Today we are sharing our love of the car ride “sing-along!” Who hasn’t enjoyed the old standard “Ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall” on a long road trip? Has anyone actually gotten all the way to “no bottles of beer on the wall? (not this family…we hit about 95 and we are done.) And just admit it…you know you’ve sung your heart out to “Let It Go” from “Frozen” at least 35 bazillion times. (yes, I’ve been there, done that, have the Olaf t-shirt.) We all know that when we do, our inner Disney princess pops out of our mouth in glorious harmony, right?
We are music fanatics around here and we love to get our vocal prowess on whenever possible. Please note: I am not claiming that we are good singers. In fact, if you heard us singing you might think an alley cat fight was brewing nearby. (unless Catherine is singing of course, then you would think that you were in the presence of an Angel, but I digress.) Typically, if we’re in the car, we are jammin’ tunes and singing along LOUDLY. It could be anything from Broadway show tunes to death core metal. (don’t hate… if it has lyrics and melody, we are all over it.) For reals, Connor has a death growl down pat and could give Corpse Grinder from Cannibal Corpse a run for his money. (bt dubs…I’ve met Corpse Grinder and he’s a big teddy bear.) And of course, you can always be sure we will be crooning a Disney tune or two or seven.
Anyhoo, in 2014 we sang a lot of music from the musicals “Legally Blonde,” “Wicked,” and “Young Frankenstein.” In 2015, “Addams Family~the Musical” and “Into the Woods” are getting lots of airplay on our rides. (“The Moon and Me” from the Addams Family always makes me happy…give it a listen here: …Uncle Fester who sings this lovely tune is Kevin Chamberlin who plays Bertram on the Disney show “Jessie.” I love the La-La-La-La melody in this song…so cool! Cat is tickled that “Bertram” can sing.) Show tunes are our jam 🙂
My personal favorite sing-along moments are when we realize one of us has the lyrics all goofed up. For example, just a few days ago, we were singing “Thrift Shop” (the kid friendly version) and we get to this part…
“I wear your grand-dad’s clothes, I look incredible, I’m in this big a$$ coat, from that thrift shop down the road.”
(to be fair, I sang “big “A” coat”) Catherine was singing along and this was her version….
“I’m in this big afro from that thrift shop down the road.”
L.O.L. !!! I don’t know what was more hilarious to me…the fact that she sang “big afro” or that she thought you could buy a big afro at the thrift shop!
Another nifty lyric goof up comes courtesy of Taylor Swift and her new song “Blank Space.” The actual lyric is this…
“Got a long list of ex-lovers…They’ll tell you I’m insane.”
For some weird reason, we think she says “got a list of Starbucks lovers.” After talking with friends, I’m finding out we aren’t the only ones who mess this up in this way. Hmm…maybe there is a weird form of subliminal advertising going on here with Ms. Swift and the coffee conglomerate. (I’m positive that’s not the case, but I sure do crave a white chocolate Frappuccino with whip every time I hear that song….)
While on the topic of “mis-heard” lyrics, who hasn’t sang this version of “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band…”blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche, he’s a ruler of the night.” Am I right? (for the record, the correct lyrics are “revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night” and Bruce Springsteen is the writer of this little ditty!) My personal favorite mis-heard lyric is from my high school days when a friend of mine would always sing “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police like this…”Ghost Man…Ghost Man…Ghost Man so close to me.” HILARIOUS because she truly thought that’s what Sting was singing!
Sometimes we have sing along moments that can weird a momma out. For example, recently on a trip to Target, Katy Perry’s song “Birthday” was playing on the radio. I was busy mentally going over my shopping list while Catherine was happily singing along with Katy. Suddenly, I realize I just heard my daughter sing (at the top of her lungs and with lots of feeling, no less) these lyrics “So let me get you in your birthday suit…It’s time to bring out the big balloons.” WHAT?? Okay, my sweetly innocent tween just sang out that it’s time to bring out the big “balloons”. Trapped between horror and giggles, I ask her what she thought that might mean. Her response was that birthday suit was a suit or a tuxedo. Big balloons? Well, duh…they are really big balloons. She gave me a very concerned “my mom has lost her marbles” look with that one. Whew! Innocence is still intact. You lost this round, Katy Perry.
We love to get our radio sing-along on too. Ariana Grande songs are very popular as are Justin Timberlake and Arctic Monkeys. (yep, I’m a hipster mom…not by choice, but as a result of captivity by tween and teen.) I’m a huge fan of the “Uptown Funk” song. (this song is fantastic for cleaning, exercising and for anytime you want to get funky.) I cannot stop singing “don’t believe me…just watch” from this song over and over and over. I’m sure my kids will be protesting my constant use of this phrase soon, but it won’t stop me…don’t believe me? Just watch. See? Told you so.)
Recently, we have added a new “along” on our road trips. It’s called the Seuss Along and started with Hugh’s rendition of “Fox in Socks” while driving home from Tucson. If you have never heard a British person read any form of Dr.Seuss, you are missing a real treat! Heck, just add a British accent to anything and it’s charming.
My son shared that quote with me recently. I completely agree. Music is just that…feelings with sound. One of the best parts of our family sing alongs is the dialogue that occurs about the meanings and feelings we get from songs. Sometimes, we share a fit of giggles talking about them. And then we have moments like yesterday when Catherine and I talked about the lyrics to “Children Will Listen / Finale Part 1” from “Into the Woods.” They go like this…(tissues may be needed here..you can also clickety the highlighted linky in the song title and it will play for you…)
Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Do not let it grieve you,
No one leaves for good.
You are not alone.
No one is alone.
I get very choked up every time I hear my sweet girl singing these lyrics with such deep feeling knowing that this feeling comes from her own experience with loss. The other emotional sing along is “No One is Alone” from “Into the Woods.” She shared with me that singing these songs helps her feel better so I will keep tissues close at hand and let her sing it to her heart’s content. Music is the great healer of all things.
What I’ve come to realize is that over time, our sing alongs have become our new “story time.” Since my kids are beyond the days of book story time with mommy, the sing along is our way to continue sharing stories through music. We used to carry arm loads of CDs to the car to sing along with and those have now been replaced with auxiliary cables to plug in iPods and iPhones. (although Catherine still goes “old school” with the CDs on occasion.)
We no longer sing “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and our song selection has matured over time. However, we still love to make a joyful noise together and I hope that never ends. May you make your own joyful noise next time you head out for a drive. Don’t be afraid! Sing your heart out! You will love every minute of it!