!!! MBO !!!
??? THREE SONGS ???
Once - I was much younger than you are now - I went through a very humilitating situation. Everybody knew that I was (playing?) at least learning to play the guitar. Up stepped a guy who (1) had a guitar, (2) knew ONE song to sing and (3) did so. It was hard not to show how ashamed and how defeated I felt - and actually was. What he was doing there (i.e. what he had done before to be able doing what he did there) would have been easy to me, even easier than it might have been to him. But I hadn't done it.
(In fact that slap in my face hurts until today. It has turned me into some 'song ogre', who has bought many tapes, many CD's, many songbooks and spent much time on the net each time just for the sake of one song I wanted to do - to HAVE. And when I'm finally doing it, it becomes boring and I need some new one ... maybe 'song junky' is a better description.)
Well, three songs are much better than one. But music is much more enjoyed by doing than by learning. I learned by doing, and I suppose enjoying kept me learning. AND: Music that is done is much more appreciated by others than music that is learned.
Do you feel not yet good enough to start doing songs? - Mbo ... BOY! (forgive me, please) ... NOOOOOOOooooooo....!!! - In reverse, maybe... Learn songs, do them, many of them are easy to play and to sing, but there is still PERFORMING. Very fascinating thing, I think one of those that make artists out of simple singers or musicians ... ouch, sorry, moonchild ... instrumentalists. I think it's a fact that you don't even have to be a 'good' musician in order to enjoy people (in order to brag in front of musicians of course I'll have to, but am I singing for musicians, huh?)
Now you are asking how many songs that ????? (me) knows himself. That depends on what knowing is. I've done many, many songs in my life, but I can't do them all today (do I 'know' them?). When I started in my best time I knew about 30 by heart and about 60 at all. This has become much more complicated. The number of songs I could do by heart when you asked me for a song is small (10?). If you asked me to do a special song I know - some more, just remind me of it (there are things I never forget, I just forget that I know them). And if I was allowed to read the lyrics from a sheet (I never do so), I think I could nearly catch up to those 60 long long ago (although I 'know' many more).
BTW - why not do so more often? My impression is that hardly an audience really appreciates you knowing a song by heart... Not doing a song is much worse than using a 'cheat' sheet.