Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dedicated II - Some People Don't Quite Get Some Songs

I always chuckle when people request Eric Clapton's chestnut, "Wonderful Tonight", at wedding receptions. I didn't need to hear an interview with him to know the song was about a guy who's so tired of his woman's nagging, her neediness, that he drinks himself to oblivion and repeats empty compliments just to shut her up. Yet, yeah - folks want to hear it, thinking it's a song about how much someone loves someone else.

"Every Breath You Take" is even worse in this regard. A song of dangerous obsession, I don't know who in my family coined the phrase (it might have been my youngest sister, the cleverest of us by far), I call it "The Stalker's Anthem". Getting requests for that song just creeps me out.

Richmond had a pretty good commercial "alternative" station back in the mid-1990's, when we first moved down there. They even, on occasion, took requests, something most commercial stations just don't do. I was shocked when a woman not only requested, but dedicated "Possession" by Sarah MacLachlan to someone. In . . . love.

The lyrics are taken from letters Ms. MacLachlan received from a "fan" against whom she took out a TRO. There isn't an ounce of love in this song. I called the station and chatted with the on-air personality (I refuse to call him a DJ because, well, he sits in front of a microphone while a tech guy presses a button on a computer to cue up songs) and we both agreed it was kind of sick. The next night he played it again, with my dedication to the people who weren't bright enough to get the song was sick. It's the one and only time, and the last time, I've had a request and dedication on commercial radio - to all the people who think, "I'll kiss you so hard/I'll take your breath away/And after I wipe away the tears/Just close your eyes, dear" is romantic, rather than a threat of physical violence.

Virtual Tin Cup

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