The song winds up, the dancers dip, and applaud, and the musicians shuffle their sides and look to the Richard, the bandleader.


Richard announces into the microphone: "Our next guest vocalist is Tim!" I walk onto the stage in the bandshell. The microphone is crammed in between the jazz guitar, the piano, the drum kit, the rhythm guitar, and the upright bass. Libby, at the piano, pulls out the sides.

"Tim, after the instrumental solo, where are you coming back in?"

I don't have the sides. "Uh, I'm coming back in at B."

She calls out to the band: "After the solo, Tim's coming back in at B."

I crane my neck so I can see the sheet music on the piano. I look to see where I'm coming in. It's not Section B. "Actually, Libby, I'm coming in at C."

She nods. "That would make more sense." She looks up from the sides. "Forget what I said guys, after the solo, Tim is coming back in at C."

C, I know. Section B, I've been carrying a scrap of paper around all day with the words on it. I should know them by now. I think. Maybe.

But it's too late to pull out the words again, because Richard has counted off and the band has started, the dancers have taken the floor, and in eight bars I'm going to have to start singing.

Well, less than eight bars, because there's a pickup note, apparently, which means Cole Porter wrote words that need to start before the first downbeat of what I think of as the beginning of the song (although it can't be the beginning because the band is already playing), only I'm not singing, and I'm not really counting the bars because I already overthink these things and thankfully Richard looks at me and raises his baton and here it comes I take in a breath and I feel the rhythm and as Richard baton swings to point right at me I open my mouth and sing:
I've got you under my skin / I've got you deep in the heart of me.
So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me. / I've got you under my skin...

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