Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

The Sunday Six: Me Against The Music

Before I get on with the matter in hand, a quick word of praise for the ever entertaining Top Gear tonight. The "car vs. boat" race to Oslo was a total classic in every respect, from Clarkson's escalating rants of despair in the car to James and Richard's drunken "date" on the ferry (James/Richard TRULUV4EVA!! And they even shared a bedroom – slash city!!) to the seabound vomiting and Richard and James being reduced to squabbling over cash machines in some unknown Norwegian fishing village as Clarkson claimed his fluke victory – it was comedy dynamite. Even better than getting their mums to do the test-driving a couple of weeks ago, and that was ace too.

Anyway, on with the Sunday Six. And this week it's...

Six Songs That Get On My Nerves for Irrational Reasons

Preliminary note: This is not about songs I don't like, or artistes that are inherently crap. What it is about is songs that annoy me for small niggly reasons, rather than big important reasons (such as general lack of musical merit or originality, or just because they are rubbish). Quite simple, really.

Rich Girl by Gwen Stefani
Where to start with this one? Well, for one thing, this song's chorus is nicked from Fiddler on the Roof. So apparently showtunes are now considered "street", Topol was the original Tupac, and I shall await with interest the advent of "Matchmaker Matchmaker (Pimp Up My Ride)". Secondly, there's the fact that she's singing about the possibility of becoming rich, when in reality she is far richer than anyone reading this journal now will probably ever be, but we'll skip over that part too. Primarily, though, it's the way the lyrics have been changed. In the original "If I Were A Rich Man", the chorus talks about various things you could do if you were rich (not have to work hard, go iddy-biddy-biddy-bom, that sort of thing). But in Gwen's version, if she were a rich girl, she'd "have all the money in the world", and her "cash flow would never ever end". In other words, if she were rich, she'd be rich. That's not a proper conditional clause, is it? It's TAUTOLOGICAL! Bloody hell, Gwen, don't you know ANYTHING about basic sentence construction?

Superstar by The Carpenters
All right, this isn't going to win me any fans among the in-crowd, but I think this song is pretty classic. Wistful and yearning and so on. However, one thing about it has always bugged me, and that is the third line of the chorus. For those of you without total lyrical recall, that's the line that goes "Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh baby." Possibly this was meant to be an ironic comment on the kind of meaningless lyrics that teenage girls in love with popstars consider to be terribly meaningful. But frankly, it sounds more like they were nearly finished the song, wanted to get to the pub before closing time and couldn't be bothered to think of anything better. Sheer laziness, in other words. I'm not impressed.

Take Your Mama by the Scissor Sisters
This isn't a bad song at all, by rational standards. However, it always makes me imagine what it would actually be like to have to take my mother out all night (not to mention her being tanked up on cheap champagne) and that thought is so gut-wrenchingly terrifying that I usually have to have a sit-down.

Mi Chico Latino by Geri Halliwell
Yeah, I realize that picking any Geri Halliwell ditty for a list of musical criticisms is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, but this particular slice from her repertoire is the best example I can think of of one of my personal bêtes noires – namely, the misuse and abuse of foreign languages. Now, this was Geri's attempt to jump on the Latin sound bandwagon, and I happen to recall from a documentary that her mum is Spanish so surprisingly she does have some relevant ethnic credentials to back this one up. But when it comes to actually using bits of the Spanish language, ay caramba. For example, the first line of the chorus is "Take me back to my sweet la vida". Which means "the life", so she's singing "my sweet the life". Eh??? And then the next line is "Find my love, my dolce vita" – which not only doesn't rhyme, but it's not even Spanish, it's bloody Italian. And we're not even going to go near the pseudo-Spanish rap bit in the middle. It's just too appalling to contemplate. Clearly this is one area where a girl should have asked her mother's advice, but failed to do so, and the result was catastrófico.

Any song with the line "the same way too" in it
This irritating little phrase crops up in loads of songs – two that spring to mind are Promise Me by Beverley Craven and It's Only Natural by Crowded House. Again, it's a bloody annoying tautology, and I'm just not standing for it. In real life, one either says "I feel that way too" or "I feel the same way". One does not say "I feel the same way too" unless one is required to fill a line with a certain number of syllables in it, and one is feeling particularly unimaginative that day. Songwriters, eh. What do they get paid for?

Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye
I am aware that this is considered one of the top sexy love songs of all time, but frankly, I find it about as erotic as a wet dishcloth. And why is this? Primarily because of the prosaic nature of the line Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up – implying, as it does, that the object of Marvin's attentions is, in fact, asleep. Of course, with the racket Marvin is making, she probably won't be for long. But I never hear this song and think "Hey, let's make lurrrrve" – I hear it and imagine some poor woman turning over and mumbling "Sod off, Marvin, some of us have got to get up and go to bloody work in the morning...."

Tags: music, sunday six, top gear
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