If You Can’t Sing Well…

If you can’t sing well…

… Sing LOUD!

My sister and I have claimed this to be a family motto for a very long time. And I assure you, everyone in my family sings very, very loud.

It doesn’t stop us from trying.

I love music. I always have.  I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but that doesn’t change my love for it just the same.  I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to music, and it very literally effects my mood.  I know this is the case for everyone – music is just something that’s intrinsic to most of us.  That’s the whole point, right?  For it to effect you.

I dive into it, though.  If I need my mood to be lifted, I blast something peppy and upbeat – something you can tap your feet to.  Doesn’t matter if I’m at home, in my car, or at the store – if there’s a good song on, I’m going to be dancing and singing at the top of my lungs.

Well, maybe won’t be singing at the grocery – I have too much respect for my fellow many to do that to them…

If I’m having a really stressful day at work, for example, I play a few songs in my office, sing along contently (much to my coworkers chagrin, I’m sure), and suddenly the day really is quite a bit brighter.

As I said, I really do have eclectic tastes.

It started when I was young, I suppose.  We lived in the middle of nowhere growing up, and it was at least an hour drive to get really anywhere.  We would listen to music on those trips. When it was just my mom, sis, and I, we would sing. Sometimes it would be old girl scout songs-

“The cutest guy… I ever saw… was sippin’ ciiiiiiiider through a straw….” now my sister is going to have THAT in her head. Shall we time how long it takes for her to call me out on it? There’s also things like ‘Alice the Camel’ and ‘Miss O’Leary.’

Sometimes it was singing oldies songs like Henry the Eighth.  Don’t knock it – this was how I learned to put on my British accent, and it’s pretty darn good! There were the Monkeys, Beatles, Simon & Garfunkle. As I grew older, I kept my passion for these.

I remember in high school, there were days that my sister and I would have to go to my mother’s office with her.  We would have doctor appointments or some such, so we would have to stay with her while she worked part of the day or some such. We would end up sitting in the break room, and my sister and I would try to remember lyrics to songs. We would write them down, and as employees came in, we’d quiz them, trying to get their help as we tried to remember it.  Did this with Hotel California and Joy to the World (not the Christmas song).

This was before smart phones – we couldn’t just look up the lyrics so easily.

As I said, we lived in the middle of nowhere.  We had a long driveway, and we would have to walk down it every morning before school, and back up after. To make sure we weren’t late, we’d get to the end of the drive early, and just wait.

So what did we do to entertain ourselves?

We’d sing.  Loudly.

…. good thing our neighbors weren’t too close.  Even then, we got yelled at a few times for being too loud “too damn early in the morning.”


My son will groan when I’m listening to ‘oldies music’ (I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that ’80s is now considered oldies…).  I will say that I love how pop and what we considered harder rock and even rap at the time is all lumped together now so that if you’re listening to an 80s station, you’re going to get a little bit of everything. I liked it all.

How is that even considered a ‘genre’ now?  But carrying on!

In the past decade, I’ve also discovered that I really like ‘disco.’  No, no. Let me explain!  I was riding with my mother one day, and she had a pack of CDs titled ‘Disco’s greatest hits.’ I groaned, I rolled my eyes (Oh god, I suddenly realize where my son got it from….) until she played it. Holy crap! I knew ALL of those songs!! And I really, really liked them!

Hell. I like disco.

I’ve always liked pop music – that tends to be the peppier, bouncier music. It’s why it’s called ‘pop’ though, right? Because it’s ‘popular’?  That’s regardless of the decade it was produced in.  Yes, I listen to Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift.

Though overall, I think Pink may be at the top of my list of American artists.

Dude, she’s bad ass. Just… just don’t.

In the ’90s, I started getting into ‘alternative’ as well. Would be considered more of the hard stuff.  I’ve noticed that it tends to make me feel more aggressive in general, and have learned it is best not to be listening to that while I am driving.  Just trust me on this one… However, it IS excellent for plotting and writing fight scenes… Don’t believe me?  Throw on a bit of White Zombie (or Rob Zombie) or some Disturbed. Maybe even some Linkin Park (are they still considered ‘alternative’?). Get back to me once you get your blood pumping on THAT.

I enjoy some old country – talking Garth Brooks or Reba McIntyre type of stuff.  Not a whole lot – if I have my choice, I don’t tend to listen to country.

Now blues?  I’ll listen to blues. Not really on my computer or the radio, but you give me the chance to go to a live blues?  Hell yes, I’m in!!  There’s just something so visceral about it. This may be true for any music you listen live, but I’ve noticed that to be doubly so with the blues and jazz musicians.  I would love to have the opportunity to listen to it more, live.

Orchestra and Opera are the same. I’ve only been to one orchestral performance, and it was… simply breathtaking. I sat, in awe, all night as I listened. I desperately wish the opportunity again. I’ve not been to the opera before, but this, too, is something I wish to experience.

Over the past couple of years, my son has diversified his own listening.  In the evenings, you can pretty much guarantee one or the other of us will be blasting some awesome music. The first time I really realized how much my son’s tastes had grown was I heard Green Day blasting from his room.  I had to go to check on that one.  I was shocked…

“You… know who Green Day is?”

“Mom, they’re great! I really like this song and this song, and have you ever heard THIS song??”

“Dude… I’ve been listening to Green Day since before you were born.  Yes.”

And we proceeded to jam. In an air-guitar sort of way.

My kid has some pretty awesome taste in music – just sayin’.  30 Seconds to Mars (he introduced me to this one… dude!), Red, Pink (like I said… good taste), Simple Plan, Sum 41, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin… I listened to a lot of these artists previously, and my son’s just discovered them anew. Some of them, I had never listened to before.

Ya learn somethin’ every day!

In recent years, I’ve started listening to k-Pop a great deal. I’m still listening to all sorts of music, but I’ve noticed with my writing, if I’m listening to English lyrics while I’m actually writing, then I write what I’m hearing.  With K-Pop, I have to actively try to translate the music, and even then, I only know a few phrases.  It’s easier to complete actual writing while listening to it.  And yes, I actively enjoy it, too!

Sound tracks, musicals, anime opening sequences… I enjoy all of these!!

I admittedly find inspiration in music.  I will listen to a song, and it will strike an image in my head. It could be a dialog, a fight, a bit of breaking and entering, maybe a ghost, maybe a spy… I have play lists for my different characters, different stories.  For example, Jo has a play list (oh yes, yes she does!), but Ve, for example, is very different, and has different music to go with her.  If you guys are interested, I’m very happy to share some of these!

Want some peppy songs?  Here’s a few to check out:

Better When I’m Dancin’ by Meghan Trainor

Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

Brave by Sara Bareilles

Counting Stars by OneRepublic

Try by Colbie Caillat

Raise Your Glass by Pink (I couldn’t find the official video – sorry, guys)

If I had a Million Dollars – by Bare Naked Ladies (again, sorry lack of vid)

I Like to Move It from Madagascar Movie (I dare you not to boogie to this one)

The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars

Firework by Katy Perry

Price Tag by Jessie J

We are Golden by Mika



There are so many more songs by so many more artists… this is just a sampling of the ones that make me smile.

What about you? What are some of your favorite songs?

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4 thoughts on “If You Can’t Sing Well…

  1. CaseyJuly January 29, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I do the exact same thing. Even classical pieces by Brahms and Mozart can carry you away to a better place when you are down and out!
    My list looks a lot like yours but I also like some songs like Bodies from Drowning Pool. Or Breaking Benjamin when I am working long hours and need to keep rocking!

    • EM Ervin January 29, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Exactly!! I have play lists for all of that. I love me some Drowning Pool, too! So many more. When you’re feeling more aggressive and all RAR!

  2. Mom January 30, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I remember most of those songs in the car, but you forgot an important, very used song, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, head banging at its best. Rock on Garth.

    • EM Ervin January 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Party on, Wayne!

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