Monday, October 5, 2009

"Oh ... Just a little Marvin Gaye, you know ..."


I am of the belief that everybody has them ... those songs on their playlist that they don't want anybody to know that they actually listen to. You know the ones ... you've got your headphones on, listening to 'em and loving it and somebody comes along and asks "whatcha listenin' to?"
And you're too embarrassed to say ... so you turn the volume down, hide the screen on the laptop or the mp3 and say, "oh, you know -- just a little Marvin Gaye" or some other undeniably cool artist who won't reveal your inner eccentricities.

But I for one am tired of living a lie! I'm just gonna put it all out there, y'all and expose the skeletons in my musical closet. Here they are and in no particular order. Enjoy them while you can because tomorrow I'll say it was the cold medicine or the lack of sleep that drove me to such contrivances.

1. You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'

Artist: Leo Sayer (1976)
~ What can I say ... back in the day I thought old Leo was a cool white-boy with an afro and a mean falsetto. Wait, "mean" and "falsetto" don't quite go together, do they? Oh well. The sad truth is that when I am at home by myself and I play "You make me feel like dancing," I do feel like it. Sometimes I even actually do (dance, I mean). Go on, Leo ... witch BAD self.
Favorite Lyric: "You really slipped me a potion / I can't get off of the floor / All this perpetual motion / You gotta give me some more / You gotta give me some more"

2. Theme from "Mahogany"

Artist: Diana Ross (1976)
~ "That song is NOT cheesy like some of those others," remarked Mrs. O when I told her this one was in my mp3 Hall of Shame. She's right, of course. It's here because ... well, it just ain't the kinda song most dudes would admit to listening to. Of course, I could make a testosterone-charged excuse like, "man, that scene when Diana poured the hot candle wax all over herself ... I was only thirteen but at that moment I knew I was a MAN!"
~ Well, the truth is not so prurient.
Favorite Lyric: "Do you know where you're going to / Do you like the things that life is showing you / Where are you going to / Do you know?"
~ The boyish-man in me replied, "no, I don't know!" On the other hand, the manish-boy said, "Diana, wherever YOU'RE goin', that's where I'M goin'!"


3. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Artist: Judy Garland (1939)
~ Can't be funny about this one. Back in the day, before cable TV and recorded movies, there were certain movies that came on once a year, and always around the same time of the year ... The Wizard of Oz was one of those. I was little and crushin' big time on Dorothy. When she sang that song I was entranced ... and convinced that this was the girl I would marry one day. One year we were watching and my mother said, off-handedly something like "too bad she's gone." "Gone, what do you mean gone? She's right there." She explained to me that Dorothy wasn't really Dorothy but an actress named Judy Garland who had died just recently. I asked her how she died and my mother said she was just very, very sad so she died.
~ I get teary-eyed just thinking about it sometimes and I don't really like to listen to that song. But I keep it on my play list ... after all, she was my first girlfriend.
Favorite Lyric: "Somewhere over the rainbow / Skies are blue / And the dreams that you dare to dream / Really do come true."

Sheesh ... I need somethin' a little more light-hearted after that one ... first some kleenex. Now ... on with the countdown.

4. I'm a Believer

Artist: The Monkees (1966)
~ I like this one 'cause it is just plain true ... story of my life. As a young man, I thought I was in love on about 32 separate occasions. Now most of those girls never said so much as "boo" to me. Now there were a few who noticed me ... a couple even liked me a little. But somehow I always ended up being Mr. Congeniality when Mr. Right showed up. I was always trying my level best to sweep the girl off her feet but dude would come on the scene with a vacuum cleaner. I was just about ready to abandon to pursuit of love when into the George Sherman Union building walked this pretty little girl with a gheri curl ...
Favorite Lyric: "I thought love was only true in fairy tales / Meant for someone else but not for me / Love was out to get me / That's the way it seemed / Disappointment haunted all my dreams / The I saw her face / Now I'm a believer "
~ And she's still HERE, y'all ... minus the activator, of course!

5. Oh, Mandy

Artist: Barry Manilow (1974)
~ So, I like to blame my mild but persistent Barry Manilow addiction on my little sister Carol. I say that I like him because she likes him and his songs remind me of her. Lies, lies, lies. The truth is that it was me ... I am the pusher who addicted her to the drug of Barry when she was still young and impressionable.
Favorite Lyric: "I'm standin' on the edge of time / I walked away when love was mine / Caught up in a world of uphill climbin' / The tears are in my mind / And nothin' is rhymin' / Oh Mandy"
~ O, but, Barry, it is rhymin' ... it's ALL rhymin'. Dude, you ARE Music and you DO write the songs!!!

But, alas ... I sense my momentary vulnerability wearing off. So before I think better of it and delete the whole post, I'd better leave it at this for now. If you want to know more of my Guilty Pleasure Play List you're gonna have to come clean on some of your own cheesy-easy listenin' grooves.

So, in the words of one of my other favorite tacky songs: "There you are with yours and here I am with mine so I guess we'll just be ending it like this."

2 comments:

VallyP said...

Van, I confess!! I also have these 'ashamed to admit' songs on my personal top 10...or is it 20? I also love Leo Sayer, and by the way, one of my music heroes, Roger Daltry, did too, so how can that not be cool? ;-)

As for La Ross, she made motown for me back in the late sixties/early seventies. I still love many of her old numbers..'Ain't no mountain high enough' being one of my favourites. As for the Monkees, I just recently bought 'sometime in the morning' from iTunes, and one of my all time favourites is Little bit me, Little bit you.

But here are my secrets: Lionel Ritchie's Dancing on the ceiling (and many other Lionel songs), Katrina and the Waves' Walking on Sunshine, Cliff Richard's Some People...dare I go on?

VanO said...

Nice Val ...

Your taste seems better than mine. Yes ... if Daltrey likes Sayer then I'm feeling a little cooler already.