sing? How do you keep yourself busy if your favorite activity is no longer around?
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