Continued from yesterday…

Chigga Chigga

Chig Chig Chig Chig Chig

I swayed slightly. “It’ll have to be the Proclaimers one,” I hiss. The Chipper Barman, who has just finished work and is therefore very sober, gives me a Look.

To recap. A normal evening in the village. I am at a party, being thrown by the Drumming Barman for his friends. Having agreed to back the Drumming Barman in some musical entertainment, he disappears to take a phone call and I find myself glassy-eyed, standing in front of a crowd of people I don’t know, one of whom I have already accidentally exposed myself to, playing the introduction to one of the only two songs I can remember when drunk: ‘I will be (500 Miles)’ by The Proclaimers.

Chig Chig Chig Chig Chig Chig Chig

The Chipper Barman joins in on bass. Bom Bom Bom Bom

I remember something important.

“Are there any people from Scotland here?” I mumble in to the microphone.

No response. A few bemused shakes of the head. This is good. If one is going to sing a Proclaimers song, one has to affect a broad Scottish accent. It is not quite the same as blacking up to sing ‘What’s Going On’, but the principle is broadly similar.

“Oh good,” I affirm.

Chig Chig Chig Cha-Cha Chig Chig Chig

I steal a glance behind me. The Drumming Barman has disappeared completely. We have been Chigging for a good two minutes now, and there is no sign of any miracle escape. There is nothing for it.

I sing the first verse of ‘I will be (500 Miles)’ by The Proclaimers.

I then sing the chorus.

Two things transpire from this. Firstly, when I say ‘I know the song’, it turns out that I kind of know the chorus and the dadilee-ada bit, and the fact that the first verse is something about waking up, but that is really the extent of my lyrical knowledge. I improvise.

The second thing is that the chorus really does draw its power from two magnificent voices in close harmony. In the original.

I sing the dadilee-ada bit. Some people sing ‘dadilee-ada’ back at me, which is encouraging. I sing it again and it happens again. The first bit is over.

Chig Chig Chig Cha-Cha Chig Chig Chig

I steal a look at the Chipper Barman, who gives me a shrug and melts further back into the shadows. Another desperate glance over my shoulder. I can see the Drumming Barman outside, on the phone. He is clearly involved in a long conversation.

I sort of extend the bit between the verses with some more Chigs. The problem is, it’s not one of those songs that you can pad out. There isn’t a guitar solo, or an improvisey bit, or anything like that. It’s too tight. I look into the crowd. People are clearly growing restless with my Chigs.

I sing the first verse again, followed by the chorus. Then the dadilee-ada bit. I get some dadilee-adas back. For safety reasons, I sing the dadilee-ada bit a few more times. Unfortunately dadilee-adas seem to be subject to a law of diminishing returns and before too long we are all back to the Chig Chig bits. The Chig Chig bits never really had any cachet to begin with, but they allow me to pause and collect my thoughts.

The Chipper Barman stands there, impassively. Bom Bom Bom Ba Ba Bom Bom Bom. There is still no sign of the Drumming Barman, and his guests are starting to question the value of the entertainment on offer. The wine has really hit me now, but despite it all, I have a brainwave.

I sing the first verse of ‘I will be (500 Miles)’ by The Proclaimers.

I am providing the only noise in the room at all. The chorus, again, goes badly until the very end, when there is a little cheer. I knew I would win them over in the end!!! But it is not for me – the Drumming Barman has reappeared through the patio doors behind me.

Just in time for the dadilee-adas. He is such a glory boy. We finish on a crescendo and there is a smattering of applause.

“Sorry chaps,” says the Drumming Barman. “Right. Shall we do a song?”

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