Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


On Oldies radio this morning, "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tommy James and the Shondells. The ode to teen-age petting, with the key line, "The beating of our heart is the only sound," and all the music goes quiet, except a drum mimicking a heartbeat (in rhythm with the rest of the song, natch), and the sound of crickets! It's very beautiful. Hushed, midwest summer night, stopping and listening just for a moment, holding your sweetheart close. (Tommy James grew up in Niles, Michigan, not far from my hometown, Kalamazoo.) (But what's a Shondell?)


Driving home tonight on the teen dance station I heard a coolly sexy sounding woman singing an old Paul Simon hit over a smokin' electronic dance beat.

She said it grieves me so to see you in such pain
I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again
I said I appreciate that

The singer spoke the last line quoted here as if conversationally, but not mopily, making it sound ever-so-slightly sarcastic, because who talks like that anyway? Not my favorite P. Simon song, but this was great.

Google tells me the name of the recording act is Plummet.

I thought of the dance-music hit cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" from 6 or 7 years ago, which I loved too, the African American urban milieu of the sound draining the story of kitsch and making it sound tragic and senseless, like a Johnny Cash murder ballad. I turned off the radio and started singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" as if it were a country song (I would omit the operatic bits, as the dance-music version did as well). I never called my mom "Mama," but a lot of black Americans do, as do a lot of white American southerners. If someone out here reading this thinks, damn, that WOULD be a great country ballad, and you record it, drop me a line and let me know. I'd love to hear it. I wish Johnny Cash were still around.

Mama, just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead,
Mama, life had just begun,
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away-
Mama ooo,
Didn’t mean to make you cry-
If I’m not back again this time tomorrow-
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters-

Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine-
Body’s aching all the time,
Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go-
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth-
Mama ooo- (any way the wind blows)
I don’t want to die,
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all-
Nice site. Check mine out if you can. check cash advance
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?