How to Learn Singing “I Wish I Was Eighteen Again” from George Burns

Mastering “I Wish I Was Eighteen Again” by George Burns

“I Wish I was Eighteen Again” by George Burns is a classic song that encapsulates nostalgia and the bittersweet longing for youth. The song predominantly features a calm, relaxed vocal style, characteristic of speech-like singing or Sprechgesang. To master this song, you will need to understand and practice several crucial techniques.

Voice Analysis

Begin by analyzing your voice using the vocal range test to discover your voice type and ensure it matches the requirements of the song. The range of this song runs from C3 to G4, which is within the baritone range but can also be comfortable for other voice types.

Speech-Like Singing

George Burns employs speech-like singing in this song, where the melody follows the natural rhythm of speech. Rather than focusing on sustaining long, belted notes, emphasis is placed on the delivery and expressiveness of the lyrics. The Singing with Intuition article includes tips on delivering lyrics with authenticity.

Phrasing and Breathing

Understanding and mastering phrasing is essential when singing this song. Pay attention to how Burns phrases his sentences— he takes a breath at natural speaking pauses. Practice breath control with our Breath Support article and integrate the breath technique during practices.

Pitch Accuracy

Ensure you maintain good pitch accuracy throughout the song. Use the Pitch Accuracy Test to gauge your accuracy and improve problem areas.


Considering the speech-like style of the song, clear articulation is vital to delivering the story effectively. Practice the technique using the Finger Bite Exercise and refer to the Articulation article for more tips.

Relaxation and Expression

Relaxed singing, coupled with genuine expression, enhances your performance. Use our Relaxing Breath video and read about overcoming stage fright to help with performance anxiety.

Practice Repeatedly

Mastering this song requires consistent practice. Make sure to warm up with the 3 Minute Warm Up before starting your practice sessions.

Remember, singing should be enjoyable and fulfilling. Use the Song Search tool to discover other songs that align with your unique voice and preference. Enjoy your singing journey!