On Love and a Song

There are two types of people.

Those that sing the instrumental parts of a song, and those that don’t.

I am the first.

Currently, I have a song stuck in my head, but it’s just the musical part of the song, and so of course it’s completely un-Google-able.

Dun-dunnnnn dundun. Dundundundun BOOM chaaaaaaaaaaaaaa lalalalala daaaaaaaaaaaaa blaaaaaaaaaaaaalonggggggggggg dunnnnn

Weirdly, blaaaaaaaaaaaaalonggggggggggg dunnnnn gave me zero search results.

Well false.
It gave me one, but it was inappropriate and I don’t want to sing about it.

I discovered that not everyone was a person who liked to sing the instrumental part of music when I was in high school. I had just memorized the entire soundtrack to Moulin Rouge instead of the capitals of South American countries. To this day, its debatable which was more important for my future. There is this particular part of the “Elephant Love Medley” where Ewan McGregor is dancing around on an elephant’s butt and he’s singing with the voice of an angel and he belts “WE COULD BE HEROES!” High school Mary was singing along and of course, added a nice loud “BOOM!” after, imitating a bass drum with crazed enthusiasm. But apparently not everyone knew that “lyric”.

And that’s when I learned.
Not everyone sings the instrumental parts of songs.
It was humiliating and I refused to sing like bass drum in public again.

That is until I found my people.

It turns out there are hoards of people who like to sing the instrumental part of music. It’s true. You might not believe me, but I promise. You’re probably married to someone who can sing every Jimmi Hendrix guitar solo and you don’t even know it. I discovered all these people are gathering together semi regularly to sing like band instruments. These gatherings are called Ben Folds concerts.

It’s truly wild how we all found each other in this big wide world. At his concerts, Ben encourages this kind behavior by having the audience sing the parts of the songs that he can’t play on his piano. He will jump around on the stage and wave his arms while singing about throwing his phone in the pool or how bitches aren’t really that much shit and somehow, the crowd knows what noises to make to create music. I know that only a very small percent of us truly know the first thing about instrumentals and the rest us are just squawking along with a hope and a prayer, but with a little bit of beer and some professional conducting, Ben Folds fans can imitate trumpets, drums, guitars, flutes, maracas… whatever is needed to finish the song.

I promise, it’s way cooler than it sounds.

Painting my basement wall while watching a Ben Fold’s virtual concert. #quarantine2020

If you don’t believe me, tune in to his virtual concert on Saturday and watch the particularly amazing ability Ben Folds fans have to somehow sing the instrumental parts of music through cyberspace.





2 thoughts on “On Love and a Song

  1. I am an instrumental singer too! I never realised it was unusual until my friends started commenting, and then I put it down to playing clarinet in the school band (i.e., I thought this had programmed me to keep track of instrumental bits and treat them as integral, recognisable parts of the music).


    1. I played the cello which has way less fun instrumental parts when playing as a team, but in general sounds gorgeous even when your’e learning. You may be onto something. I’ll poll the entire Ben Folds concert next time I’m there.

      Liked by 1 person

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