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15th of April, 2024

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A Short List

Although I’m not much of a guitar player, every now and then I learn a tune enough to enjoy playing it. I remember commercials from my youth, hawking a crash course in learning the three or four chords on a guitar which would turn you into the envy of all your friends and the object of desire for cheerleaders and candystripers everywhere. Well, I’ve learned at least that many chords now, and a few songs to go with them; everything I need to be the hit of parties and campfires, as laid out by those Urban General hucksters. Unfortunately, I always seem to choose songs that a) no one wants to hear, or b) nobody can sing.

A short list of songs I can play on guitar, none of which are suitable for campfires and/or parties:


- Rowboat, by Johnny Cash. It’s written by Beck, and sung by Johnny, so you can rest assured that no man born of woman can hit that first note.
- Back to the Old House, by The Smiths. Campfire + Smiths = Maudlin Loser.
- Black Gold, by Soul Asylum. It loses a bit of umph when played on creaky old acoustic guitar with plastic strings; also, no rhythm section.
- Superman, by R.E.M. Bursting into shameful tears at the line, “You don’t really love that guy you make it with, now do you...” is no way to impress the ladies.
- Jane Says, by Jane’s Addiction. Imagine your mom with a pint of bourbon in her, belting out “I want ‘em if they waaaant meeeeee!” in her best Perry Farrel screech.
- House Above Tina’s Grocery, by Kevn Kinney. “Kevn who? Play Free Bird, dumbass!”
- Norwegian Wood and/or Hide Your Love Away, by the Beatles. The last four guys who had the guitar already played it, and they were better than you anyway, so put a sock in it.
- Marie’s the Name, by Elvis Presley. Although this sounds like it would work, it’s important to keep one thing in mind: You are not Elvis.

So, what is a good song to learn for campfires, which requires but meagre skills? I, too, would like to be the hit of the party someday.




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Comments

Libby

I might suggest you learn something everyone knows the words to. Like Bye Bye Miss American Pie or Mustang Sally for instance.

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