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Tuesday, May 12, A.D. 2009
The Promise and Weird Imaginings

Before I address today’s topics, let me wish a happy birthday to my brother Aaron! Many years!

Pop culture may be filth, but I shamelessly enjoy it. The inner snob in my soul gets somewhat embarrassed, but I shall not deny my lowbrow proclivities. Besides, I can defend my music preferences as conservatives always defend their vices—by appealing to nostalgia.

This morning, I awoke from a dream in which my family was cleaning house. The radio was playing in the background, and as I was straightening towels in the linen closet, I heard “The Promise” by When in Rome come on. I walked over to the radio, turned it up, and returned to my job. Afterward, my mother, who never could stand tunes from the 1980’s, turned it practically off. I then woke up, annoyed that the song had been taken from me. Thanks to the endless joys of the internet, however, I may memorialize the one hit wonder here.

I should add a humorous observation. After I woke up, I tried to commit the song to memory, apparently worried that I would lose the tune if I allowed time to lapse. After I hear a song that I do not know well, I make a mental slot for it. Yet, the song that I had just heard came from my memory—I dreamt hearing it, but in the moments of half consciousness following sleep, I acted as if I had really perceived new information through my senses. The mind is bizarre.

As a closing to this exhibitionist display of my mind’s goofy workings, I admit that I have never given up the puerile practice of substituting the words of songs with bizarre, nonsensical, or even obscene lyrics. My imagination just plays with combinations of melodies and words when I am engaged in mindless activity such as showering or doing chores; I often do not even realize what I am singing.

As if an independent observer, I noticed in the shower today that I happened to be singing “Shai-Hulud” and similarly sounding gibberish to the tune of Amy Grant’s “El Shaddai.” If you are not a fan of Frank Herbert’s Dune series, you may not be familiar with the name for the giant spice producing worms worshiped by the Fremen on the planet Arrakis. Why my subconsciousness thought fit to mingle the god of futuristic Arabs with Amy Grant’s Protestant pop is an infathomable mystery. Perhaps the Semitic linguistic connection was enough of a resemblance for my mind to make the jump.

Always pretty, Grant has aged well.

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, May 12, Anno Domini 2009
Music | Popular MusicComments
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