Day 9, 2013

The car was silent after the funeral for our neighbor, Peggy. Everyone was sad and hungry.  It was a beautiful service with music and tributes to a wonderful person who was the best she could possibly be every day.  I put on the radio as a distraction from the somber mood.

I just left it on one station because I knew no one was really interested in what was on anyway. After a few minutes, Cher’s voice came through the speakers. Well lookie here, Cher has a new song titled, “It’s A Woman’s World.”

Now the empowerment of women is ground well covered by both Helen Reddy and Gloria Gaynor in decades past, but Cher felt the need to remind us again, with a techno-pop backdrop. This song sounds just like “Believe” circa 1998. I am not sure there is a difference at all.

You know how you sit at the eye doctor and they flash those lenses and ask which is better saying “this one, or (click) this one…?” And you are embarrassed to admit that they are the same, you feel like there should be a difference. Same with the Cher song. I want it to be new and better but it just isn’t.

Whenever one of these aging stars recycles a song, I assume it is the basis of an IRS or plastic surgery tour. Either their manager bilked the artist out of millions or they have paid millions in plastic surgery and need to show it off while they pay it off.

Personally, I think Cher would have aged perfectly fine without all the nips and tucks. I was fascinated with her as a kid. On the rare occasions that we would listen to anything other than WMAL all talk radio in the car, Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” would play.

I had no idea what that song meant but gypsies were exotic, thieves could get arrested and no one ever said the word tramp out loud so I knew it must be scandalous. And she had one name. No one had one name in the 70’s. The fact that no one even knew what her last name was, made it even more risqué.

We would watch the “Sonny and Cher” show in my family room every week. All of America wondered how these two had found each other to record music, let alone get married so I think we continually tuned in to somehow solve the mystery of this odd pairing.

“It’s A Woman’s World” is annoying enough to get Mac’s attention in the car, so he glances up to read the title and artist from the radio screen. “Who is Cher?” he asks. I fumble through an explanation of how she was part of a duo, then a solo artist, then an actress and then nothing but Vegas and bad outfits for a long time.

I told him to Google her when we got home. I knew that a photo of one of her crazy Bob Mackie outfits would pop up on Wikipedia looking like it was fashioned out of sequined seat belts and some old netting he found on a fishing boat. It would freak Mac out enough to stop the questions.

I obliged Mac and changed the station. “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke was playing. This song has become the summer anthem which is amazing given it is one of the raciest songs ever released. I love it. My kids love it. And I pray that they have no idea what the guys are really singing about, although I am sure that Mac does. The music video features a live goat just to add to the allure.

There is nothing more uncomfortable than loving a song that is totally inappropriate for your kids to listen to. Especially when you spend hours and hours in the car together. I should be a big enough person to change the station, but this song is literally inescapable so I can be my shallow self and sing along.

Oh wait, I forgot about the searing embarrassment of having the iPod on at a party and realizing that your children just hit “download” and did not scroll down to the version marked as clean, before they bought the song. When selecting you have to bypass explicit, uncut, extended and various other options which just increases the chances for error and mortification.

Did my parents feel this way when “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” played on the radio? Unlikely. Even with lines like “Every night the men would come around and lay their money down, where Cher made the word down have at least five syllables, it was all fairly benign.

Back then, I memorized each word, not really stringing together any meaning. If there were lyrics to songs that I couldn’t decipher, I would wait for the weekend Star newspaper to come. Each week The Star would provide the lyrics to one popular song and I smiled as I recalled reading it over and over again until I had the entire song committed to memory.

I was still smiling as we pulled into the parking lot for lunch. It had been a day for memories. I guess I shouldn’t be so harsh on poor Cher. We are all out there reinventing ourselves every day, mixing in a little nostalgia, to be the best person we could possibly be.

 

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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