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Personalised songs: How far is too far?

Posted by Mike Collins on March 21, 2015 at 9:25 PM

When I think about the personalised songs that I write and perform for singing telegrams, full of personal information all about the person I am singing to, I often think is that piece of information going a little too far? In a lot of ways, I have to trust the people who give me the information, that they know the limits for that person. I am concious that I need to have a family orientated reputation, so I do sometimes clean things up a bit, so that I can put them on the website, but even that can backfire. There's a video on my website and Youtube channel called "Real Singing Telegrams Manchester, Vicky and Vix Engagement". It's the one where the two lasses who were getting engaged, had exactly the same name, Victoria Jones. It's a very funny song with some very funny things in it. one of the things I had to put in the song was about "Motorboating". now I have to admit that I had never come across the word before, and had to Google it. I though that I could put it into the song and it would pass a ;ot of people by, who might be offended by it, if they knew what it meant.

So I decided to put it in the song, but I also thought that the character of The Minstrel, from around the 17th century would be quite embarassed about it, so that's how I played it. Only to  find that the two women had decided to give a demonstration. The people at the church, I was attending at the time were not amused, when they saw it. did I go to far.

Another thing that happens is that stories of drunken nights out and the things that happen afterwards, are often listed in the information to go into the song. Sometimes I do have to censor things, a bit, by using more acceptable terms for body parts that the ones that I have been given. I do think that they should be able to have  the thing that will make them laugh in the song, even if I use different words to tell the story.

Only tonight, I sang at a hen night, and had a particularly unsavoury piece of information to put in the song. I decided not to name the medical condition that the bride to be had when she came home from holiday in Dubai. I thought I had got away with it.

Then I suddenly realised that despite not using the exact words, all of the strangers in the restaurant, who were listening intently, were about to find out that this happened to the girl, on holiday. I thought to my self is this not going to far?. All the hens, including the bride to be, agreed that it wasn't too far, for them. So I do have to trust that the people who give me the information know how their loved one will react and how far is too far., but my limits are nowhere near as much as some of my clients. I do think that my songs do not have to contain all of the gory details that some people give me.

Years ago, when I first started doing fully personalised songs, I was given lots of information about this lady's boyfriend. I was told later on, and I swear I never knew, that her husbnad as well as her boyfriend were both in the room that night. Oops, noone told me.

I suppose, I will go on trusting my clients to know how far is too far. I am comitted to the idea that singing telegrams should never be humiliating, embarassing, yes, as being the centre of attention is sometimes embarassing. Only my clients know where that line is.


Categories: Real Singing Telegrams UK

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