February is the worst month. Let’s just all agree on that. And don’t give me any of your “Valentine’s Day” claptrap, although I will grant you that February is a good month to practice your old-man words like “claptrap” and “hogwash” and “lollygagging.”
So before we all start acting like a bunch of fist-shaking, ornery coots, how about a CONTEST? (Ooo, shiny!) A giveaway book contest, and not just one of my own lame books in some lame attempt at self-promotion. That would be lame. A real book! Let’s dance!
Here we go:
Like old boyfriends and girlfriends, everybody has songs in their lives that they’re ashamed to admit they once loved. You played them over and over again — the songs, that is, not Ol’ Plankhead, although maybe — and you thought they were profound and beautiful, only to realize later on just how stupid they actually were. (I don’t know about you, but I’ve forgotten which one we’re talking about.) Fortunately, most of us don’t marry our old songs. The same can’t be said for old boyfriends and girlfriends, but let’s move on…
Here’s an example: When I was young, it seemed that “The Logical Song” was so wonderful. (See what I did there?) It was so deep with its message of imposed conformity. Now I realize it was broad, oversimplified and rather childish. But a conformist would say that.
On the other hand, there are songs that you may have dismissed at the time but have come to realize have meaning beyond superficial impressions.
For instance, when I was in high school, my gang of friends thought “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” by The Police was silly nonsense. That’s because we didn’t listen to the words about the futility of communication. All we knew was that it was certainly no “Jack and Diane.”
At college, no party was complete without Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up.” Our failure to realize the irony of this song as we got drunk and punched holes in dorm room ceilings was as pathetic as our attempts to impress girls with bloodied knuckles and beer retention.
So, here’s the CONTEST! (So pretty! Can I touch it?) Tell me about a song whose meaning/importance/profundity/humour was completely lost on you at first. Include a link to a video or audio in the comment if humanly possibly (or if you’re a dog, if caninely possible).
I’ll pick a winner at random because life is random, ne c’est pas? The winner will receive a coveted copy of The Best of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, which includes a selection by me me me. I’m in there. Me. (Lame.)
Contest ends when I feel like it.
So, tell me, kids, do you like the rock and the roll?