Singing In Japan
Growing up in North America there is this weird dichotomy about singing. North America has one of biggest music industries in the world yet at the same time singing in public … normal people singing either at parties, in the bar or at sporting events is frowned upon. At least it was for my generation (Late Gen Xer) maybe now with all the hype around American Idol, Glee or the X Factor things have changed for the kids but when I was growing up only freaks and bible thumpers sang.

Yet in Europe and the UK, North America’s parent country, singing in the bar or sports chant at a soccer game is the norm. Each team has their own chants, songs that fans know off by heart and will sing at the drop of a hat … like this little diddy from Manchester United for their star Korean player, Park Ji Sung

“He shoots… He scores… He eats lab-radors… Park Ji Sung, Park Ji Sung.”

That’s real song by the way, Manchester loves that guy.  You can even buy the chants to listen on your ipad to pretend you’re at the game.

This singing and merriment from across the Ocean directly contrasts to what North Americans do while seated in their Arenas watching their sport of choice. Don’t get me wrong there is music but they’re songs played over the PA. There is a clear line in North America we like music but it has to sung by other professional singers, not us lowly commoners.

Yet I’ve seen the electricity that the songs inspire at soccer games and even felt it when doing Karaoke in Japan. It’s a rush to sing and a rush to sing with a bunch of people especially when said people are all singing their hearts out together.   I never felt that before I came to Japan.  I feel like North Americans have missed out by following this whole taboo against singing in public thing.

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