Singing Valentines: embarrassing or romantic (or both)?


Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer

Case Men’s Glee Club brought comic relief and the spirit of romance to classrooms across campus on Valentine’s Day, including Strosacker Hall (pictured above).

Christie Lanfear and Shejuti Wahed

The Case Men’s Glee Club (CMGC) is back and better than ever, filling yet another Valentine’s Day with giggles and good music. Numerous lecture halls were blessed with their “Singing Valentines” throughout the day as students across campus confessed their close-kept feelings. Whether they had a loved one serenaded with “Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream)” by The Chords or “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John, this tribute surely brought a smile to the receiver’s face. At the very least the rest of the class could enjoy a glorious five-minute break from a monotonous lecture.

From a student’s perspective, some might argue that receiving a Singing Valentine would be their worst nightmare due to the possible embarrassment and attention that come with it. Yet almost every year, a surprisingly large number of Singing Valentines are delivered. We hypothesize this disparity to be the result of a few factors.

The first is comedy. What better way to have some fun and tease your friend or loved one than to have a troop of singers croon love songs to them in front of a crowded, 200-person lecture hall? Singing Valentines can be both anonymous and addressed to whomever you want, which many people took advantage of. Two lovely gentlemen, for example, were singled out for their “bromance” through a beautiful rendition of Donald Faison and Zach Braff’s “Guy Love.” Another romantic performance was dedicated to “Alp (Professor Sehirlioglu) and the Chipmunks” by a sender who expressed their love behind a screen of anonymity. The brief classroom interlude spent listening to the CMGC is enjoyable not just for the senders and receivers but for the entire audience. Sharing a romantic moment with the public against a backdrop of comic relief is bound to bring joy to all involved, including the nonparticipating bystanders.

Being anonymous is also a major plus. Let’s be honest for a second: having a crush on someone can be scary. And the thought of going up to them strikes terror in most people’s hearts. Sometimes, the safest way to express your feelings is to do so anonymously, minimizing the odds of an embarrassing public rejection. Luckily for us college students, Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to confess our love while avoiding such a tragedy. After all, isn’t the tradition of this romantic holiday to send secret love notes containing admissions of long-felt admiration? This is why Singing Valentines are so perfect—they allow you to display your feelings towards that special person while breaking the ice by means of a note accompanied by a pretty flower. Besides, how can anyone possibly refuse a comedic and heartfelt rendition of a classic love song?

The brief reprieve from the endless PowerPoint presentations that Singing Valentines provide is our third reason and the cherry on top. In Ford Auditorium, for example, “Sh-Boom” spared us chemistry students from moving on to the dreaded topic of intermolecular forces. Whether the song rendition interrupts the middle of your class or cuts it short, it is sure to spice up your class time and offer a few minutes of entertainment. Even the professors often appreciated the opportunity to take a breather and have some fun. 

Evidently, this year’s Singing Valentines were definitely a hit. After last year’s COVID-19 restrictions forced the club to serenade via email, the return of this Case Western Reserve University tradition makes being back in person all the sweeter. The student body surely thanks CMGC’s lovely singers for spreading joy and laughter. Perhaps they can sing Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” next year. That would be a sure hit.