Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Songs that send me up the wall

Brave New World (The Star)
December 10, 2009

"If You Are Not The One, or The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, it makes no sense to be told I’ve Never Been To Me."


IT has been a rather busy week and I have found it impossible to write coherently (please, no snide remarks) about any of the current affairs that are happening, errrr, currently.
So I thought why not take a break from politics, law, governance and all that, to write about something fun, like music.
The first idea that popped into my head was to write about the songs of the best band in the history of bands, the Beatles. With any luck this free publicity might encourage Apple Corp to give me a set of the newly re-mastered albums.
However, knowing that Apple is no longer the happy hippy body it used to be in the 60s, when their headquarters was also a shop where people just took what they wanted (“hey man ... don’t be such a square ... it’s only your things I’m taking, not your mojo”), I realised there was little hope of this.
Furthermore, where’s the fun in me gushing about a band that I have loved since I was six? It would be far more interesting to write about songs I loathe; songs that actually set my teeth on edge.
These are quite popular songs mind you, and I expect that some of you probably love them and have a special place in your heart for them. If this is so, I offer no apologies and I await with pleasure your vitriolic e-mails about how I am a philistine.
Let us begin with that drippiest of drippy songs, If You’re Not The One by Daniel Bedingfield. If ever there was a song written by some pathetic little 16-year-old who has never had a girlfriend in his life, this is it.
I don’t know if Bedingfield wrote this when he was a loveless little oik sitting in the back of the classroom gazing longingly at the prettiest girl in school who looks at him as though he was something she scrapped off the sole of her shoe, but it sure sounds like it.
The singing is whiny and the rhyming makes Hallmark sound like Keats. Clumsy attempts like “If I don’t need you, why am I crying in my bed. If I don’t need you, why does your name resound in my head.”
“Resound in my head”? That gives rise to some serious imagery (unintentional, I am sure, as anyone who can write such drivel can’t possibly understand imagery) of a rather empty cranium.
The next song is similar to the first in that it is what a drummer friend of mine classifies as “loser music”. The difference being that while If You’re Not The One is just wet, this one steps over the line into downright creepy. The Man Who Can’t Be Moved by The Script, is a perfect example of how an idea put to music may actually sound quite sweet, but when you listen carefully to the words, this is not something that you would want to happen to you in real life.
OK, here’s what it’s about. Some dude, meets a girl on a corner, falls in love and waits there for her – for months. He can’t be moved. He’s got a photo of her which he shows strangers walking by. He hopes to appear on the news so that she could see him.
Now, imagine if this was real life. You meet some guy on some street corner, no less. You don’t like him enough to give him your phone number or e-mail. You don’t like him enough to ask him for his.
Next thing you know, this person is on TV news with your picture, pleading for you to come see him. And he’s been standing there on that street for months, through sun and monsoon.
Seriously, are you going to say “awww, how sweet, he must really truly love me, I must run to his arms this very minute” or are you going to call the police and try to get this guy locked up in Tanjung Rambutan? He’s a nut case potential stalker, for crying out loud!
The last song is the one I hate the most. I have saved the best for last.
In case you are unsure, I am not a woman. However, if I were a woman, this is the last thing I would want to happen to me.
I am in a hypermarket buying groceries. One hand is trying to control the trolley with a wonky wheel; the other is holding a baby who is crying and has also just pooped himself.
Pulling at my pasar malam skirt is a three-year-old little brat (just like his no good fat father) demanding I buy him chocolates. I am at the end of my tether.
Then suddenly from around the aisle comes this woman dressed in Donna Karan, Hermes handbag on her shoulder, clicking away in her Jimmy Choos. She looks at me and with a simpering smile, comes up to me and says in a so-called “understanding” whimper: “Hey lady, you lady, cursing at your life. You’re a discontented mother and a regimented wife”.
Then she goes wittering on and on and on about how she has travelled to Greece, sailed on a yacht, been wined and dined by kings and basically lived a life that would have taken up an entire episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
At the end of it, she tells me that I am the lucky one. Hell, the last time I went on holiday was to Fat Husband’s company retreat in Port Dickson and I spent the whole time taking care of the kids.
I swear, if I were a woman and some rich bimbo comes up to me like in Charlene’s I’ve Never Been To Me, I would slap her so hard, she’d think she was back in Monte Carlo where she moved like Harlow.
Anyway, that is all folks, one of these days, I may write about movies I can’t stand.