Cerys Matthews: music for a karaoke night with your son's future in-laws

Our musical agony aunt’s alter ego helps a sixtysomething father choose karaoke tunes that won’t show him up as an old fart

Dear Doctor, I am a 62-year-old father of a wonderful 25-year-old son who is finally allowing me to meet his long-standing fiancee’s early fortysomething parents. And the venue is a sushi bar with karaoke. What should I sing to dispel any impression of my being an old fart?
Ah, a karaoke showdown. This was a regular pastime during the Doctor’s courting days with her husband. Do you go for the safety of the simple, where everybody knows the words and will sing along with you (Frank Sinatra being the king of that particular genre with New York, New York), or do you go for dynamic belters that can melt an audience?

Whichever option you choose, it’s always advisable to warm up first, so start with a Chip Taylor number, Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe. It’s not quite Lee Marvin, true, but it is low enough to allow a bit of stomach-in-the-throat mumbling.

After a quick Baileys Irish Cream refresher, it’s then time to move on to Bob Dylan’s Forever Young, which may be interpreted as an ode to the young couple to be, but in fact it’s really all about you, and reminding yourself that youth is just a state of mind.

Expect your son’s fiancee’s parents to go for something by Elbow or Jessie J, by way of proving that they are still on it; but after they’ve done their thing, bowl them a googly with the Saints’ This Perfect Day.

Next, throw in a hit with a number that’s both a hip classic and a singalong: the Clash’s Should I Stay Or Should I Go. After that, there’s no better finale than Father And Son, by Cat Stevens. There won’t be a dry eye in the house.

• Post your questions to Cerys below.

Contributor

Cerys Matthews

The GuardianTramp

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