Sunday, October 12, 2008

Repeat to fade

From The Gum Thief, by Douglas Coupland:

Or maybe memories are like karaoke--where you realize up on the stage, with all those lyrics scrawling across the screen's bottom, and with everybody clapping at you, that you didn't know even half the lyrics to your all-time favourite song. Only afterwards, when someone else is up on stage humiliating themselves amid the clapping and laughing, do you realize that what you liked most about your favourite song was precisely your ignorance of its full meaning--and you read more into it than maybe existed in the first place. I think it's better not to know the lyrics to your life.

Talking of which, my current favourite song might just be in amongst this lot.

6 comments:

The Bureauista said...

ooh. I'm enjoying 'the no dancing'. It's a bit like the Intros Round from Never mind the Buzzcocks, except with toy pianos.

Christopher Campbell-Howes said...

I wonder which one? (Favourite, that is.) P.Comelade is practically home-grown as far as we're concerned, although - as often happens - he's not well known locally.

Rodez is a place where it's difficult to imagine anything but jours tranquilles.

Maybe someone outside the family would like to comment?

oyebilly said...

For toy piano you can't beat Margaret Leng Tan.

How does Coupland keep coming up with this stuff? Every book he writes has loads of this profound stuff in.

Tim Footman said...

Yes, Bureauista. I can see Mr Jupitus doing a bit of air ukelele with the first track.

Christopher: I'm rather taken with the version of September Song (guest vocal by Robert Wyatt). Of the originals, 'Via Crucis del Rocanrol' is quirky, uplifting and melancholy at once, a combination I admire greatly. As a local lad, maybe he'd be up for a jam session with one of your choral endeavours.

I like Leng Ten, Billy, but Pascal takes that kitsch primitivism to a new dimension; the Pogues meet the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. As for Coupland, I think he's given up on the notion that he'll write The Great Novel, and just concentrates on a succession of quotables. Which is fine by me.

Valerie said...

One of my favorite songs for many years was Shriekback's "The Underwaterboys." I heard the lyric of the chorus as:

What didn't he like / down here? The underwaterboys

The real lyrics are:

Wah diddle iddle i doh / down here - the underwaterboys

Disappointed, I wrote my own song that had "What didn't he like down here?" as the chorus.

I still love the original song, mind you.

dh said...

An astute observation about Doug's aspirations there Tim. Mind you I still regard 'Hey Nostradamus' as a big league contender.