Stuff I Learned From Music


Music is to culture what Doctor Watson is to Sherlock Holmes: you really can’t have one without the other.  It is a universal language that connects people everywhere around the world.  Even the grumpiest curmudgeon can’t help but move their shoulders just a little bit when they hear “Despacito.”  So it’s natural that, in my many years on this planet, I’ve learned a lot of things from music.  Here are just a few of them.

Musically, nobody really knows what to do with a drunken sailor.

There’s a reason symphony orchestras seldom feature bagpipes.

It’s no contest: the #1 favourite female vocalist of old people is “What’s-her-name.”

Disney could make a 2 hour live action movie about paint drying and people would pay to see it, download the sound track and set up a Twitter account to complain that the songs weren’t as good as the original.

Even though we sing it every year, nobody understands the words to “Auld Lang Syne.”

Oddly enough, ever since the Everly Brothers sang “Wake Up, Little Susie,” the go-to name for women in pop songs (and one country music mega-hit) is Sue.

Oddly enough, ever since the Beatles sang “I Saw Her Standing There” the optimum age for women in pop songs is 17.  Is that even legal?

And speaking of legal, “Happy Birthday to You” is still under copyright, so every time you sing it, you’re technically breaking the law.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart did not write “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”  That’s just a “fact” pompous asses mention in conversation so you’ll think they’re smart.

It’s never a good idea to teach children those monotonous, multi-verse songs like “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Baby Shark” — especially right before an extended road trip.

Everybody’s favourite song has one good verse and a very loud chorus. After that, it’s mostly mumbling ‘til the chorus comes around again.

When you’re driving and you’re either lost or looking for an address, you automatically turn the music down because … I don’t know … ears?

And speaking of ears, the Germans have a word for that song that gets stuck in your head – ohrwurm – ear worm.

Whether they’re waltzing with Mathilda or tying their kangaroo down, Australian folk songs have some totally strange lyrics.

If you’re the subject of a country music song, unfortunately, you’re pretty much screwed.

For pure sex, nothing beats 70s-going-on-80s pop music.

Keith Richards is proof that there is life beyond the grave.

Taylor Swift has written so many songs about bad relationships that – uh – maybe she’s the problem.

Nobody is ever going to love you as much as Kanye West loves … Kanye West.

And finally:

Old people spent most of this year bragging about how uber-wild and crazy they were back in the Woodstock era, circa 1969.  However, they’ve conveniently forgotten that Billboard’s Single of the Year, that year, was “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies.  (Not so counterculture cool now, are ya, grandpa?)

Still Funny After All These Years


The last time I looked, I was 35.  So, for all intents and purposes, that’s where I remain.  My outward appearance tells a different story (grey hair, weathered eyes and various bits that sag) but inside my head, I’m the same age as James Bond.  This isn’t a problem, really (James never had it so good!) but trying to reconcile 2019 with where I’m livin’ (somewhere in the early 90s) is getting more and more difficult.  Let’s face it, folks!  The 21st century has taken a serious turn down Silly Street and, these days, it’s all I can do to keep a straight face.  Let me demonstrate:

All the cops look like kids.  I don’t remember when we started giving children guns and badges, but it’s quite disconcerting to be stopped on the highway by somebody who looks like they just stepped out of Paw Patrol.

New Year’s Eve isn’t all that fascinating anymore.  Once an annual debauch worthy of the Marquis de Sade and Henry VIII, New Year’s Eve has become Amateur Hour – one brief moment when button-down people unbutton, drink an adult beverage and try and sneak in a kiss at midnight.  (Good luck with that one, BTW.)  This is a party?  I’m laughin’!

Most of the music sounds like noise.  I have questions!  What is classic hip-hop?  How is that different from regular hip-hop?  Why hasn’t anyone noticed that Taylor Swift only sings one song?  Are we absolutely certain Cardi B and Nicki Minaj aren’t the same person?  And how the hell did Ed Sheeran become a love song heartthrob?

Everything is expensive.  Hey, dentists!  You’re filling a tooth, not renovating the Great Wall of China.

Self-help doesn’t mean what it used to.  First I had to pump my own gas, then I had to bring my own bags, now I have to checkout my own groceries.  This thing isn’t going to end until hospitals are offering self-inflicted, video-assisted gallbladder operations – on YouTube!

Fashion is less than fashionable.  Karl Lagerfeld is dead, and when I look at some of the crap strutting down the Paris runways, I’m not feeling all that well myself.

What happened to junk food?  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Going to McDonald’s for a salad is like going to a hooker for a hug.”

And finally:

Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with women.  Not all that new, but this recent trick of taking old movies, changing the main characters from male to female and calling it feminism is so totally condescending even Harvey Weinstein is saying, “WTF?”