A Game to Play in the Mean Time

A Game:

I’m stuck at home for a while, and if you’re doing your part for public health, so are you. So I decided to share a road trip game my friends and I have played for as long as I can remember. It’s a song game, so if you know a lot of songs, this is for you.

The Basics:

One person chooses a word or topic. The next person sings at least one full line of a song containing that word or topic. Everyone playing then takes turns until someone runs out of ideas and a new word or topic has to be chosen. All players are encouraged to sing along if they know the words.

An Example:

Rosie: The topic is “Modes of transportation.”

Jack: “Something something something on a horse with no name-“

Rosie: Cheater! You need the whole line.

Jack: Okay, okay. Uh…

“Put on my blue suede shoes
And I boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain
W.C. Handy
Won’t you look down over me
Yeah, I got a first class ticket
But I’m as blue as a boy can be
Then I’m walking in Memphis”

Rosie: Double points! Planes and feet. Hm.

“Yeah you don’t even need to know the reason why,
Just shut up and get rad,
cuz’ now it’s time to skate or die.”

Jack: Interesting. How about

“Visions of you on a motorcycle drive by
The cigarette ash flies in your eyes
And you don’t mind, you smile
And say the world doesn’t fit with you
I don’t believe you, you’re so serene
Careening through the universe
Your axis on a tilt, you’re guiltless and free
I hope you take a piece of me with you”

Rosie: Do you know any songs written in this century?

Jack: Probably not. Your turn.

House Rules:

Like any good game, you and your players can just make things up. Some example house rules:

  • No repeats of a word on the theme (In “Modes of Transportation,” for example, “train” can be used only once.)
  • Bands instead of lyrics (“Bands that have animals in their names.” Arctic Monkeys, the Yardbirds, Wolfmother. But you still have to be able to sing a line from one of their songs.)
  • Genre limits. (“Punk songs about anarchy.” “Country songs about beer.”)

Starter Categories:

  • Modes of Transportation (“Leaving on a Jet Plane”)
  • Articles of Clothing (“Blue Suede Shoes”)
  • Mammals (“Eye of the Tiger”)
  • Units of Measurement (“I Can’t Drive 55”)
  • Life and Death (“Living on a Prayer,” “Die, Die, My Darling”)
  • First Names (“Jolene”)
  • Literary (“Paperback Writer,” “Every Day I Write the Book”)
  • Manual Labor (“Workin’ on the Highway,” “Far Away Boys”)
  • Holidays Other than Christmas (“Saturday in the Park,” “This is Halloween”)
  • Colors (“Little Red Corvette,” “The Black Parade”)

Settling Disputes:

If it can’t be decided by participating parties (Does this song count? Was that the whole line?), it can be settled with rock paper scissors. I can also be found on Twitter to arbitrate if you’re really stuck.


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