Sing out, sister: tunes you have to belt

“Sing, sing a song / sing out loud, sing out stroooong.” You are, aren’t you? Singing, that is. You can’t help it – some songs require that you sing along, no matter how shy or tone-deaf you are. I defy you not to sing this: “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” The Carpenters were masters of the sing-along song.

Sometimes you don’t know the whole song, but a catchy hook or chorus makes you stop whatever you’re doing to sing it. Some tunes have the power to transform even a noisy group of lesbians into choral fools. I’ve been at parties where music is playing in the background that no one seems to notice, then suddenly the whole room bursts into “The closer I am to fi-i-i-ine / the closer I am to fine.”

This thought train started chugging when I read an article about Bryan Adams, whose “Summer of ’69,” has one of those choruses the crowd has to sing: “Those were the best days of my life.” Adams, btw, is not only making beautiful music on his acoustic tour, but has proven himself a damn fine photographer with a recent picture of Hillary Clinton. (To download a very hi-res version, go here.) He’s offered to do a portrait of Barack Obama, too, so no endorsement is implied – at least not by Adams.

Thinking of “Summer of ’69” led me to the Beach Boys’ “Round, round get around, I get around / yeah, get around, round, round, I get around / I get around.” And another BB chorus that our California LGBT family sang until they made it so: “We could get married, and then we’d be happy / oh wouldn’t it be nice?”

That leads, of course, to “Goin’ to the chapel and we’re gonna get married,” which has turned more than one group of wedding guests into a chapel of love choir. The same guests who, later at the reception, joined in on, “We are family / I got all my sisters with me / we are family / get up everybody and sing.”

In the right setting, “We Are Family” becomes a sway-along-song; one that makes everyone lock arms and sing in a moment of true sisterly unity. Dorothy Snarker’s sway-along-song is courtesy of Janis Joplin: “I want you to come on / come on / come on / come on and take it!” Erstwhile blogger scribegrrl leans to the Musak classics like, “Sweet Caroline, good times never seem so good.”

Of course, I’m an old fart and love old fart music. So how about you — what tunes make you shut up and sing? What are your favorite sing-along-songs?