Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No, YOU'RE the Piano Man (Audience Participation Requested!!)

Anyone who has ever heard me sing knows that it is just one of those things, like Sudoku and having a conversation with anybody, that I am not good at. When I sing I sound like a dying cow, if that cow happened to be singing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" while it was dying.

Also, the cow was vomiting.

The upshot is, I am very embarrassed to sing in public, except when I'm drunk and/or surrounded by friends. This fear is about to be put to the test because, in approximately two weeks, I am singing two songs for my ENG 205 class. Let's rewind and see how this certain catastrophe came to be:

About a month ago I was wandering through the Naa Moh market with a visiting PiA fellow when I saw a five-person band playing some tunes for cash. Two of those students--Wall and Choke, both guitarists--were members of my ENG 205 class. I smiled at them and brought it up the next day in class. I asked them if they would play a song in class on the final day.

"Yes," Choke said. "And  you will sing a song too."

I said sure, and no more mention was made of either the final day band performance or my singing.

Fast forward to last Monday, when Choke and Wall approach me and ask me which two songs I would like to sing on the final day of class.


I asked them which English songs they knew. They listed a few that I had never heard before, and then Choke named "You Say It Best When You Say Nothing At All" (that's the Meat Loaf version of the title). I know this song quite well because roommate/acapella wizard Frederick often sang the song, in alto, or whatever girly part he was, in the common room of our suite. I believe it was junior or senior year when his a capella group added the song to their repertoire. The song holds a special place in my heart now as a reminder of Princeton and my best friends from back home; and now, apparently, it will hold a special place in my heart for Thai reasons as well. SO MANY REASONS TO BECOME WISTFUL OVER THIS SONG

The real point of this post, though, is Song #2. Choke assured me that he could learn any song that I wanted to sing for my second song, and I told him that I would let him know on Thursday which song I wanted.

So, loyal readers of This Land Is Thailand, what should it be? What song should I sing to wrap up my time as a teacher in Thailand? Is there any realistic choice besides Total Eclipse of the Heart? Should I make Choke learn Comfy in Nautica on the acoustic guitar? How would an unplugged version of "Pizza Hut Taco Bell" sound?

Let me know in the comments section, friends.


  1. How about Hodja? I think you know all the words to that song. And the notes. I always knew you disliked me. This post is just confirmation. I'm going to console myself by visiting Paul and Peter.

  2. Fred means Peter and Paul. And in answer to your post, no, there is no realistic choice besides Total Eclipse of the Heart. And I want video.