31 May 2007

Musical Ordeals

Today I had the exquisite horror of watching somebody sing a capella to a small group of people. It was a very unfortunate Med Rep (a pharmacy dude basically), who I think actually suggested this hare-brained scheme to his superiors. He sang a song about Statins (Cholesterol-lowering drugs) to the tune of "Pag Nananalo ang Ginebra."


Holy crap.

No, it's not that he was particularly bad. He claimed he was supposed to bring his guitar but his throat was scratchy so he might not be able to pull it off. But he did! Here's how it went: a group of about 16 people listening to a guy (almost) sing his heart (and dignity) out with a song about dyslipidemia. It has all the making of a classic awkward moment:

  1. A super-enthusiastic guy.
  2. A soul-baring act (like singing a solo a capella).
  3. A group of people who did not ask you to do such a thing.
  4. All those people averting their eyes to avoid eye contact and the inevitable sadness that results.
  5. All those people smiling to give the guy comfort.
The only thing missing was the guy missing all the notes or his voice cracking, which thank heavens did not happen. The thing that sealed the deal was him following up with a song that was not in his commission; "Dalagang Bicolana," and no, its lyrics were not replaced with medical terminology. He just wanted to sing the damned song.
Let's all make a pact to never subject each other to such grotesque social-bondary crossing by following a few simple rules:

  1. If you sing TO a person/people, make sure they asked.
  2. Do the eye-closing thing frequently, not to give the effect of passion, but to prevent locking your eyes while singing something like "I'm cold and I'm ashamed, lying naked on the floor."
  3. Sing on top of a platform or stage, where you are free from being too intimate.
  4. Sing in front of at least 50 people.
  5. Have accompaniment, like a guitar or piano, and use it as an excuse to use your eyes for something else.
Trust me. Or at least look around the next time you sing and observe for yourself.

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