If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. No, it was a lot closer to the worst of times. It was the 80’s. Ten years of bad music and bad hair. Ack.

And yet, if the 80’s hadn’t proved themselves so atrociously lacking in providing anything substantial for me to listen to, I might never have discovered Beethoven.

Well, ok, I didn’t exactly discover Beethoven. It’s not like I became his road manager or anything. But, I’d have been a good one. Tough and no-nonsense yet caring. “Ludwig, I made you and I can break you if I have to, but neither of us wants that. So, stop whining and get out there and shake your money maker or whatever it is you do.”

I digress. The real story is that there are three former record store clerks who, if prompted, might have a vague recollection of a red-haired girl singing Ode to Joy to them. Dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum DUM DUM.

See I had heard the song and loved it but didn’t have a clue what it was called. So, I took my act to various record stores until I finally got my hands on the right cassette. It took me three performances to yield the proper result. The first time I sung it, the clerk sold me the wrong Beethoven album. But, after listening to it and being disappointed, I went right out the next day and tried my luck again. This time, I sung to a clerk who shrugged his shoulders and said, “I bet So and So knows what that is. Sing it for him.” So, I sung it for So and So. Sure enough, So and So knew his Beethoven and sold me the right album.

I guess if I have a point here, it’s that I’m still not very knowledgeable* about classical music. Chances are I’ll recognize the melody and I’ll be able to tell you if I like that particular version, but I won’t know what the song is called.

Does this minor musical affliction of mine matter in the grand scheme of things? Well, no. But, I bet the folks who work at music stores simply despise nimrods like me, and I can’t really blame them for it. For all I know, the guys I sung to in the 80’s still can’t listen to Beethoven and keep a straight face.

*However, I did have a rather glowing moment a couple of days ago. Jules mentioned Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninov, and I knew exactly which song she was talking about. Yes, I actually knew both the tune and it’s name for a change, because the music was a key element in an excellent chick flick called Somewhere in Time.

Comments 9

  • There’s a researcher in our lab who works on automatic recognition of hummed music melodies. If she builds something successful, you’ll be one of the first to know.

  • I love that you knew the Rachmaninov, and one of these days, you and i need a big bowl of popcorn and a copy of Somewhere in Time to hang out with together.

  • I’ve sung songs (badly) over the phone to fairly bored record store employees, trying to find out which artist sang it. You’re not alone. 🙂

  • My most embarrasing record buying expedition, was when Slim Shady / Eminem had just launched in the uk, I had heard it twice on radio and wanted it.

    However I had totally failed to catch the artist name and was going to record shops asking for the wierd/funny rap that goes “My Names Mercedes “… Ooops.

    As for the classical, I love live outdoor classical concerts, but I never have a clue what i am listening to!!.

    Andy 🙂

  • *gasps*

    You weren’t a Duran Duran fan? Boy George didn’t knock your socks off? *L*

    The other week, my daughter’s friend played a very cruel joke on me, they had me sit and watch Breakin. I cringed throughout the entire movie while they laughed at the hair-don’ts and clothes.

    As for classical music, I know Swan Lake!

  • you want mixed music messages? i was on a trip in sweden and, late at night surfing the tv, i heard tom jones doing the talking heads’ “burning down the house.” tom jones.
    the cd – which i have to admit enjoying – also has ‘momma told me not to come’ and ‘sexbomb’.


    i’ve decided the whole cover thing is cool. a bluegrass group named hayseed dixie did a ac/dc tribute. the music translates suprisingly well.

    — jim
    (a vivaldi person)

  • oh, that reminds me… there are some cool classical tributes of 70s groups. london symphony orchestra doing jethro tull, pink floyd. there’s also a “strung out on u2” with lots of violin. (that vivaldi thing again)

    classic, but not necessarily classical.

  • Howdy,
    Hope you had great weekend !!

    Got your comment, of course you not to late for a 5 Question Quiz !!! Besides, your my only contestance !! LOL
    Iam out today, but shall come up with the necessary and email them to you on Tues !!


    Andy 😉

  • Beethoven
    Ever get a tune locked in your brain and can

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