Can you sing the complete lyrics to any songs?

In the movies you see the following scene all the time. A bunch of people are sitting around and someone starts to sing. Then more people join them, and more, and suddenly everyone is (usually, cheerfully) singing in unison.

Can anyone actually sing the entire lyrics, off the top of their heads, to any songs?

I can only think of two.

I can sing “Flowers on the Wall” by The Statler Brothers fairly completely, and when I was younger I could sing the entire lyrics to “Rocky Raccoon” by The Beatles. I can probably still do it if I thought about it, but I’d screw most of it up. Wait, one more. I can sing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen fairly completely.

So I call shennanigans on those movies. Who can sing the lyrics to a song more or less completely, let alone many, many songs?

I’ve nothin’ to do.

I can sing the entirety of REM’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it” completely by memory. It’s really just about my only talent.

Are you serious? I can sing dozens of songs from memory.

I would so throw my beer in your face for that.

Probably most of the songs I listen to. I’m weird like that. My wife hates it.

A few years ago I taught my room-mates and other people on my floor (I lived in a dorm at the time) the lyrics (or at least the chorus) to MacArthur Park so we could use it as a drinking song. I know more songs than that, but MacArthur Park sure did yield some good memories…

I didn’t say it was a good talent.

At least you’re not quoting Python. Right?

I don’t think I can name all the songs I can sing from memory, there’s just too many.

But I’m one of those people who can name each album of an artist, the year of their release, and the track listing in order - some even the exact lengths of each song.

I don’t mean “I can sing a few lines” or “I can sing a portion of it”. I mean, the whole thing.

Ok, thought of one more. Piano Man by Billy Joel. Ok, so four. That’s it.

Bill, dozens? The WHOLE thing? Name some.

I should have known better with a girl like you
That I would love everything that you do
And I do, hey hey hey, and I do
Wo wo wo wo I never realized what a kiss could be
This could only happen to me
Can’t you see, can’t you see
That when I tell you that I love you, oh
You’re gonna say you love me too oo oo oo ooo woah
And when I ask you to be mi i i IIIIII
You’re gonna say you love me too
So wo wo wo I should have realize a lot of things be FO
If this is love you gotta give me MO
give me mo, hey hey hey, give me mo
(guitar solo)
Wowowowo I never realized what a kiss could be
This could only happen to me, can’t you see, can’t you see
That when I tell you that I love you, oh
You’re gonna say you love me too oo oo ooo
And when I ask you to be mi, i i IIII, you’re gonna say you love me too
You love me too, you love me too

That’s off the top of my head.

It’s a fair point, though. A number of my favorite songs, from Thomas Dolby’s “Airwaves” to Beatles’ “Across the Universe” to Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” I probably couldn’t sing front-to-back from memory.

I could probably do a number of Beatles songs, especially as some of them have shortish lyrics. Yesterday. Day in the Life. And I Love Her. Love Me Do (I mean, come on! it has like six words.) Ticket to Ride. Drive My Car. etc.

Oh, I and I can do Eric Idle’s Galaxy Song from “Meaning of Life,” though as I sing it to myself just now I’m not sure if I have all the numbers correct (3000 light years, 200 million years and so forth).

I agree with Bill, this question is ridiculous. It’s not that uncommon nor that difficult of a skill. I knew someone that knew hundreds - maybe over a thousand - songs by heart. It was her job and life ambition to sing, but I’m sure you know some by heart, all you need is some music and some help.

I am terrible with lyrics. I have a great memory for music, but not the lyrics. I am different than a lot of people, I think, in that the lyrics even to famous songs are often meaningless to me (my mind just sort of throws them away or never learns them). I could probably listen to a song a thousand times and not pick up the full song (unless I really tried hard to memorize it). Even if I memorized it, I’m pretty sure from past experience that it would be gone in a few months unless I intentionally kept it in mind. It kind of goes with other things as well; even as a kid, I was always unimpressed with rote memorization, to the point where I kind of stupidly rejected ever doing it (always thinking analysis was more important). So today, while my memory is not terrible, it is certainly nothing to write home about.

That being said, it also makes a great deal of difference whether I am just trying to belt out the song lyrics start to finish with nothing else, or whether there is at least instrumental accompanyment in the background.

Though now I do have the Statler Brothers in my head, as I was forced to listen to that 8-track for days on end when we were “camping” when I was a kid.

Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say
Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl, but she changes from day to day.
I want to tell her that I love her a lot, but I gotta get a belly full of wine
Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl, someday I’m gonna make her mine, oh yeah
Someday I’m gonna make her mine.

I knew the lyrics (all of them thank you) to Stairway to Heaven by the time I was 6 or 7.

I can sing tons of entire songs from memory… but only if the music is playing. It’s weird.

I know a ton of song lyrics. Most of the library of the Police and Sting’s solo work, almost anything by Dave Matthews, Linkin Park, Billy Joel, some contemporary Christian music, far too many hymns from back in church…

I don’t think it’s improbable at all.

I’d like to know who can whistle that song from Bridge over the River Kwai in tune… those British dudes are sure talented.

The cool thing is it puts you ahead of Michael Stipe, who had to go from crib notes when he did an acoustic version for MTV Unplugged 10 or so years ago because, apparently, nobody ever intended that song to be performed live or something. :P