You’ve likely heard the joke, “You should sing solo. So low that nobody can hear you.” Or perhaps, “You should sing tenor. Ten or eleven miles away.”
Those jokes embrace the notion that someone who doesn’t sing well is fair game for ridicule. I’ve never subscribed to that theory. My approach is: If you’re not a great singer, compensate by singing louder. My point is that singing is fun. Yet most of us reach an age where we’re so self-conscious that we give it up, unless we’re supremely gifted.
I assume that most of us lose our fearlessness and become overly concerned with the scrutiny of others as we approach our teen years. I recall vividly the frustration of one of the nuns at our catholic grammar school at a group of 6th grade boys circa 1978, most of whom were lip-synching the hymns in church because it just wasn’t cool at that age to sing church music (most of the boys were starting to gravitate toward KISS or Led Zeppelin at that point). In an act of public humiliation, she had us sing the song one boy at a time to try to decifer the pretenders from the performers.
The classic song “Sing” composed by Joe Raposo and recorded by a host of artists, most notably the Carpenters, captures my sentiments perfectly: particularly the phrase, “Don’t worry that it’s not good enough, for anyone else to hear…” I’ve come to appreciate the value of song when you simply pay attention to the joy that the sheer act brings you rather than how it might be perceived by others, most of whom are too scared to belt out a tune themselves.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the success of the television show Glee is that it might make singing “in vogue” again. With these thoughts in mind, here’s Nathan Lane’s version of the song “Sing” with an assist from the muppets: