General Etiquette > general

Is it rude to sing at the dinner table?

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Odd question, but I'm curious to see what people think.

I was watching a popular reality TV show the other night. The premise of this show is that each team (consisting of two people) take it in turns to throw a three-course dinner party at their homes for the other teams plus two celebrity chefs (a total of 12 guests). At the end of each episode, the other teams and the chefs score their cooking.   

Sometimes things go awry, and teams are slow in getting their meals ready. In this particular episode, the team who was hosting the dinner party took two hours (from after the main course was served) to serve their desserts. The other contestents were sitting at the table, getting bored and hungry. The conversation had flagged and no one was really talking. Then, one team decided to start singing at the dinner table. (FWIW, they were singing songs from musicals). The other contestents were not amused, and did not join in the singing. But the Singing Team seemed to see nothing wrong with what they were doing.

So - my question is, is it ever ok to burst into song at the dinner table (or find other ways to amuse yourself besides normal conversation) if things are growing dull? 

I think the answer could be yes or no, depending on who you're dealing with.  Personally, I'd find it annoying.

Lady Snowdon:
My guess would be singing is not considered polite, unless the host is encouraging it, or it's somehow part of the program. 

My sisters-in-law both love singing, and often used to sing at slightly inappropriate times.  The story has it that my grandmother-in-law eventually had to make a strict "no singing at the table" rule for the house, to prevent my sisters-in-law from singing so much. 

My family has, for the most part, pretty terrible voices, so none of us sing at the table, or anywhere else! 

As far as "other ways of amusing yourself at the table", almost all of the ways I know how to amuse myself at the table are considered rude (setting up a goal post and trying to score with various objects, twirling various objects, playing with condiments), so I don't think I'm qualified to answer that portion of the question. 

To me there is no difference between singing at the table or doing a sililoguy at the dinner table.  Either one forces attention upon you and interrupts conversation amongst other diners.  But if the conversation in flaling and the diners are looking for entertainment, then I guess it is fine.

I think that a group sing would be fine, and singing a brief line or two would be fine as well. (I'll randomly sing a line or two of something when it's relevant, just like I'll sometimes quote a movie or whatever.) One or a small group of people basically hijacking dinner for their singalong is rude.


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