So this weekend, we’re having a CP summit in Vegas, baby! Woot!

And as part of the festivities, we’re going to see Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian. I have never seen Phantom, so I’m psyched. But I know it means I’ll be singing it for weeks and weeks to come. Showtunes are mental peanut butter, aren’t they? They just stick in there forever. I saw Les Mis for the first time when I was in high school, and I think I still know good parts of that musical by heart. If anyone’s interested, we can have a sing-off in SF:

Before I became bizarrely shy, I used to sing in front of people, back in the day. (By this, I mean in high school concerts and church choirs and stuff – nothing actually good or impressive.) Now I just sing around my house, and in the shower – but it’s still those same songs. My go-to showtune is the song “Sailor of My Dreams” from the little-known and less-performed screwball musical Dames at Sea. I was in a civic theater production of it in high school (although I did not have this, or any, solo). It’s the dippiest song ever, but it is in my brain like peanut butter:

Side note: How fun is You Tube?

So, fess up. What do you sing in the shower? Which songs are permanently embedded in your gray matter?

24 comments to “Sing….sing a song….”

  1. Gillian Layne
    · April 15th, 2008 at 7:36 am · Link

    This link at Youtube takes you to a boy on the English version of American Idol or something like that–talk about singing, he brought tears to my eyes!

    Have fun in Vegas! 🙂

  2. Tessa Dare
    · April 15th, 2008 at 7:56 am · Link

    Aww, Gillian – that is too sweet! I think he almost made Simon cry!

  3. Darcy Burke
    · April 15th, 2008 at 9:03 am · Link

    I saw Les Mis in high school too! Every other year or so, my high school theatre teacher took students to New York the week between Christmas and New Year’s to see Broadway shows. I went as a senior and saw Into the Woods (with Bernadette Peters!), Les Mis, Starlight Express, A Chorus Line, and a straight show called The Devil’s Disciple. This was 1987 so Les Mis had just opened that year. Amaaaazing. Went again the next year as a college student (she let me and my boyfriend, another former student, tag along) and saw Phantom (it opened just after we were there the previous year). Best part was a Q&A with some of the actors and stage personnel after the show. Phenomenal. As much as I love Phantom, Les Mis will always have a special place in my heart. I think I’ve seen it six or seven times. I also like to sing Cole Porter tunes. Saw Anything Goes with Patti Lupone on New Year’s Eve that second year I went. Fantastic. And for the record, my singing’s pretty meh.

    Oh, and since it’s TMI Tuesday…my then-boyfriend whipped out a diamond ring and proposed during Music of the Night in Phantom. Of course I said yes. What else could I say at such a moment? We never really got much farther than that down the road to marriage, but it’s a good story.

  4. CM
    · April 15th, 2008 at 9:06 am · Link

    When I was in middle school, I was in a musical entitled “Pirate King” and there was a lovely little song that went like this:

    Swish, swash
    Count the loot
    Silver and gold doubloons

    Swish, swash
    Divide the loot
    It’s the smallest in many a moon

    Heave ho, to and fro
    Dance on a keg of rum
    Heave ho, to and fro
    Dance to a pipe and drum

    It has a very catchy tune, and it makes excellent floor-sweeping music.

    Which means, of course, that I sing it once a month when I get around to sweeping my floors.

    There are also some songs from the 80s that are terrifyingly difficult to dislodge once stuck. I am afraid to even mention their names, because to call on their name is to make them appear on constant repeat in my head.

    . . .

    Augh! It has happened anyway! So: “I will survive.”

  5. terrio
    · April 15th, 2008 at 9:32 am · Link

    Geez, Gillian, warn a girl! That brought tears to my eyes. Amazing kid!

    I saw Les Mis in ’90 when it came to Pittsburgh. My sister bought me tickets for my birthday (best present to date!). The seats were the very last row but it was still fantastic.

    The kiddo and I love to watch Phantom everytime we catch it on tv. I need to get her the soundtrack since she sings it all the time.

    And CM is right about those 80s tunes. They are sticky little buggers. I prefer to sing stuff like “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”. If Fred and Ginger sang it, I’m in.

    And Darcy – cool story.

  6. Elyssa Papa
    · April 15th, 2008 at 9:46 am · Link

    What I love about that YouTube video that Gillian provided was how Andrew changed once he started singing. And I totally want this kid to win it… his voice is so pure and amazing.

    My heart went out to him when he said he’s bullied. Who doesn’t want to see a kid triumph over that?

    I love that Les Mis video, Tessa… it always brings a smile to my face.

    Shower songs: anything by ABBA, You’re so Vain by Carly Simon, and I do Broadway songs, too. I love “Written in the Stars” and “Elaborate Lives” from Aida… they’re gorgeous.

    “Written in the Stars”:

    “Elaborate Lives”:

  7. Elyssa Papa
    · April 15th, 2008 at 9:47 am · Link

    And yeah, I’ve been in musicals, too. Relegated to the chorus because, well, I can’t carry a tune sad to say.

    Ohhh, and I love My Fair Lady especially when Eliza sings a couple of her F-you songs to Henry.

  8. Renee
    · April 15th, 2008 at 10:27 am · Link

    Bad Moon Rising and Delta Dawn. What does that say about me?

  9. terrio
    · April 15th, 2008 at 11:14 am · Link

    It says none of us are going to mess with you, Renee.

  10. Tessa Dare
    · April 15th, 2008 at 12:22 pm · Link

    Darcy, what an awesome story! So your high school BF proposed?? Wow – that must have made your chaperones very nervous…LOL.

    CM – was this sea shanty from one of the operas you wrote, or the work of another gifted composer? And mwahaha – you will now be haunted by disco for the rest of the day.

    Terri, isn’t Les Mis amazing? It’s not just a show, it’s a life experience. I bet Phantom will be the same way.

    Ely – was it you who first posted that Les Mis video clip? I couldn’t remember where I’d seen it, but I love it! It’s so something I’d do, if I were a sitcom actor. 🙂 I love your playlist. My other fave musical for shower singing is Evita – “Don’t cry for me…” etc. I was always the chorus or bit part in the musicals, too. I could carry a tune okay, but sucked at the acting part.

    Renee – it means you and my mom could have fun on a road trip!

    Speaking of sticky songs – I don’t know if this is getting a lot of play yet nationwide, but it’s all over the LA radiowaves for the past 2 weeks: “Handlebars” by the Denver hip-hop group the Flobots. (warning: don’t watch if you’re offended by liberal politics or disturbing news footage.)

    I swear, this song is mental crazy glue.

  11. MsHellion
    · April 15th, 2008 at 12:41 pm · Link

    Holding Out for a Hero–I am the WORST singer in the Universe–and that’s one of my favorite songs.

    Also: Total Eclipse of the Heart. Bad to the Bone is good; and Tesla’s LOVE SONG, I know all by heart, as I know Stairway to Heaven.

    And I can sing show tunes…but usually like Rodgers & Hammerstein ones. “Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry when I take you out in my surrey, when I take you out in my surrey with the fringe on top.”

    I know a frightening amount of country songs, esp the older ones. I love the lyrics to Saginaw, Michigan. Green, Green Grass of Home. They’ll Never Take Her Love From Me

  12. Janga
    · April 15th, 2008 at 12:55 pm · Link

    I have decades of pop music spinning in my head. I have a knack for remembering lyrics, but I cannot sing. Hellion is wrong. I’m the worst singer in the universe–and Iheld claim to the title when Hellion was merely cooing in her crib. 🙂

    I do most of my singing in the car where no one hears me except some poor schmuch in the other lane at a traffic light. I love putting on the Forest Gump soundtrack and singing along with every track. I also sing to the grands until they reach the age of begging me not to. They all know the lyrics to Elvis’s “Hound Dog” and Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World” by the time they are three. LOL!

  13. terrio
    · April 15th, 2008 at 1:08 pm · Link

    Janga – I sing in the car too! On road trips, I’m hoarse by the time I reach my destination. Lucky for me, the kiddo doesn’t mind and sings right along with me. Though she knows to stop at the curse words. LOL!

    Tessa – You have to let us know how the show is. I’ve seen Gypsy, Romeo & Juliet, Dreamgirls, Lion King and Cindarella all live but never Phantom. I need to do that.

  14. Elyssa Papa
    · April 15th, 2008 at 1:28 pm · Link

    Tessa, but I actually took a course in college called Singing for the Actor which required me as you can guess to sing on stage in front of people by myself.

    My strategy: sing funny songs.

    My professor’s strategy: teach me to sing which she claimed she did on performance night about how you can teach anyone to sing and looking at me. Ha, ha, ha.

    Verdict: I’m teaching. Need I say more? LOL

    I forget if I posted that video first or not; I’m forever on YouTube finding things or getting redirected to videos.

  15. Elyssa Papa
    · April 15th, 2008 at 1:29 pm · Link

    Oh and you’re going to love Phantom. It’s a life-changing experience. Magical. Heartwrenching. Romantic.

    I love that show.

  16. Maura
    · April 15th, 2008 at 3:41 pm · Link

    You’ll love Phantom! I get chills every time I hear one of the songs. My current sing-along songs are from Wicked.

    Thanks for sharing the YouTube clips! Amazing!

  17. Mary Danielson
    · April 15th, 2008 at 5:40 pm · Link

    Oh, Tessa, that is one of my all time favorite YouTube clips ever. So classic! NPH can throw-down with me over Les Mis anytime.

    In high school, I played Velma in our senior musical of West Side Story. Really fun, but at least once a week I get “Cool” stuck in my head. This is bad, because I know EVERY dance move…it’s more than a little embarrassing to get caught doing piques in a grocery store aisle! 😉

    Hope you have fun in Vegas!! We have to have all the Phantom updates when you get back!

  18. Lindsey
    · April 15th, 2008 at 8:25 pm · Link

    Random favorites include the alto part of the Hallelujah Chorus (from my choir days) and “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (because I’m proud of knowing all the lyrics – the project of a particularly long & dull car trip). And I occasionally sing lullabies if I babysit – I favor “Baby Mine” from Dumbo.

    If you’re willing to sing on camera, I may have a promotional opportunity for you. 😉

    Hope you girls have a fabulous time in Vegas. Try not to blow your entire advance!

  19. Santa
    · April 15th, 2008 at 9:32 pm · Link

    Les Mis is one of my all time favorite musicals and have seen it three times on Broadway. I know just about all the songs by heart.

    The original ‘A Chorus Line’ was my first Broadway experience and it was marvelous. Still know those songs too.

    I saw Carosel at Lincoln Center with Andrea McDonnal – I always get her name wrong. She was amazing. I also saw her in Master Class based on Maria Calais’ master classes and her life with Ari. Phenomenal. I just saw Phantom last year. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    I am also a big MGM musical hussy and luurrve a good show tune almost as much as I love romances.

    So, yes I sing everywhere and anywhere. Manda caught me singing in the shower at National. I think it was something from that Lake Wobegon Days movie with Lindsey Lohan, Meryl Streep, Lilly Tomlin, Woody Harrelson.

    My kids love to sing too. We just saw ‘Hairspray’ the movie and it ROCKED. We own the movie. We own the CD. We sing and dance to it all the time. And Zach Ephron is such a hottie.

    Sorry, that was my daughter talking not me.


    Don’t be surprised if you leave Las Vegas singing Dean Martin’s ‘I Love Vegas’. Classic stuff.

  20. Darcy Burke
    · April 15th, 2008 at 11:03 pm · Link

    I just have to say I loved reading all of these comments. You ladies are a diverse and fabulous group. 🙂

    In the interest of embarrassing TMI, can I admit that I’m still watching American Idol this season (I usually get way sick of it by now) and that I actually downloaded most of David Cook’s songs to my iPod? Seriously, the studio versions of the songs they sing on the show are amazing. I canNOT stop singing his studio version of Innocent from last week. Great stuff.

    And I meant to say have fun in Vegas this weekend! And bring a hankie for Phantom, esp “Music of the Night.” Simply gorgeous song. Le sigh.

  21. Kelly Krysten
    · April 16th, 2008 at 4:58 am · Link

    I sing anything and everything when I’m in the shower. Usually whatever song is popular at the time on the radio. So, I’ve sung Outrageous, That Shorty got low song, and many others. I’ve also gone for the classics. Like every single song in Beauty and the Beast and The Little I’m a complete nerd.

  22. Alice Audrey
    · April 16th, 2008 at 7:36 am · Link

    LOL. Leave it to actors to go for it at the drop of a hat.

  23. irisheyes
    · April 16th, 2008 at 11:24 am · Link

    Very cool about going to Vegas, Tessa. Even more so that you’re seeing Phantom. That ranks as one of my favorites. I’ve seen Les Mis, Chorus Line, Cats, Annie, Joseph, Wicked and Jersey Boys, but Phantom holds a special place for me. Maybe it’s the music – I do love it.

    I’m like the rest of you with all the music of the past 40-50 years spinning through my head. I tend to sing more in the car than in the shower. When it’s the whole family we all tend to sing along. Makes it easier to hide the tone deaf one – me:)

    Once I get a song stuck it’s really hard to get it un-stuck -“Surrey with The Fringe on Top” seems to be the selection for the next week (thanks Hellion)! The funny thing is that I just got that same exact song out of my head about a month ago. My brother sings show tunes to his kids and that’s one of his favorites!

  24. Ericka Scott
    · April 17th, 2008 at 4:39 pm · Link

    Have fun in Vegas…

    “We love you Conrad, oh, yes, we do! We love you Conrad, and we’ll be true…” from Bye Bye Birdie. Sad isn’t it?