‘If I hate a song I’ll just change the station’: William Shatner’s honest playlist

<span>Photograph: Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Getty Images

My karaoke go-to

One of thesongs I’ve performed on television was Fuck You by Cee-Lo Green. It went over well. I’d do that one.

* * *

The song I inexplicably know every lyric to

I’m in awe of music but I was brought up in a non-musical house. Nobody sang songs in the house. The only thing I heard as a kid was my dad playing the New York opera. That kind of music fascinated me. The mystery of a soprano or a tenor; the cultivation of the voice was magic.

* * *

Best song to play at a party

I would play Frank Sinatra’s You Make Me Feel So Young. He does it so rhythmically well.

* * *

The last song I streamed

I don’t stream. I don’t buy music, not at all. I love music but I’m an ignoramus because I don’t know the names. You know that app that recognises songs? I have it on my phone and I’ll hold it up and be like: “That’s the song I like”.

This article comes from Saturday, the new print magazine from the Guardian which combines the best features, culture, lifestyle and travel writing in one beautiful package. Available now in the UK and ROI.

* * *

The song I want played at my funeral

I would play a song we wrote called I Want to Be a Tree. I had read an article about planting a tree on your body when you die and I thought, “That’s the way I want to go.” So I’ve made arrangements that I will be cremated, my ashes buried in the ground, and a tree planted on top. I originally wanted a sequoia placed over my body but they said it wouldn’t grow, so I’m going to be a giant redwood.

* * *

The song I can’t help singing

I did a recording of Bohemian Rhapsody [in 2011] and I had to listen to Freddie Mercury and Queen a lot to hear how it was done – this was years after they were gone. Freddie had such a superb voice. If you’re asking me who is my favourite singer I’d say Freddie Mercury. Who is my favourite band? Queen. Favourite song? Bohemian Rhapsody.

* * *

Song I pretend to hate that I secretly like

If I hate a song I’ll just change the station. When my kids started listening to rock’n’roll I thought, “That is ridiculous, that’s not music, that’s inane.” Then I performed a rock’n’roll song myself andthought. “Of course, this is just blind energy and volume!” Then I fell in love with it.

* * *

The song I tell people is my favourite song to look good

Nobody should be ashamed of the music they like, so nobody should be shamed. You are who you are and should be proud of it. Unless you want to eat somebody’s heart. Maybe you shouldn’t do that.

William Shatner’s new album Bill is out now.