Do you ever see a prompt word and immediately think of something, however unsuitable, to write a post about and then can’t un-think it again? Yeah, well this is me today with a real blast-from-the-past ear-worm for my JusJoJan 7: Mix post… so here we go with Sir Mix-A-Lot and ‘Baby Got Back’! 🙂
For this week’s Provocative Question Fandango asks if music is a universal language that transcends national borders and resonates across different cultures and beliefs?
Personally I think it always has done, and always will do. There’s a question of taste, of timing, of cultural preferences of course, and there will always be fads and fashions across different genres, but for me music at source – the rhythm, the beat, the heart and soul of it, crosses all boundaries and speaks to us all, one way or another.
For example, music to march to, or to work to, tends to have a recognisably standard rhythm to help people keep time, keep up, the world over, whatever the instrument or nationality. Music to help soothe a baby to sleep – any kind of lullaby – will presumably have a similar tonal range and softness of voice whatever the language or external environment.
And Folk music carries within it culturally-specific stories of the past; for me it’s the Scottish lilts and laments of loss and hardship played on a fiddle or an accordian or the traditional Puirt a Beul, Gaelic Mouth Music sung unaccompanied. But that doesn’t mean I can’t recognise the worth in folk music of other cultures and understand the resonance of sharing these stories together into the future.
And from that initial sharing comes a symbiotic fusion across cultures and divides, a musical melting pot of sound humming with the potential creation of something new and vibrant and exciting, that is further shared around the globe in its turn. Look at how R&B grew out of an initial coming together of jazz and blues and gospel music, which in turn branched out into rock & roll and moved away in time and place from its instrumental jazz roots towards the more international lyrical pop sound we recognise today.
Rhythm is inherent in all of us, it comes from the very heartbeat of us with every breath we take. There are no borders to our own internal sense of rhythm, we carry it with us everywhere, so why should we think there are borders to the external musicality that springs from the joyousness of celebrating that rhythm? We are all human, and I think our humanity resonates at a perfect pitch recognisable to all of us 🙂
It’s taken me three weeks to realise that as we now live in a detached bungalow and no longer live in a small flat with other people living either directly below us or beside us sharing party walls, I once again have the freedom to listen to music and sing along and dance around as much as I like without having to consider disturbing anyone else.
I can have the radio tuned to whatever station I choose, pump up the volume and belt out old favourites at random as I see fit, for as long as it suits me to join in. It feels so liberating not to have to worry about making too much noise, and I find I’m really enjoying singing my heart out, however badly I may hold a tune – what fun! 🙂
A couple of days ago my husband woke up with a specific song going round in his head. He was humming it to himself quizzically while preparing his breakfast, and between us we soon recognised it as ‘Give a Little Love’ by the Bay City Rollers, way back from 1975 – a real blast from the past, especially as the Bay City Rollers were not really on the radar of any 14 year old boys at the time – Rollermania was definitely more my teenage domain!
We had such fun looking it up online and finding loads of other similar songs and bands from our teenage years we haven’t thought about in decades – a proper trip down memory lane courtesy of whatever random brain waves came crashing to shore as he slept. The weirdest thing for me is, how can I (decades later) remember most of the lyrics from a teenage tune but sometimes struggle to remember what I had for dinner yesterday?
Then this morning he jumped forward a decade and woke up with Whitney Houston’s ‘Wanna Dance with Somebody’ from our late twenties bopping along in his head – another completely random track with no logical explanation behind its overnight resurgence in his musical memory banks. As he says himself, God knows what’s going on with his internal jukebox right now… 🙂
Here they are for anyone who doesnt know the tracks in question…
Fandango’s One Word Challenge today is ‘ecstatic’ – hmmm, not much ecstatic feeling about my life right now, but yet… a fragment of an old song lyric comes immediately to mind – ‘floating around in ecstasy…’
The day before I came home from Scotland, myself and my eldest daughter (and youngest granddaughter, aged 12 weeks!) watched the 2018 movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ about the rise and demise of Freddie Mercury of Queen fame, and oh, I absolutely loved it!
The movie soundtrack, of course, is excellent – plenty of old favourites to sing along to – and the main characters are wonderfully cast. It’s quite tastefully done, considering the rather gritty sex, drugs and rock’n’roll narrative portrayed throughout, and to my mind Rami Malek inhabited Mercury’s over-the-top mannerisms perfectly.
So on to my fragment of song lyric, from ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ – I don’t necessarily have one favourite Queen track, whichever track I’m listening to at any moment feels like my favourite. And there’s something about all Queen tracks that makes them the perfect accompaniment to driving – so as my daughter drove me to the station to catch my train home we had a Queen CD playing, and we both sang along at the top of our voices.
The particular track that was playing as we reached the station was ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ so inevitably this is the song that stuck firmly in my head all the way home… goodbyes are always difficult and tearful occasions, so to have a fun vibrant memory of saying goodbye rather than a sad one was very special… ❤
"Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive
And the world - I'll turn it inside out, yeah!
I'm floating around in ecstasy..."
I was never really a House music fan, but every now and again a dance song would really get stuck in my head – and this was definitely one of them! 🙂
The first thing that came to mind this morning when I saw Fandango has chosen ‘Video’ for today’s One Word Challenge was the Buggles 1979 hit ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ – I can still sing along with it today! 🙂