So several weeks ago now I got "voted off the island" (to mix metaphors) in the Operation Rising Star competition here in Kosovo. I wasn't surprised, but I was a little sad that it had happened when it did, because I'd really wanted to sing the week they were doing oldies from the 50s and 60s.
As I've mentioned before, karaoke is not really somthing I'd ever imagined myself doing before I came here. I'm not familiar with a lot -- no, most -- of the music that people sing at karaoke, so why bother?
Thus it had been a challenge to come up with songs to sing for this competition, because I figured it would be helpful to know them if I wanted to sing them in public. I'd have to sing from memory, which is always a challenge for my addled brain, and for unfamiliar music, I'd need to learn it without benefit of seeing the music on the printed page.
I don't learn songs well by ear, truth be told.
After I chose the song I'd perform for the "oldies" week, I was really looking forward to singing "The House of the Rising Sun." This was especially true after I decided that I'd 'adapt' the lyrics to our situation here in Kosovo. At the very least, since the competition is mostly a popularity competition, I could probably sway votes my way by getting the crowd revved up with the new lyrics I'd come up with.
Last Sunday I was able to sing that rendition of "The House of the Rising Sun" before the week's competition started. (The organizers of the show invite us losers back to sing before or after the actual competitors, so I took them up on that.)
As I suspected, the crowd seemed to love my adaptation of the song to our situation here at Camp Bondsteel. I've had lots of people ask me whether they could have a copy of the lyrics because they wanted to save them.
I had a great time singing it, and am glad others appreciated the effort!
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ