DON'T FORGET TO LAUGH
What is the Soundtrack of Your Life?
What is the soundtrack of your life? Do Bach and Beethoven sooth your soul, or do you belt out “Back in Black” to your hairbrush while getting ready for a Saturday night? I think we all appreciate a bit of the extremes. (Weren’t they Diana Ross’s back-up singers?)
Even that young dude who has Metallica blaring from his car while you’re sitting in traffic must have a secret musical passion. As the bass makes your vehicle vibrate (no quarter needed), do you ever wonder if the same guy goes home, locks himself in his room, and croons along with Barry Manilow?
When it comes to popular music, my peers and I were cheated. We followed the Woodstock generation. Our older siblings were inspired by such gems as Bob Dylan’s timeless “How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man?”
My generation had “Disco Duck.” How can you forget those lyrics? “Disco, disco duck, Quack, quack.” Or how about the sweet line, ” Bertha, Bertha Butt. One of the Butt Sisters” from that classic, “Ain’t Gonna Dance no More With no Big Fat Woman.” Pure poetry.
I have a personal gripe with disco. Prom is supposed to be a romantic evening of sweet love songs like they had in the 50’s. Instead of swaying gently with our dates to “Unchained Melody,” we boogied down to “That’s the way I like it” (Uh Huh, Uh Huh, repeat 47 times) by KC and the Sunshine Band. Oh, I got down with my bad self, alright.
I was in the middle of the crowded dance floor, a free spirit, dancing uninhibited in my flowing evening gown. Then it happened. My strapless bra, shaken from the dancing, slid down to my waist, creating two new boob bumps. I stood there in front of my date and friends, looking like a lactating bitch. (Lactating Bitches, good name for a chick band.) Still can’t figure out why I wasn’t elected Prom Queen.
We all have meaningful tunes that hold a special place in our hearts. Remember the 9th grade dance and the warmth of holding that special someone as you moved to the music? And, of course, you’ll never forget the number sung at your wedding. You used to fight back tears whenever it played. Now, thanks to being kidnapped by commercials, these same tunes make you think of diet cola, panty-liners (with wings ), and erectile dysfunction.
Mutilating songs for advertising should be a crime. (Citizen’s arrest. Citizen’s arrest.) This new version taints our memories. Besides, too many people believe “I’d like to teach the world to sing” was written for Coke.
It also works the other way around. Did you know the Carpenters’ hit, “For all We Know,” was originally a commercial? What? Your tender love song was written for a bank? Yep.
The evil advertising business isn’t the only one changing lyrics. As a child, I sang from the Baptist Hymnal. As a recovering Baptist, I held the Methodist hymnal on Sunday mornings. The tunes were familiar, but some of the wording had been altered. Then, I discovered the Unitarians changed the lyrics again. Which version does God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster prefer? It was all so confusing. There was only one thing to do. I quit going to church.
(Side note: The last line of Amazing Grace should read “We’ve no FEWER days” not “less.” You think with all the blankity, blank rewriting going on, someone could have corrected THAT. Now, back to your regularly scheduled column.)
Then there’s the ditties you’re not so thrilled about. Those are of the Bubble Gum genre. You changed the radio station the second they came on. But yet, years later, when “Having my Baby” plays while you are stuck in the dentist’s chair, to your horror, you realize you know every word. How the hell did that happen?
How many brain cells have been wasted retaining this information? Oh no, you discover there’s an entire mental file cabinet filled with lyrics, “Honey, I miss you, and I’m being good,” “If you like Pina-Coladas and getting caught in the rain…” To make it worse, once you hear one, you can’t quit singing it for the rest of the day.
Just what songs make us smile? Through the power of the internet, we have asked the citizens of Davidson to reveal their favorite song. Turns out, we have a unique population. Please click on the link below for the result of our poll.
I know you know the words. So, please, sing along
Carol Wilber Bradfield is one of those "Lake People." She snuck into Davidson many years ago when someone left the gate open one night. If seen, please approach carefully and give her a hug... and cash if you have it. Lots of cash. Thank you.