Monday Earworm: Bee-Gees and Pink Floyd

So Spring Break is over now, and re-entry after a holiday from school is always challenging. I’m frequently reminded of the day my mother took me to the parish school where I would be entering kindergarten (for the second time, at this new school, because the diocese didn’t think I was old enough for first grade). I stayed at that school all the way through eighth grade graduation, and their insistence that I start kindergarten with other children my age (despite my academic and intellectual abilities) was perhaps one of the few genuinely good administrative choices I ever witnessed there.

But I’m reminded of it because, that day she took me there to register me, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” had been playing on the radio in the car, and I remember singing the song’s chorus (the only part I could remember) over and over as we walked through the school building, and I kept misplacing the word “inspiration” for “education.” So I was singing, “We don’t need no inspiration…” And I asked my mom what inspiration meant, and she either didn’t or couldn’t really tell me.

I’m sure there are other deeper psychological reasons for my associating that song with the awfulness of my experience at that school, but I’ll leave that for another time.

This morning on the way to school, my kids and I cheerfully sang and danced along with the Bee-Gees’ “Staying Alive” on my iPod. (We are disco fans. They especially love it when I dance like John Travolta at the stop lights. Just the arms, of course, because, come on. No idea what the other motorists think. Not really sure I’m concerned about it, either.)

So in honor of how challenging it is to come back to school after a break longer than an ordinary weekend, I give you this. Enjoy.



Monday Earworm: Anett Földes

So for some odd reason, a propos of nothing, “Shot in the Dark” by Ozzy Osbourne popped into my head this afternoon, and it occurred to me that this could make a nice earworm. When I went to look up a video for it on YouTube, it took me only a moment to find this cover of it by Anett Földes, who appears to be, I think, a Hungarian teenager. My only complaint is that we can’t see her hands playing on the piano keys, but I’m a piano geek and love that sort of thing. Enjoy.


Monday Earworm: OK Go

This might be my favorite OK Go song. Maybe. I know there’s nothing about it I don’t love, and there’s nothing about this video that doesn’t crack me up.

And while I have your attention, I should let you know that I’m doing a reading of my poetry this Wednesday evening at Brazos Bookstore in Houston as part of the Mutabilis Press Reunion. Come see us!


Monday Earworm: Hozier

There’s a lot of cultural stuff going on this week. Mardi Gras, Valentines’ Day, and Ash Wednesday are the big things I can think of right now. So celebrate how best makes sense to you, but here’s what I’m going to do: have some King Cake, write a poem or a love letter, and then make a Lenten promise.

How about you? Are you doing anything special this week to commemorate any of this exciting stuff? Anything else you’re celebrating or observing? Tell us in the comments section!

And in the meantime, enjoy this short film, which is far superior to the actual official music video for this song.


Monday Earworm: Billy Joel

This might be the perfect rock song.

Now that I have a standing desk for my computer at work — and now that this particular song has been stuck in my head for a few days — I’ve been playing this video every morning while I check my email. And dance. The dancing is key. It improves my whole day because it starts my work day off well, with a happy transition in the morning from music to productivity.

Plus, when my colleagues come by and see me dancing, it cracks them up and puts them in a good mood, too.

But why, I can hear you asking, is this the “perfect” rock song?

The music has a ton of energy. Enough to make you want to dance. In fact, try not to, and if you are successful, check your pulse.

The lyrics have very little repetition, and what repetition is there has been cleverly tweaked to demonstrate astute form (such as in poetic anaphora) or else is used to bring the theme of the song full-circle. The lyrics are also meaningful — and not misogynistic. Billy Joel fills up almost all the space in the song with those meaningful, optimistic lyrics. The song acknowledges the imperfection of life while still offering enthusiasm for the future.

And there’s still room for some fun guitar work between the verses, so people who believe that a rock song can’t exist without a guitar solo still get to check off that box.

The song is just the right length: playable on the radio but not so fleeting that you feel cheated. And it’s just the right amount of time for an early-morning dance break at work.

The video is also just really fun to watch. How could you go wrong here?

What’s your favorite get-up-and-get-moving song? Tell us in the comments!