Sing loud and proud

28 Oct

I’ve been working on characters for a tv show I’m writing. To help flesh out the characters I like to write little scenarios for them. It can be useful because sometimes they can be used within an episode and other times it leads you on a journey with your character that gives you more and more insight into who they are.

So there I was writing a little story about two of my characters, the story was flowing easily and I was really enjoying what was coming out onto the page. The cherry was when I had finished and reread it, I actually laughed, which when you’re writing comedy is a good sign. That or a sign of madness, either way I was laughing.

Feeling very pleased with myself I reread the piece again, as I was reading through the smile started to fade. It had happened, the moment all writers fear, I realized I had just plagiarized. Not probably what your thinking in terms of the conventional plagiarism. I hadn’t copied anyone else’s work, no, I had just written about yet another embarrassing moment in my life as if it was just happening to my character.

Had I buried the embarrassing moment so deep that I had to manifest it through a written character, apparently so. While it’s quite common for writers to borrow from their own lives and people in it, keep a look out friends and family, it’s another thing to laugh out loud at what you think is your characters stupidity to then only realize it is yours. This truly must be a new low.

But I will rise above my own diminishing ego and share another “what the hell is wrong with her” story.

Luckily this happened back when I could blame my youth for my stupidity. I was driving in a car with a guy I had been seeing for a couple of months. When you are starting a relationship there a few milestones that define it. Times that you lay your soul bare. There is the obvious, when you first kiss, first night together, first I love you. All significant but just as crucial, mostly because it’s spontaneous, is when you sing in front of your beloved. Think about it, unless you’re one of the few on this planet who sings like an angel you’re really testing the bounds of this new romance.

And this is what I was doing, it was totally spontaneous and as it turned out incredibly humiliating. Enya, a singer very popular at the time, came on the radio, without thinking I reached over cranked up the volume and starting singing along to the chorus. Realising I had just sung out loud in front of him. I turned, locked eyes and encouraged by his smile started singing along again with the chorus. That’s when the laughing started.

Horrified, I abruptly stopped singing and concentrated on the road ahead. My mind was spinning, who was this person sitting next to me? Sure we still had lots to find out about each other, but I wasn’t prepared for this. The blatant cruelty, I had just bared my soul, well my singing voice and he had started laughing. God, he was still laughing. Sure he was trying to stifle his growing laughter but he was still laughing. Surely my singing wasn’t that bad and even if it was it didn’t deserve this treatment. My feeling of horror suddenly turned to anger.

I wasn’t going to let him get away with this. We obviously wouldn’t work out as a couple but I wasn’t going to let him forget why we broke up. I turned the focus on to what I thought was the important topic of the Enya song. I would show him how different we were as people. He had revealed himself to be cruel and unkind so now with the help of Enya I would show him how kind and compassionate I was.

I turned to him full of self-righteousness and declared that I was a big fan of Enya not only for her obvious talent but also for her social messages. He stopped sniggering and raised an eyebrow. This was my moment to show him what a compassionate and community minded person I was. With chin held high and a growing sense of self-importance I told him that I fully supported her message to save the whales and was proud to sing her message. He looked at me and then the laughing started again. I didn’t know where to look this man not only felt it ok to laugh at my singing but apparently he didn’t even want to save the whales!

In between heaving laughs he was trying to say something like sorry but I was having none of that. Every time he tried to say something I told him emphatically how proud I was that someone had brought the plight of the whales to the public’s attention. I went on and on about if only more people would write songs that meant something, how important whales were to us and then I just started making up facts and figures about whales.

By this point I was so angry at his endless laughing that I started singing loudly the lyrics of the chorus to the Enya song we had just heard.
“Save the whales, save the whale, save the whales.’”
There were tears of laughter streaming down his face now but he somehow found a moment to compose himself look me in the eye and tell me that the song is actually called “Sail Away” and has nothing to do with whales, in fact he was pretty sure she doesn’t reference whales at all.

I was dumbfounded, I had been singing along for weeks and reveling in what I thought was some deep and meaningful message. I didn’t admit defeat until we got home and I looked at my CD cover. As it turned out Enya didn’t want to save the whales she just wanted to get on a boat and get the hell out of there, something I could fully appreciate at that moment!

21 Responses to “Sing loud and proud”

  1. replenishforhealth October 29, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    Pisser ! Pleased to hear your a whale lover !

    • quickwittier October 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

      If only Enya was too!

    • replenishforhealth November 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      I have to come clean – I am a serial offender with getting song lyrics wrong. My most recent and probably most embarrassing one was with the crazy Korean song Gangnam Style. When it first came on the radio I thought he was singing “Condom Style”. I am seriously not joking. I would get really twitchy as my two young daugters were usually in the car when this contraception song came blasting out. I would quickly flick stations to avoid having to avoid explaining what a condom was to my 11 year old. What a freeaakin Dick I am. I finally asked my 13 year old – what do you think he’s saying and she spelt it out to me – Gangnam – What the hell is a Gangnam – it’s probably freeakin Korean for a freeakin Condom.

      • quickwittier November 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

        I pass my crown to you. Maybe we should start a support group!

      • replenishforhealth November 18, 2012 at 12:59 am #

        No, no the Crown is firmly on your Head Queen QuickTwittier

  2. Jamie marsh October 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Your destined for greatness
    Or at least a great gift
    Or maybe or maybe something that is great but really heavy to lift
    Either way remember a writer writes and a singer sings and you can do anything as long as its funny
    Jamie
    Great work

    • quickwittier October 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

      That’s very kind and I will take you up on the offer of the great gift and the greatness. Ta

  3. Pauline Spiby October 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    Brilliant! You should make a career out of this writing thing!

  4. Lisamcjono October 30, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    Always entertaining and a story I can relate to ha ha ha xx

  5. Jo October 30, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    I want to hear you sing ! X

  6. Nicole October 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    Even though I had heard this story from you before, and thus knowing the ending, I still laughed out loud. If you need more material on the topic of singing the wrong words…speak to Craig!!

  7. Loretta November 1, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    Written beautifully…. you had me in the car, singing along in my head to “save the whales”! Very funny story x

  8. Dad November 11, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    What about the kid with a pillow under his shirt in the school Nativity play? “I was Round John Virgin,” he explained to his curious parents.

    Nice piece, Pix.

  9. christinethings November 20, 2012 at 4:27 am #

    My sister and I still believe John Cougar Mellencamp’s song “Rave On,” is about a guy named Ray Vaughn. I think I’ve just outed myself on my age and my questionable taste in music. But you’ve made me feel better about myself…thanks for sharing your very very very funny story!

  10. Loraine November 24, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    I found this “rambling” about Enja very funny and topical for me at present as we currently performing Orinoko Flow (sail away) as part of our choir and it is a very wordy piece and alas there is no mention of whales. I remember when she was very popular with this hit back late 80s early 90s and could never imagined actually performing in front of people and knowing it word for word.

  11. jennsmidlifecrisis November 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    When I was a kid, I thought “For he’s a jolly good fellow” on the Flintstones was about candy…”which nobody candy nigh”…It didn’t make sense…but what kid wouldn’t want to sing about candy! Thanks for a laugh. I needed it today!

    • Ramblings of a Quickwit November 29, 2012 at 8:51 am #

      That’s great, there must be a great collection out there of wrong lyrics, who knows they might even be better than the original!

      • jennsmidlifecrisis November 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

        Well there’s a great blog post idea..for you since you started it! lol

  12. replenishforhealth March 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    I hate it when I’m singing a song and the artist gets the words wrong !!!

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