It’s not a brilliant insight to understand that not every piece of music is a great work of art. There are songs out there – most of them, truth be told – that are the equivalent of junk food, empty calories. The temptation is to dismiss such drivel as useless, mindless background noise created by the cynical mass merchants of pop culture. I’d be hard-pressed to make a case against that assumption. And yet…
You must admit there’s a certain talent involved in creating a piece of music, trivial though it might be, that gets people in large numbers to dance, tap their feat, sing along, and generally shell out their hard-earned cash to buy the product. Yes, it’s product and, yes, the talent might lie more in the marketeers than the performers, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Which brings me (at long last) to my point. Against my will, my better judgment, and at the cost of my reputation as a person with at least a modicum of taste, I keep repeating…
I’m all about that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble.
You know the song. Once it’s in the brain, it’s harder to get rid of than the hiccups. It gets under your skin like a tick or a shot of Copaxone. Yeah, that’s it. It’s a subcutaneous song.
Before I learned differently, I assumed the song was performed by a funky African-American woman, probably from the mean streets of Motown or such. What a surprise that the singer is a lily-white blond from, of all places… Nantucket! Do people from Nantucket dance? If they needed funk – an unlikely prospect – wouldn’t they have to import it on the ferry???
The artist, Meghan Trainor, has caught a nerve… and a tidal wave. When I first heard this song at a wedding reception a few months ago, everyone got up to dance – bride, groom, little kids, grandparents, the wedding coordinator, hotel staff… everyone. For better or worse, it’s that kind of song, the kind that comes along now and then, makes a big splash, then fades into oblivion. Meanwhile, we can’t stop moving.
I have to hand it to the girl. She’s comfortable in her own skin and she’s not shy singing about it. She deserves a lot of credit for that alone. But beyond that, her musical CV is pretty impressive, too, according to her Wikipedia entry.
None of that helps me with my problem, however. I can’t get the song out of my head. Every time I hear a phrase that fits the rhythm, I can’t stop singing it. I’m driving family and friends crazy. In an attempt to exorcise this pop demon, I’ll dump some of the versions that have possessed me, whether originating in my brain or those of others. Feel free to sing along.
First, for my MS readers on the latest meds:
I’m all about that pill, ’bout that pill, no needles.
For me and my biking obsession and gait woes:
I’m all about that bike, ’bout that bike, no walking.
The La Leche League version:
I’m all about that boob, ’bout that boob, no bottle.
For doting grandparents:
I’m all about that baby, ’bout that baby, no parents.
Suppose you’re an aficionado of the classics but still have the tune assaulting your ears. Try this:
I’m all about that Bach, ’bout that Bach, no disco (or hip-hop or your particular aversion)
A plea to my readers:
I’m all about that blog, ’bout that blog, no trolling.
Painters with no inclination to sculpt can have their variant:
I’m all about that brush, ’bout that brush, no chisel.
Where does the madness stop? There are countless combinations, with little hope I’ll run out of ideas before someone puts me out of my – and their – misery.
Maybe you have one of your own.