When You Can’t Help But Sing Along….

Okay, this isn’t a classic, but it’s fun. A Dover police officer sings along in his car to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” Priceless! And we can all relate. Who hasn’t gotten carried away and sung or danced to a favorite song on the radio when the thought no one was looking? Good for him! And Taylor got a kick out of it as well.

A few years ago, when we went to see South Pacific at Arena Stage, the announcer intoned before the overture: “Now, remember, no matter how much you love the song, please don’t sing along.”  The audience roared with laughter. It was a great production.

Here are my top three songs to sing along with and dance to. I got quite a bit of ribbing for each.

“Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen:


“Beat It” by Michael Jackson:


Amy Grant’s cover of “Big Yellow Taxi.” This one is also good for pretending I’m one of Amy’s backup singers:


Some years ago, when Mary Cliff’s “Traditions” folk music show was on one Saturday, she played “Michael.” I was really belting it out, and must have sounded awful. Later, my aunt said, “I could hear you all the way upstairs.” That wasn’t a criticism; she was just glad that I sang.

Here is the version as sung by The Highwaymen:


Rule, Britannia!

I am tired of “Rule, Britannia” only representing a crossword puzzle clue for me, so I decided to look it up and find out more about the song, the melody, the history, etc.

Here is a link to the James Thomson poem and the Thomas Arne 1740 musical composition.

This is the version associated with the Royal Navy:

The Sounds of Sickness

Everyone in my household is coming down with something. I don’t have it as bad as described in the following song, but I have been trying to laugh to keep my spirits up while keeping warm, drinking tea, and grabbing for nearby Kleenex. I never liked Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence,” but I thoroughly enjoyed this NPR parody from “A Prairie Home Companion” several years ago. Stay well, everyone, and enjoy.


The Sound of Sickness lyrics
Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hello darkness, my old friend
I have gone to bed again
Because a virus came in to me
And I’m feeling tired and gloomy
And my head hurts and I’m achy and I’m hot
And full of snot
I hear the sound of sickness


I have a fever and I ache
Because I made a big mistake
When I taught my class in Sunday school
And those kids began to sniff and drool
While I was teaching them the parables of Jesus
I heard their sneezes
And all the sounds of sickness


I came home and went to bed
And felt a throbbing in my head
And I’m getting the idea
I will soon have diarhhea
And I can’t go out for fear I might explode
And drop a load
And hear the sound of sickness

And in the drugstore light I saw,
Ten thousand people maybe more.
People shivering in their V-necks
Buying Benadryl and Kleenex.
And Vapo-rub and aspirin (AH CHOO)
God bless you.
It is the sound of sickness.


“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
How it feels to be laid low
Why am I the one who’s fated
To be so awfully nauseated
And something like silent raindrops fell
And what a smell
I hear the sounds of sickness


And the people bowed and prayed
For relief and for first aid
For they had it without question
Awful nasal congestion
And fatigue and achiness, the whole bit
They felt like crap
And heard the sounds of sickness


And heard the sounds of sickness.

FN (PLUGGED UP): This is Fred Newman. I’m not going to make it in to work today.

And heard the sound of sickness.

The Sound of Sickness
—originally: “The Sound of Silence” by Paul Simon © 1964 Paul Simon
—new lyrics: Garrison Keillor © 2007 Maia Maia Music (BMI)