The thing about being a music major early in life, and paying the bills with your voice, is that you tend to find yourself singing, humming, whistling, or drumming in random places, not realizing it. When you are surrounded by other musicians, it is not a big deal. When you venture out into the rest of the world, it sometimes leads to odds situations and weird looks.
Yesterday, I was standing in my office, reviewing some papers, and realized that I was halfway through belting out, “Private Dancer” by Tina Turner. You know – the song about a stripper who has to make ends meet by performing for low-life men who can’t even look the clients in the face? Yeah. I haven’t heard that song in years. It was on the radio for a short period during the 1980′s when I was two years old. And the video is so ridiculous – it is the entire decade packaged into a single visual experience; the hair, the weird camera cuts, the interpretive dancing, the violent shoulder pads that could injure people. If you weren’t alive during that decade, a few seconds of that music video will tell you almost everything you need to know.
Though I do like the lyrics about “Dutchmarks or dollars … American Express will do nicely, thank you“. That’s a good line. I concur. Though I’m not getting on a pole. I’ll just sell you ice cream, bleach, furniture, candy, cheeseburgers, insurance, or home mortgages, instead.
Note: None of my criticisms of the 1980′s apply to Roxette. They were awesome. I don’t care who knows it. They sang my favorite song in kindergarten. I freaking loved listening to that on my way to t-ball or soccer.
Actually, come to think of it, there were a lot more women in rock back then … what happened?
A few weeks ago, when I was baking bread for tests, I had some leftover loaves. I decided to feed them to the blue jays and cardinals that live in the forest behind my home, as well as throw some of the finished pork products to the squirrels (normally, the squirrels aren’t around this time of year but the unseasonably warm weather seemed to keep them active). So here I am, standing on the deck 30+ feet off the ground, throwing loaves of freshly baked bread over the edge to the animals, and I catch myself in mid-chorus singing, “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins.
Again, I stop in mid-lyric and think, “What is happening?!”
I find myself performing 19th century French chanson in the shower as I shampoo my hair, and droning funeral dirges when the weather is dark and stormy. I might be running and suddenly humming Guns ‘n Roses or Coldplay. (And while we are on the topic, this is the greatest Guns ‘n Roses song ever recorded though this is a close second.)
Rock, jazz, country, gospel, and blue grass – it doesn’t matter. When my brain is heavy processing something, it seems to flip into performance mode, like a computer screen saver that goes active when the processor is trying to do work in the background. The deeper in thought I am, the more oblivious I am to the fact that I might be reading the report of a gold mining company and in the midst of a performance of this song.
What prompted this confession? (Besides the fact being comfortable with myself means I have no shame?)
I’m working on a post about the best investment book recommendations that I think should be required reading for anyone who wants to manage their own portfolio, and suddenly, I catch myself singing, “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas.
I’m guessing it has to do with this lyric:
Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
Come taste the sunsweet berries of the Earth
Come roll in all the riches all around you
And for once, never wonder what they’re worth
Apparently my brain thinks I am a cast member of “Glee”. I need a permanently on-demand band that can start playing whenever I need accompaniment. Instruments are provided and always only a room or two away.