I CAN sing, I just can’t sing well

Recently, someone close to me, who plays the guitar, harmonica and sings for a living, described me using the phrase “can’t sing.”  I corrected him:  “I CAN sing, I just can’t sing well.”

We can all sing, and I’ve never thought my one-note range should stop me.

Singing at Rotary probably belongs in the same category as God and politics, which is what makes for a good blog post, so here I go. . .

Wednesday, we sang “Daisy,” which is not its real name I learned.  My grandma sang this to me and with me, and I remember it as among the top three songs we sang together over and over (the other two were “Houpy, Houpy, Houpy” in Bohemian and “You Are My Sunshine,” which we also sang recently).

I really enjoy our singing when we sing songs familiar to me and within the stretch of my one-note range.  I also enjoy songs involving Brad Hutter wearing a wig or Dick Lovell rushing in at the last moment with props in hand. I honestly thought for a second Dick rode his bike and stopped to pick daisies until the theme dawned on me.

Our singing is at its best when we are having fun and participating and that seems to arise from the Music Committee selecting songs many of us know and have a chance of singing along with.  Terry Anderson and Co. are certainly starting off the year with songs that fit that description, and I’d like to compliment them on their song choices and enthusiasm for not just leading us in song but entertaining us too (and helping us entertain ourselves).

There is another aspect to singing which is its unifying quality. I will never forget seeing Stu Levitan and Fred Mohs both singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” one day at the Alliant Center when David Maraniss was our speaker.

Singing is in the same category as weekly attendance:  People ask “Really?!” and I say “Yes, trust me.”

Just as long as I don’t stand too close to the microphone.

p.s Rick Kiley provided the image of the menu to accompany his comment: check it out!

7 responses to “I CAN sing, I just can’t sing well

  1. Juli, “seeing” Mohs and Levitan sing is one heck of a lot better than hearing them do so. You were fortunate. Also, I thought we heard the “Daisy” IS the real name of the song, didn’t we?

  2. Jim, perhaps. I literally did see not hear them, so I don’t know!

    “Daisy Bell” is the real name, at least per Wikipedia.

  3. Kristin Balistreri

    Halarious, Juli!

  4. So Juli, we’re not too far apart……I love the singing too – and- I cannot be sure that I am carrying the tune, so if I stand near someone who sings well, then I can fake it and follow their voice, as long as it is alto! i would love to have the singing fellowship sing more often and I surely appreciate their contributions to organize our singing. Many kudos to Jeff, who can make any room jump when he is at the piano!

  5. Juli, I was mortified at the first Rotary meeting I ever attended in the early 1980s with my father. To hear him (tone deaf) and his friends singing is something I’ll never forget.

    It’s a grand tradition. Here is a program from the Cunard Line’s ship, the S.S. “Carinthia”, bound for the 1931 RI Convention in Vienna. You’ll see the “Song Leader” is Madison’s own Edward Douglas, who no doubt regaled ’em.


  6. Having witnessed this musical phenomenon from the podium several times now, ours is a sight and sound to behold: 300 Rotarians singing mostly the same notes on a blockbuster like Battle Hymn of the Republic. Members might be interested to know that we outnumber the Madison Symphony Chorus 2:1. Don’t know what that means, just thought it interesting.

  7. The Rotary Club of La Crosse is also a “singing” club…yesterday, Veterans Day, we did all four stanzas of The Star Spangled Banner. I didn’t know there was more than what we hear at ballgames!!! It was painful, sort of like having a root canal…but when we were done…. in our hearts, we had to admit that we really enjoyed making the effort.

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