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Sweet Caroline

I admit that I’ve always avoided Sweet Caroline at karaoke. We’ve always had our group songs that we do. Love Train. What’s So Funny (’bout Peace Love And Understanding). But last night we had a big, drunken, rowdy gang taking over the Sudsy Mug, and there was no way we could do anything with too many words. We tackled Elvis earlier in the night, but this was Joe McCall’s birthday, and we were closing out the night.

So the question came down. What song do we do? There wasn’t time to go through the book. It’s a massive sea of songs to troll through. At times like this you need a hit. This will be the song that all the barflies and hipsters and casualties will have running through their heads when they leave.

I’m not saying I made the right call. We could maybe have done a passable version of the Beatle’s Birthday. It could have been the night for a wild card, like Wagon Wheel. But it felt like something big needed to be done.

So Sweet Caroline it was. This was some “in case of emergency break glass” type shit. We gathered around the mics and started into one of the weirdest classic pop songs in the cannon. It’s half Vegas style schmaltz and half jazz age burlesque. There’s a slow build. The chords methodically build up the scale. Then there’s release. We’re all at the top of our lungs and the song hits it’s stride. It was drunken karaoke melee at its best. The song is a roller-coaster and everyone in the bar was along for the ride. Good times never seemed so good.

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