Ear-worm* mashups

Does anyone else ever end up with a mashup between “Last Christmas” by Wham! and “Lucky” by Britney Spears in your head?  It happens to me almost every time I get into Christmas music (yes, this means that I’m already getting into the Christmas music mood).  As with any song, “Last Christmas” will get stuck in my head, kind of repeating casually as I go about my business, even thinking about other things.  Whatever I do, though, the song plays like background music, just inside my head.  Eventually, I become aware of the fact that I’ve been going back and forth between “Last Christmas” and “Lucky”, and then totally crack up inside at how utterly different the two songs’ topics, years, genres, and artists are.

If you think I’m just nuts here, or even if you just are interested, give it a try.  Here’s how the words work out the switch:

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart,
and the very next day, you gave it away.

This year, to save me from tears,
I’ll give it to someone special…..
(dumm dumm dumm)
She’s so lucky.  She’s a star.
But she crie-crie-cries with her lonely heart,
thinking, “If there’s nothing missing in my life,
then [why do these tears come at night?”]
the very next day, you gave it away.
This year, to save me from tears,
I’ll give it to someone special….

And then the whole thing repeats.  Notice that the brackets part is how that line would continue in the song.  I left it, because, occasionally, my head finishes out that line, too.  Usually, though, it has a sort of fading overlap, like how what DJs do or the original settings in iTunes did, having the Wham! song come in at that exact spot as the new main line.

Fun, huh?  (Well, I like it, anyway, so that works for me.)  🙂

*We don’t really have a single word for this in English, so I used a translation of the German term Ohrwurm, the word used to reference a song that gets stuck in one’s ear/head.

Post-a-day 2018

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Stromae (and my solo gelato dance party)

Last night, waiting for my dinner to finish baking, I was dancing in the kitchen while snacking on some pre-dinner gelato (because when else is gelato so satisfying?), jamming out to a Stromae (pronounced like “maestro” split in half, the second half said first) song, when I suddenly recalled how spectacular his music really is.  I haven’t listened to almost any music lately, and so haven’t listened to any of his either.  When I taught high school French, I listened to and discussed his music all the time with students.  They had to find a new francophone song every month that they liked, and each student and each class went in all different directions.  But, without fail, a single Stromae song would come up once in a class, and then his entire repertoire would show up the following months from different students in that class.  They regularly requested his music, whenever we played music during work time in class.

We listened to a lot of French language music, and the kids knew I loved lots of it.  But they also knew that I liked Stromae for more than just his voice, and, at some point, they decided that I really loved him and his music.  I remember one specific incident of Stromae coming up in casual chat during class, and a student said, “Oh, we know, Miss —: you would totally date Stromae if you had the chance.”  I’m almost certain that I verbally agreed immediately, and we all laughed.    It was great.  (So many things those kids never knew about me and my life, but they always remembered anything they ever heard about dating or marriage.)  😛

If you don’t know Stromae’s music, check it out.  You can start with this English interview he did, which is great.  He still sings in French, and even dances a bit (he’s a spectacular dancer, by the way, as can be seen in his music videos), but the discussion is all in English.  I find the themes of his music to be powerful, though regularly dangerous and tough, even scary – but, to me, they are real and honest.  What’s more, they make for a great dance party any day, because the musicality is tops (especially so if you don’t understand the lyrics).  When I first heard of him, it was from a German kid when I’d first arrived in France for school.  He mentioned that the only French song Germans knew was this “Alors, on danse” song that I wasn’t too sure I’d ever even heard, but definitely had heard of.  That was the only line I understood when I first listened to Stromae’s music (“And so, we dance”), but it didn’t matter – I still loved it all.  Now, I just love it even more, because I understand the words.

(“Dodo” is one that gets stuck in my head most often these days.  It’s a prime example of what I mean by a tough song – a difficult theme combined with beautiful music.  I recommend you watch the video first, and then look up the lyrics.)

Post-a-day 2018

Singing, Showering, and liking you better…

Today, I sent a message to my best friend that read, “For some reason, I regularly think about messaging you when I go to the bathroom”

Her response was prompt and simple.  “Lol,” followed by, “You like me so much better when youre naked”

“Duh,” was my casual response.

You see, the whole thing started back in college.  Freshman year, I was Skype-ing with Christine one day, probably early morning.  I had gone into the common room to chat with her, but, since we were in an all-girls dormitory, and it was too early for visitors to be around, I wasn’t fully dressed (probably just a t-shirt and underwear).  When we started the call, she let me know that a friend of hers was with her, and that it was a guy (because it was already afternoon in Cambridge, England, so it was normal to be hanging out with people already there). So, I had to go put on some more clothing before we turned on the camera.  (At least, I think that was the case… she might have just checked to make sure I was properly clothed, because I regularly would be not fully clothed.  Either way, the next part did happen.)  When I commented about this, the guy friend of hers made a comment about liking someone so much better naked (I forget if it was about Christine liking me, or what, but it was totally silly, and seemed such an odd comment.)  We both were lacking in understanding at first, but he explained that there was an actual song (by Ida Maria), and that that was the line the girl used in it.  (See, it made sense and wasn’t actually weird at all.)

The chorus goes like this:

But I won’t mind
If you take me home
Come on, take me home
I won’t mind
if you take off all your clothes
Come on, take them off
‘Cause I like you so much better when you’re naked
I like me so much better when you’re naked
I like you so much better when you’re naked
I like me so much better when you’re naked

We found it hilarious.  We found the actual song and music video, and fell in a sort of this is silly and utterly ridiculous, but I still love it kind of love with the song.

I shared it with my hallway neighbor, who played guitar, and we tried playing it a bit on the guitar.  I eventually played it for Christine one day on Skype.  My greatest, proudest achievement with the song, however, was the time I snuck into the bathrooms (they were shared, and had loads of stalls and multiple showers) one day, just after Jessie, the neighbor, had gone in to shower.  Once I knew she was actually in the shower, showering, I walked into the showering area (mind you, not into her stall, just in the showering section of the bathroom), and began playing the song on guitar, and singing it to her.  I could hear her snorting, gurgling, guffawing laugher emitting from the shower stall as I sang and played.  It was spectacular for the both of us.  I shared the story with my best friend, too, and she loved it.*

So, the song has always held a special little place in our hearts, minds, and lives, all three of us.  Everyone else probably just thinks we’re crazy, whenever they overhear us mentioning or quoting or singing it.  😛

Here’s a link to the music video.

 

*This reminds me… I sang to a friend of mine in Japan while she showered one night.  We were chatting on the phone, just hanging out one night, after we’d both gotten internet, and so didn’t have to hang up after every five minutes anymore, and she really needed to shower, but we weren’t ready to end our conversation/hanging out.  So, she set the phone to the side on speakerphone, and I sang to her while she showered.  I had been humming and singing quietly already anyway, so what was the difference if I just did it a little louder, right?  It was spectacular, of course.  Then a night or few later, when I mentioned to another friend that this had happened, he complained that I didn’t sing for him and that that certainly wasn’t fair.  And so I sang to him over the phone… and he fell asleep.  😛  Spectacular in a different sort of way, I guess, but still spectacular.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

 

Time for Multilingual Christmas Stuff

My task for today (from my tea advent calendar) was to listen to a Christmas song in every language I speak.  Seeing as how it was likely to be difficult to find a song other than “Jingle Bells” (which is definitely not one of my favorites on repeat) in a bunch of different languages, and taking into account that it could get quite boring, listening to the same song over and over again, I chose to interpret the assignment as being any Christmas song for any of the languages (i.e. different songs for each language, as opposed to the same one in each language).  These are the songs I picked.

 

German:  Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
(It was originally written in German.  I love the version by John Denver and the Muppets on their joint Christmas album.)

French: Minuit Chrétiens
(One of my favorite Christmas songs, and it was originally in French.  This isn’t my favorite version, but it’s still nice.)

Japanese: All I Want for Christmas is You Japanese cover 
(Clearly not originally Japanese, but I like it anyway, so I listened to it.  I loved the ridiculous Christmas music I would hear in the shops while living in Japan, but I can’t remember any of it.  This one does justice to some of the better covers I heard, though.)  😀

English: Mary, did you know? 
I first remember hearing this song at Mass at my aunt’s Church in a small town in Texas. A boy around my age sang the song during Mass, I believe during the meditation time following Communion (when everyone goes up to the front and takes some bread and wine).  I thought it was magical, hearing this twangy-accented high schooler sing his heart out with these words and notes.  This version reminds me of a grown-up version of that first one I remember hearing.

Italian: Tu Scendi Dalle Stele
(Originally written in Italian.  I love this guy.)

Spanish: Los Peces en el Rio
(I’d never heard this one, but I love it.  It is originally in Spanish, and also quite popular as a Christmas song in Spanish-speaking cultures.)*

 

Seeing as I don’t speak any others fluently or conversationally, I didn’t do them – this took some time and consideration as it was!  But it was totally good.  Just made me want to listen to loads more in each of the languages, really.  Also, I totally forgot about English and Spanish songs until after I thought I was already finished with this task.  Whoops.  😛

 

*If you want some awesome, quality, unoffensive music in Spanish, check out this song.  Be prepared to be a little shocked when you see the artists performing, and how strongly it contrasts to the sound of the music.  It rocks.  Try listening to it without seeing the video for a minute or two.  Enjoy!

Post-a-day 2017

Christmas Music and Photos at the Beach

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This afternoon, I headed down to Galveston to visit my cousin.  We had discussed meeting at Dickens on the Strand, but I didn’t have a costume, and I was too far behind schedule for that really to work.  However, we could still hang out when she finished at the little festival.  Plus, I felt that I could really use some time in Galveston, and preferably some time on the beach.

I arrived about two hours before sunset, and as much time before my cousin would be finishing, so I headed straight for the beach.  We made these advent calendars for one another, with a tea for each day, as well as a quote/bible verse and a sort of task for the day.  My tea yesterday was spectacular, but today’s flavor was not to my liking.  However, the task for today was fabulous.  It read, “Learn a Christmas song on a string instrument”.  And so, seeing as I had a phone for the research and a ukulele in my trunk, instead of reading my book, I headed down to the sunny sand to play some ukulele.

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While playing, people passed by, going about their business.  Some just walking in light jackets, others exercising with the dog, and one family had three little boys sprinting into the edge of the water, playing.  After a while, it started getting quite cool, thanks to the wind and the setting sun.  My fingers began to struggle against stiffness.  As I paused to warm them (I think that’s what it was, anyway), I glanced out to my left.  The rising moon was spectacular.  I had noticed it big and sneaky a while before, hiding behind the haze so close to Earth’s surface, but now it was beginning to glow.

And what was just under the now-glowing moon, but the three frolicking boys, looking quite adorable.  The scene was set, and I had to take a photo.

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Unfortunately, they were just far enough away that I needed to zoom, if I wanted to have the photo focus on what I was naturally focusing…, and the zoom is not so great on a phone.

So, I made another essay, and went for a different perspective.  To get it to be perfectly straight, I would have had to get down on my belly and align it, and that just felt a little too conspicuous.

Nonetheless, after I took the photos, I really enjoyed them.  I knew that I would have loved for someone to take an awesome shot of me and then actually give it to me.  So, I checked out the parents to see if they seemed at all of similar minds to mine.

And they did.  They looked young and open to things.  They even were taking photos of the kids and of themselves on their own phones, so they were likely to understand the value of a good photo.  Or, a neat one, anyway.

I figured I might as well go for it, so I set my stuff carefully to the side, and stood on up.  I approached them comfortably and confidently and in my best ‘I am a sane person, please don’t freak out,’ manner.  They gave me odd looks when I mentioned how this might be a bit odd, – wouldn’t you, if a stranger walked up and started saying something like that? – but their brows cleared and they were all about it, when I showed them the photos I’d taken.  The mom asked me if I could send them to her, if she gave me her number.*  Of course, of course… And so, I sent them to her, and she was incredibly grateful.  They had been seeing about doing a Christmas card, using their beach photos they were taking then, so they completely understood fun and neat photos, and they were not at all weirded out.  phew

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And so, I went back to my ukulele for a little bit longer, until the sun was almost hidden, and the wind was too chilly, and I headed back to the car and over to my cousin’s house to wait for her there.

As I ast on the beach, and then again after I was back in my car, I contemplated the experience of being on a beach.  I hadn’t gone into the water, and I hadn’t even touched the sand, really – just to wipe off the bottom of my bag afterward.  What was beautiful and almost magical about it, though, was the wind and the air and salt, the feeling of it all on my skin, and the view.  I love the feeling of my hair after time at the beach (not to touch, but the feeling from within), that salty, windblown feeling.  I had that today, and it was truly refreshing.  And it had me wonder, if I didn’t want to give a brief time living there.  I at least need to go down there, just to hang around the wind and the ocean more often than I have done lately.  At least once a month, if not once a week or every two weeks… that would be brilliant…

Anyway, that’s what I’ve got to share for now.  Sweet dreams, world (and good afternoon and evening to the other side of it)!

 

*I chuckled inside at this when she asked.  Let’s be real, why else would I have been showing her the photos?  ‘No, you can’t have them.  I just wanted to show you these awesome photos I took of your children, and then leave you to wonder if there’s something wrong with me.’

 

Post-a-day 2017

Song chat

When we were kids, my cousins and I occasionally would speak song lyrics to one another, as though they were lines in our conversation.  There wasn’t much of a goal, besides turning songs into a conversation, but it was way fun.  “Copacabana” and “Baby Got Back” are two notable songs we used for the game/pastime.  I miss it, actually…

Just give it a try, using a song whose lyrics you and a friend or friends know well.  As silly and simple as it may sound, it can be way fun.

Post-a-day 2017