Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Daily Jam - You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

Admittedly, karaoke is kind of lame. But also, it can be crazy fun if you’re in the right frame of mind.

The apex of my karaoke participation came a few years ago, long before we all started popping out babies and mowing our lawns on Sunday mornings. On weekend trips to Houston to visit a group of guys and girls I’ve known too long to even remember, for a stretch, we somehow managed to find ourselves frequenters of a local karaoke dive every time I came into town. And it was awesome…cheap, bad drinks and cigarettes and taking turns humiliating ourselves in front of a room of random strangers we didn’t know. And there was much aplomb and applause in this house of lost weekends, blurred vision, slurred speech, and mighty, thunderous tributes to the arts.

Yeah, we probably sucked, but we swung through all the hits.

Of all my turns at the mic, taking on songs by Bowie or The Carpenters or Erasure or whatnot, there are two tracks I regret never getting around to singing. One of those is Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.”

Originally penned by Italian songwriter and composer Pino Donaggio with lyrics by Vito Pallavicini in 1965, the track eventually made its way to English singer Dusty Springfield, herself a huge fan of the original Italian iteration. Released a year later, her English version, much more of a reinterpretation than a translation, still soars as one of the greatest odes to unrequited love that I’ve ever heard. It’s the sonic equivalent of tearing your heart out and holding it up for the whole world to see. It moves me literally every time I hear it.

So, naturally I want to butcher it in a dirty room in front of a bunch of drunk weirdos.

No word or hints as to when my next karaoke excursion will be, but after a few cocktails, I think I’ll be ready to perform.

And for the record, the other song is “Just a Gigolo” by David Lee Roth.

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