January 15, 2013

Songs I Sang At My Work’s Christmas Karaoke

Songs I Sang At My Work's Christmas Karaoke

‘Ignition (Remix)’ – R. Kelly

Saw song being scrolled past while someone was searching for [maybe Kelly Clarkson] and made a small/involuntary noise, pointed at the screen, etc. Person next to me reacted by ~violently moving me towards the stage. Stage was quickly emptied and a microphone handed to me. ~Performed the song. Various younger people engaged in eager/aggressive arm movements for most of the duration of the song. ~Unconsciously mimed ‘hands through my fro’ every time I sang the line. People seemed to ~enjoy this song to the extent that (~20-30secs after the song ended) my internal monologue excitedly said ‘Wow, brought the house down, bro’. Two older co-workers later asked me what ‘that “toot toot beep” song’ was.

‘Britney Megamix’ – Britney Spears

Saw this on the selection screen while someone was searching for [maybe "Hit Me Baby..."]. Told girl next to me that she should sing it and she reacted by ~violently moving me towards the stage. Started to ~perform the ~song. Quickly noticed that people seemed unable to be interested at all, presumably due to lack of [drama/familiarity/anticipation of 'verse-chorus-bridge song structure']. Tried to counter this by just repeatedly singing the chorus to “Hit Me Baby…” over the backing track regardless. Girl who had ~made me sing came up on stage to ~help. Experienced sudden realisation that she was extremely intoxicated (via ‘erotic/severely off-balance’ manner in which she danced). As the song ended, felt [protective/humiliated/all-powerful] and quietly placed the both microphones on the floor. Helped girl down from stage and walked [purposefully/gently/indirectly] toward the alcoholic drinks, etc.

‘Regulate’ – Warren G f/ Nate Dogg

A ‘lull’ in music prompted [someone] to suggest it was ‘Crispin’s turn’. Panicked while trying to select funny song to sing. Unable to remember why I immediately selected “Regulate” upon realising the karaoke system didn’t have “One Jump Ahead” from the Aladdin soundtrack. Sang/recited lyrics to “Regulate” in ~exaggeratedly ‘East London’ accent. Felt [amused/humiliated/regretful] while watching people attempt to sing along. Experienced [surprise/anxiety/joy] at how ticked off people seemed to become with the fact that they weren’t able to sing along. Reacted to overwhelming [empathy/boredom/embarrassment] by waving my hands in front of my face and stopping singing after only one chorus. Sat down on chair and reflected on ‘ultimately misguided attempt to ‘recapture magic’ of “Ignition (Remix)”’.

‘Dance Wiv Me’ – Dizzee Rascal f/ Calvin Harris

Was encouraged to sing this by young male because of the fact that he grew up in [place near where Calvin Harris grew up] and I grew up in [place near where Dizzee Rascal grew up]. On stage, the level of [iconoclasm/intoxication] of yound male quickly became apparent (via him beatboxing-with-his-eyes-closed as opposed to singing when it came to his turn). I reacted to this by: shaking my head ~hysterically, pressing my knuckles into my mouth, biting my lip and opening my eyes wide (while looking at my boss), etc. Young male kept his arm around my shoulder for full duration of song as well as full process of getting down from the stage, causing me to eventually lower him onto sofa and then walk [purposefully/gently/indirectly] toward alcoholic drinks, etc.

‘Teenage Dirtbag’ – Wheatus

Level of intoxication (as well as awareness of general level of intoxication) seemed to peak around this point (via realising I was smiling ~insanely at [people selected due to their proximity]). In attempt to get female who was refusing to sing to sing, I followed a few other people who ‘bum-rushed the stage’ at the first chorus of “Teenage Dirtbag”. I ~gently pulled wrist of female who was refusing to sing, but she stayed sitting on the sofa. After the song finished, I sat back down next to female who was refusing to sing and used ['active listening'/supreme demonstration of empathy and understanding/coercive psychobabble] for ~10mins to convince her that she should sing, after which she agreed. She announced that she would sing [~'alternative metal' song she knew would not be available] as long as I sang it with her. I [smiled/frowned], shook my head and found more alcoholic drinks for us.

‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ – Elton John & [Kiki Dee/RuPaul]

‘Middle-aged’/senior female was standing on stage having highlighted “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” on the screen. She pleaded for [various 'work-allies' who ignored her] to come up. Having made the mistake of looking up from my conversation, ‘middle-aged’/senior female pressed the button to start the song, said my name into the microphone and did a ‘come hither’ finger-gesture. Shortly after I got up on stage, an implied negotiation began re ‘how into this are we actually going to get?’ as she seemed to rub her [back/‘bum-crack?’] on my leg while singing [line with tenuous/overt sexual overtones]. This continued until ~60% of the way through the song when there was a general swell of attention away from the stage and toward female who joined me earlier for “Britney Megamix”, who had begun to openly weep on chair near the centre of the room. ‘Middle-aged’/senior female acted/was ‘oblivious’ to this happening and we finished the remaining ~1min of the [song/negotiation]. Short interlude followed while weeping/hysterical female who joined me earlier for “Britney Megamix” was comforted by young male who grew up near where Calvin Harris grew up. Eventually, weeping/hysterical female removed herself/was removed from room and karaoke continued ‘regardless’.

The next morning I received a Facebook friend request from ‘middle-aged’/senior female. TC mark

image –

Crispin Best

Crispin Best has lived in Manchester, Tokyo and Cambridge. He now lives in London, next door to where he grew up.