Sunday, December 5, 2010
Murrie Oke – Never Give a Murrie a Mic!
OMG there has GOT to be a restriction on the amount of time a Murrie can monopolise a microphone. Hasn’t there?!
I’m sorry, I have never been a fan of Karaoke. The mob here call it Murrie Oke. So twas another perfectly good community celebration invaded and monopolised by a bunch of out of tune, out of range, out of this world, out of their minds disillusioned wanna be singers. Too harsh?! Maybe, but what the hell makes them think that everyone wants to listen to ten rounds of Patsy Cline’s version of “Crazy” deteriorate throughout the night.
I’m pretty sure I can’t sing and have no intention of inflicting that on anyone. I’m also pretty sure that those Karaoke machines carry more than one genre of music, but good bloody luck trying to load anything but country and western, or 50s and 60s tunes at a Murrie event. God bless ‘em crankin’ out the same old Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Peggy Lee, Charlie Pride, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton set list.
What began as relief when the totally out of tune cover band were interrupted by equally out of tune Murrie Okers, turned scary. The scary part was that the same set list is passing down through generations. Talk about cultural maintenance.
It’s amazing too that it’s one of rare times Murries can actually manage to read properly. Except for the songs that have the word Lub in it. Oh…that’s Love to everyone else. Those are the favourites eg ‘Ottis Redding’s ’I’ve Been Lubbing You Too Long’, Charlie Pride’s ‘Mountain of Lub’. Yep, it’s a bit difficult to read those official letters that turn up in the mail, but no problem zipping through that karaoke prompter like a speed reading academic.
While most partygoers waited in anticipation for the next tune, I waited nervously, cringing at every opening note. With rounds of whistling, applause, and yells of ‘Awwww Solid!’ the crowd reveled in every single version of ‘Brisbane Black’ and ‘You’ll Never Meet Another Cherbourg Girl Like Me’ that hit that stage as if they hadn’t heard it a minute and half ago by the previous singer. Then just when I thought there might be a break in the set, and on my ears, Aunty Krakatoa hits the stage to belt out her version. Where was my favourite self-inflicting form of pain relief, the handy pen, to poke myself in the eye with?
Note: protocol states, that the gender in this song is allowed to be changed, depending on who is hogging the mic at the time eg You’ll never meet another Cherbourg girl, boy, aunty, uncle, cousin, sister, brother, nephew, niece, neighbour, lover (or should I say lubber), etc like me.
While I sat through the 100th rotation of those two most popular songs, I reminisced in my life long obligation to happily support the murrie dream to entertain via any means possible and necessary. At every birthday party, dinner, bbq, dance, funeral, festival, native title meeting, etc. Then whichway, while pulling into the BP station half way home to refuel, I found myself humming that immortal Mop and the Dropouts tune ‘Brisbane Blacks’. Gunung gunung, the Magic of Murrie Oke.