There is thing about me.
A weird thing.
Maybe it is a weird thing about you too.
I am musical and by that, I mean I have hundreds of CDs and listen to music nearly all the time. I *always* have my i-pod when I am on the go by myself. I like to listen to music while I work, sew, cook. I like to sing along (rather loudly) when I am at home. When there is not music playing, I am making music all on my own. I hum and sing to myself and often don’t know I am doing it until Spiderman points it out. I get this from my dad.
When we lived in the US, I was the sort of mad person you could see sitting behind the wheel of their car singing and possibly dancing to some private music that others could not hear. All they could do was sit at the traffic light and look over at the woman making a spectacle of herself.
Uh huh. That’s me.
When you are ensconced in your car or your home you can sing your heart out and no one can hear you. This does not work when you are wearing an i-pod.
It is considered bad manners to be singing along loudly out in public where everyone can hear you.
Ask me how I know this.
So, I have to work *really* hard to reign it in. I mean *really* hard.
In order to stop myself from singing, I have channel that energy elsewhere.
Which means that I am often dancing when I don’t know it. Out in public.
Certain music has that effect on me. I’m trying hard to just discreetly tap my foot or just drum my hand surreptitiously on my thigh….but suddenly I realise I am like Mary Tyler Moore spinning around all full of wonder in the big city while I throw my beret into the air like I’m going to make it after all.
This seems to happen all the time. I don’t know I am doing it. It is only when a see stranger hold me at the corner of their eyes and snigger, that I realise I am at it again.
Certain songs have choreography that MUST be done as I listen. Do you know the song Tainted Love by Soft Cell? There is a THUMP THUMP at the end of several lines that is just *begging* for a sort of fist-raised-in defiance-pump to go with it. This has been a long-standing habit with me. I used to pound on the ceiling of my first car in time to the beat as I listened and eventually the light fixture fell off from repeated listening of Soft Cell.
And any song with a bell means I have to shake my booty in time with the chimes. Maria by Blondie springs to mind. There is a lovely BONG BONG BONG on the line Maria, you’ve got to see her (bong bong bong) go insane and out of your mind. She also has this slippery way have making the oo sound like in lines like Fool for love and full of fire that makes me do this slippery hip slide. Don't even get me started about listening to Shakira.
A few months ago, I was in the queue at Lidl and listening to Love at the Disco by Tom and Olly and I am not only drumming, but clapping. Listen to it here and you will see what I mean. There is a clapping bit right at the start. It was only when the lady in front of me turned around, did I realise I had done it.
Last month, I was coming out of Tesco listening to the theme from the cartoon Hong Kong Phooey (I have rather eclectic tastes) when I realised I was doing a karate kick. A karate kick with a chop! I only realised it because a group of men were laughing.
I cannot allow myself to listen to the theme from H.R Pufinstuf (off the same CD as Hong Kong Phooey—all Saturday morning cartoons covered by cool punk bands) because there is a bit at the end where they sound like a cheerleader and I find I unexpectedly have invisible pompoms.
Listen here and you’ll see what I mean:
Last Wednesday, I was meeting Spiderman at the library when he got off the bus from work so we could walk home together and I was listening to Why Can’t I be You? By The Cure. I could see him coming down the street towards me and I thought I had it under control, but clearly not because he said, “Why are you bopping up and down like you need to wee?” Some music makes me do a wee-wee dance. FACT.
Yesterday, I was standing in the rain by the green man crossing waiting for a signal to cross while listening to Fight (for your right to party) by The Beastie Boys. Only when a cyclist nearly fell off her bike laughing did I realise I was throwing rapper hand shapes. /oh the shame/
Some songs have a spiral effect on me. They make me want to spin. I don’t realise I am doing it until my bag flies off my shoulder as I pirouette on the pavement. Many songs have this effect on me, but this one in particular has a strong effect on me. It’s a cover of London Calling by The Clash sung by the amazing folk band The Bad Shepherds who folk up this punk song. The urge to spin is especially powerful on the last word of the line London is drowning and I live by the river. It is followed by a compelling violin solo that just increases the likelihood of me spinning like a top.
Listen and enjoy and see if you don’t want to twirl too.
I have tried to not embarrass myself in public, but clearly, this isn’t working. The only alternative is to not listen to music when I am out and about, but this is just not an option.
I think I will just have to go on being my exuberant self by letting the music sweep me away while pretending not to notice the way other people are laughing.
Does this ever happen to you?