Thursday, October 20, 2016

Songs That Only Chicks Can Sing

“We killed it.” Ray Nardo skipped along the sidewalk. He felt like he could sprout wings and fly, if he wasn’t already a fox shifter. “That was our best performance yet. We’re gonna take the school talent contest no sweat. They might as well just hand us the trophy now.” He grabbed the hand of the band’s new lead singer and pulled her closer to him. “We couldn’t have done it without you. Tell me you’ll stay with the band.”

Callista Snow glanced at his face, stared longer at their joined hands. “I’d like to,” she said in a small voice. “But … “

“No. No buts. No more buts ever.” There was nothing small about her voice when she had a mic in her hand. Her voice could do it all—rock, pop, ballads, even show tunes. Compared to her, everyone else in school who thought they could sing was just backup. “You’re the Shedders’ star attraction. End of discussion.”

“Okay.” She swallowed, like she was gathering her courage. Ray was still trying to figure out why. Okay, so she was an arctic fox, and their colorless hair and dumpy build carried over to her human form. So what? When she sang, she turned into a supermodel. When she smiled, she even looked like a supermodel. Ray was determined to do everything in his power to keep her singing, and smiling. “But I’ll need … ” She trailed off.

“Name it. It’s my band. You need it, you got it.”

She swallowed again. “Some different songs. Something more in my range. Songs that aren’t so … guy.”

Ray stopped, but didn’t let go of her hand. “You mean chick songs?”

“If you want to put it that way, yeah.”

“What’s wrong with the Zeppelin covers? A girl can sing anything Plant can sing. It’s been proven.”

“But not Guns ‘n’ Roses. I Used to Love Her … ?”

“Yeah,” Ray admitted. “That could be problematic.”

“Or Springsteen. I know Benny loves the Springsteen covers, but my voice won’t go there. I don’t think any woman can sing Springsteen. Not even Cher.”

“Melissa Ethridge can. She did a duet with him on Thunder Road. But okay. Benny and I can take those.” Ray scratched his wild red hair with his free hand. “Cripes. I didn’t even think of this. We’ve never had a chick in the band before. Can they even rock?”

She yanked her hand free of his. “Halestorm?” she challenged. “Pretty Reckless?”

“Okay. Okay, yeah,” Ray conceded. His eyes lit up. “Can you sing Halestorm? Love Bites?”

Callista’s lip curled, showing teeth. “Watch me.”

“That’s definitely going on the playlist, then. What else?” Dammit. All he knew were male rockers. He’d never even thought about female singers, until he heard Callista. “Not ballads,” he decided then and there. “All rock ballads suck.”

“I know what you mean.” They looked at each other and said in unison, “Beth. Ewwwwww.”

“Damn, this is tough,” Ray said. “I guess Metallica’s right off the menu, huh?”

“I’d say so,” she said drily. “I’ll whip my hair around, but I’m not blowing out my voice on the first three songs in a set. Doing Halestorm is going to be rough enough on it without throwing in Metallica.”

“Heard you there.” Even Ray didn’t like singing too many Metallica songs in a row. Humans must have super-strong vocal cords or something.

Callista grinned suddenly, her round face unmistakably vulpine. “How about Alanis Morissette?”

“If you can—no. Oh no. You’re not doing that song. No man would go anywhere near that song. Or her. We’re four guys. I want to keep you happy, but you have to keep us happy too.”

She held on to that foxy grin. “Are you saying I can a sing a song men can’t?”

“I’m saying no man would want to. It’s the lyrics, not the melody. If it had different lyrics, any guy could sing it. Melody isn’t really the issue. Maybe we can adapt the lyrics to guy songs so you can sing them. Would that work?”

Callista thought it over. “Can I switch the genders on I Used to Love Her?”

Ray frowned at her. “No.” He took her hand again. “C’mon, let’s get a soda or something. We need to work on this.”

They strolled along the street, toward the ice cream shoppe. After many minutes of silence Callista said, “I can think of a song only a woman can handle. Many men have tried, and failed. It’s the music, not the lyrics. Only chicks can sing it.”

“Dudes can sing Over the Rainbow. You should hear that snake shifter at the club.”

“This is another one. I don’t think even a wolf could handle this one.” She winked at him. “Think you could?”

He showed his own teeth. “Bring it on.”

Moments later strollers in the town square stopped dead at the sound of two voices, one clear, strong and female, one male and struggling, dueting on, “And I… will always love youuuuuuuuu…”


Rebecca Gillan said...

That was awesome! I'd pay money to see a guy trying to sing that one!

Pat C. said...

Just find a wedding reception with an open bar.

Pat C. said...

Did you know if you play a 33 RPM recording of Bruce's "I'm on Fire" at 45 RPM, he sounds just like Dolly Parton? Thank you, morning radio shows!