Chinese New Year is a time for family, similar to Thanksgiving in America. For some reason I (ignorantly) had assumed it would be a party holiday, so I made great efforts to get out of a jungle and into a “major” city. Thus, part two of our Chinese New Year’s experience was in the city of Kota Kinabalu.
After walking the city, we found exactly one bar with more patrons than bar staff. There was a cover band there, but we quickly noticed they were consistently singing the wrong lyrics to nearly every song; not just the obscure verses but also the chorus as well. The crowd didn’t seem to notice and even started singing along with what the singer was singing. When the lead singer noticed us at the bar, he suddenly looked visibly nervous, and would slur the words he was less confident on under his breath. Then in between songs he stopped by and asked us if we wanted to sing!
This isn’t karaoke and neither Cameron nor I are singers, but he insisted. The next song was the Rage Against the Machine song, Killing in the Name of. But he was all over the place, singing just about anything you could think of that rhymes with it the words. For a moment we even thought it was deliberate. Imagine the band rocking out and belting the lyrics “Killing Where A Game Was” (huh?). I thought I just heard him wrong but then he did the hand motions to show different sports games.
As he handed the mic to us, we were faced with a question. Do you sing the correct lyrics, the lyrics he was singing, or get even more creative? Nobody seemed to notice either way. Hmm…
The song ends with “F*ck You I won’t do what you tell me!” – but in their version, it was a bit more submissive. “F U ok I’ll do what you told me!” Very obedient. The rest of the evening repeated this pattern, adding a fun curiosity to what they’d actually sing for each song, and what we’d sing as guest rock stars for the evening!
Here’s the actual lyrics to Killing in the Name