This was almost a very good story.
I'm a part time musician. I play with one very busy group. We play various sorts of gigs, usually over a hundred a year. Tonight was a 60th birthday party for a woman, set up by her husband and children.
In this case, we were booked through the owner of the restaurant and had almost no direct contact with the people hosting the (surprise) party. So we didn't know if they wanted any special songs, or what kinds of music they wanted at all.
The one piece of information we did have was that the couple's wedding song was (and this is a little bizarre) "The Impossible Dream", from "Man of La Mancha". "March into heck for a heavenly cause"? Hmmm.
We don't play that song, and don't even really play songs in that genre, but we seldom shrink from a challenge. Our musicians are all pretty good at playing songs without rehearsal and we frequently take requests for songs we don't know.
But in this case none of our vocalists knew the words, and there are LOTS of them to know. Three of us tried to cobble together a set of lyrics from the bits we could each remember. We weren't very successful. Some of what we came up with was comical.
But our guitarist has one of those rotateable, unfoldable, twistable Origami mobile phones with a full keyboard, web access and a coffeemaker, I believe. In under a minute he had the lyrics, in all their highly inappropriate (for a wedding song) splendor.
He dictated them to our singer, who wrote them in the large print size required by his vintage of eyes. He went off to get changed and left me to figure out the chords. There are a few somewhat unusual changes. When he came back, I played it for him and (natch) it was in the wrong key. So was my second attempt. The third key was the charm. I briefly went through the chords with our guitarist and bass player. We were ready.
Here's the "almost a good story" part: We never ended up playing it. I don't imagine it will be useful in the future either. But it was a successful party with a pretty lively crowd. The husband even mentioned us, twice, in his little speech. Little things like that are very gratifying.
I imagine the "lyrics on the phone" scenario will come up again. If any of you use it, you owe me a dime.