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Not If You Were the Last Whiffenpoof on Earth...

Monday, June 02, 2008 - 12:16 PM

I went to a college, Fordham, that didn’t have an a cappella group, at least not as far as I know. This was on the border of the South Bronx in the late 70s, and it wasn’t the sort of place you’d expect to find an a cappella group, unless they had a death wish.

So anyway, my own experience with the collegiate a cappella movement is – zero. And that’s how I liked it, since my image of these groups was a lot of effete collegians wearing matching sweaters and bow ties, singing “Melancholy Baby” and Gilbert & Sullivan. Now, trusty assistant Caryn points me to a bunch of a cappella arrangements of heavy metal songs by Slayer and Metallica. And today I learn that Lemony Snicket, whose books about a “Series of Unfortunate Events” that befall some orphan kids are so delightfully subversive of everything that children’s books should be, was an a cappella alumnus.

Clearly, I have been guilty of stereotyping. (But then why are so many ex-collegiate singers so embarrassed about their a cappella past?) Okay, all you Whiffenpoofs and Whatnots – why did you do it? And what’s the weirdest song you ever sang in one of these bands? Leave your comment here.

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