April 20 ~  Find A Song Karaoke Bible

"Those who wish to sing always find a song." ~ Swedish Proverb

karaoke machines at amazon If you wish to sing, try karaoke.

Brought to us in the 80s by the Japanese, the word karaoke is from kara, meaning "empty" and oke, from the English word "orchestra." Not pronounced "carryoki" (that sounds like nails on the chalkboard to me), but KARAoke... Try rolling the R for even more Japanese authenticity!

Not everyone loves karaoke. Take journalist Sara Sadik who wrote, "Karaoke: Japanese for tone deaf. A widely used definition of the term is one who embarrasses themselves profusely for the good of the group."

An over $13 billion industry, karaoke began in Japanese piano bars where patrons would sing. Those who worked hard seemed to enjoy singing the loudest. Record companies recognized the potential goldmine of the market demands and rushed to produce music-only tapes.

Small rental rooms--karaoke bokkusu ("box")--were closed-door insulated rooms created so folks could belt out their favorite songs alone or with family and friends.

The pastime is very popular in Hawaii where with the love of music and performing, singers practice and perform "their song" at parties or get-togethers. (Mine, if you are interested, is Melissa Etheridge's Come To My Window.)

With microphone in hand and CD graphics to lead the way, karaoke is exciting and fun. Karaoke creates the fantasy of fame and provides the rehearsal ground for potential American Idol contestants. And it's a great way to let go of inhibitions and have a laugh.

With a passionate burst of music, karaoke celebrates the Irish Proverb that recommends, "Dance as if no one is watching. Sing as if no one is listening. Love as if your heart will never be broken."

Or English poet Lord Alfred Tennyson: "I do but sing because I must/And pipe but as the linnets sing."

Find your song and sing it.