karaoke is nothing new; it has been around for decades. Almost all of us have embarrassed ourselves singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” off-key in front of our friends. If you’re lucky (or smart) you’ll pick a song that everyone knows and loves. For example, if you can’t carry a tune, but you want an audience favorite, pick a classic like Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” because once the audience hears the opening bars, all you have to do is hold the mike away from your mouth, sing quietly, and let audience participation take over. Other crowd favorites are Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.”
Those songs are pretty old hat, though. They’ve been done to death, along with hundreds of others. What I like to sing when performing karaoke are the songs you know and love, but have forgotten about. One hit wonders like Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” and Presidents of the United States of America’s “Lump.” It took me awhile to compile a list of little-known but well-loved songs that would become crowd pleasers without their knowledge, and it took some Internet sleuthing (hint: searching “best one hit wonders of the ’90s” helped), but it was worth it. My karaokes selections more than make up for my lack of vocal talent.
Karaokes has been a part of my social circle for about three years now, but I have to admit, I have some connections. A few of my friends have actually been in the local paper–front page, no less–for being karaokes superstars. They don’t just stand up there shyly and belt out “Killing Me Softly” or “Bohemian Rhapsody.” They aren’t even actually very good singers (well, one is). We all have a lot of fun and no one takes themselves too seriously.
That’s the key to a successful karaoke night. Fun, creativity, and great songs. My friends like to include jump splits, power slides, and headbanging into their songs. My mom was mortified, yet truly happy, when five of my guy friends crooned romantic songs to her one night. It’s all in good fun, and we certainly do have fun!