I’ve decided that Wednesday is song day. Don’t we all need a good song to get us over the hump as we chug toward the weekend? Here’s my first cut at a list of the Top 10 train songs of all time. I’ve already shared a couple of them before (you can look at the previous posts by clicking on their titles), and I’ll give you a video of another at the end of the list. I’ll feature others on future Wednesdays. Tell me your favorites by leaving a comment at the end of this post.
So many people have done great covers of People Get Ready, and Bob Marley based one of his most popular
songs—One Love—on it, but let’s hear it from the man who wrote it, Curtis Mayfield:
You’re not gonna like this
I’m have to apologize for what I’m about to do. I’m not doing it because I dislike you. I’m doing it because an awful ear worm invaded my head the other day. And when an annoying song gets stuck in your consciousness, I’m sure you too have an irrepressible urge to spread the pain, don’t you? Sometimes it’s the only way to make it go away. One must not be a martyr, suffering bravely and silently to spare friends and loved ones. Rather, by my act of inflicting upon you this small wound, do we not all become closer—bonded by our hatred of this common enemy? Sorry, I don’t know why I lapsed into talking like I was writing the Declaration of Independence. Anyway, this song is terrible. I feel dirty and ashamed for letting it rattle around in my brain.
But worse than suffering through the song itself is sitting through the full length of this American Bandstand performance:
The stage looks vast and empty. Sheena looks small and afraid. Or maybe she’s mortified at the fact that she has come all the way from Britain to perform for the large American teenage population in her pajama shirt. And with the gold spandex pants and Pat Benatar haircut, it’s a wonder Prince ever thought she “got the look.” Actually, that probably made sense. Why the long antenna on the microphone? To use as a bayonet when an angry member of the crowd (if there is one—we wouldn’t know) charges the stage? She doesn’t even need a mic. There’s no band, no backup singers, and she’s clearly lip syncing. Can we drop the pretense? The performance itself is deadly boring—she barely moves except for the 80s “sway” and the occasional placing of the hand on the hip to show a little attitude. When she tries to get across the emotions the song is supposed to evoke through her facial expressions, she looks psychotic. She wound up with a pretty good career for a while, though. Again, I’m really, really sorry. But I do feel a little better now.
To make up for what I’ve done, I’ll share George Costanza’s mercifully short take on this song, from the episode where he fakes a disability at work.