Sunday, June 25, 2006

My lesson for the day

So there I was, sitting having my favorite coffee (Single shot mocha), reading Rolling Stone. RS was one of my favorite magazines, but it has since taken a seriouse nosedive along with todays music scene. I could care less about Christina Agulara and even less, if thats possible, about Paris Hiltons latest assualt on music. The only reason I bought this issue was because the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were on the cover. I love them. They make real music. They write the songs. They live the words. They are, in a world full of smoke and mirrors, the real McCoy.

As I was reading about RHCP latest and greatest, Stadium Arcadium, a woman sat down next to me. I noticed her because she was kinda cute-ish and she was quietly singing along to her accompanied iPod. She was doing her best duet with Steve Millers, the Joker. A good, if not completley overplayed song. Its one of those tunes thats good, but worn out like a parents advice. Sure you may listen to it, but only if you had to.

As I was reading, and listening to my new nieghbor sing, I noticed she had no idea what the words were. I beleive the song starts:
Some people call me the space cowboy
Some people call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice etc etc etc.....

Now instead of saying Maurice, Kim (turns out that was her name) sings:
Some people call me Roast beef.....

I thought to myself, ...........Roast Beef???????

Did she just sing, out loud, some people call me Roast beef?

I looked at her after she sang the line and I caught her eye.

Is my singing bothering you?, she askes politely. I thought about it, and I said, no, you have a nice voice, but you got the lyric wrong. After explaining what is really sang in that tune, she looked at me and told me that she has listened to that tune "maybe 5 million Times". That begged the obviouse question then, "why do you not sing the proper lyrics then"?

She told me that just because something is created one way, does not mean it can be altered and become something personal and unique. As much as she loved the original line, she thought the song needed humour and life, so she changed the lyric to Roast Beef.

After taking some time to absorb her point of view, I came to the conclusion she was on to something. If we look back at things we once considered great in thier original form, they now seem tired and in need of "personalizing" as she put it.

We have new takes on old songs
We have customized old cars
We have new takes on old movies ....the remake!

My lesson for today is this, old things that we used to love and cherish, only need a little effort and imagination to make them new again.