We didn’t start the fire

This song is my husband’s party trick.

I’m being serious. He knows every single word, and can recognise it from the first split second of the track starting. I don’t really know why that is, aside from having heard a lot of Billy Joel at some point in his life, but it is a fact that he is rather proud of. We listened to a lot of Billy Joel in the early days of our relationship when I was not yet used to the heavier stuff that has sort of become the norm when his music is on, and I kinda hadn’t figured out that it’s totally okay to not listen to the same stuff all the time. Or even most of the time.

When we had been together a few months, we wanted to introduce our parents to each other. We had the very clever idea of getting everyone together at Mitchell’s at the Waterfront in Cape Town. It was a Tuesday night, so we came straight from dancing. Mom and Dad (on both sides) were going to meet us there. We walked in and found a nice six-seater table and waited for the parents. A late-ish supper for us, starting at about 8.30pm.

What we didn’t realise was that Mitchell’s hosts a karaoke at 9pm on Tuesdays.

As a friend said when I related it to him, ‘It’s like the romcom fairy smiled on you.’

The parents tucked into what we confidently said were the best burgers in Cape Town (they’re not, but which ones are is still up for debate), and the best onion rings in Cape Town (this one is true – I requested one as an engagement ring at our next visit to Mitchell’s, about seven years before getting engaged at the Waterfront, if not at Mitchell’s).

Then, came all the regulars to yowl their renditions of ‘And IIIIIIIiiiiIIIIIIIII will always love YOOOOUuuuuuUUU’ or various other classic karaoke numbers.

Cue bemused parents.

At some point, the crew from the ballroom society arrived and started signing up for various Spice Girls tracks and so on. Alex and I signed up to sing ‘We didn’t start the fire’, which they put on duet mode, and I got all the bits I didn’t really know… Well, eight years later, I know all the words too, but perhaps a little less confidently than my darling husband.

Later, as a second round of Mitchell’s finest pints were brought to the table, I overheard my mom lean over and ask Heather ‘So, do you guys come to karaoke often?’

Needless to say, we definitely laugh about it now, and I don’t think either set of parents has been back on karaoke night since.

Lightning blog 62.

Writing song:

What an interesting music video

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