Sunday, July 01, 2012

Don't Lay a Heavy Scene on me, Man

But I don't wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn't catch you hung up
on somebody that you used to know - From "Somebody That I Used to Know", Gotye, 2011

"This is the song I played while I deleted my FB." - Essjaiveille's comment (June 29) on the YouTube clip of "Somebody That I Used to Know"

A hundred years ago, 'Kool-Aid' brought to mind the Tom Wolfe novel The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, rather than "drinking Kool-Aid" - as in  accepting an unquestioned belief.

Back then I lived in rural Australia. A housewife.

My ex-de-facto-sister-in-law  and brother were  visiting.  I stopped washing the dishes, those being in the days when I was married to the man-who-didn't-believe-in -dishwashers, when I heard de-facto ex-de-facto-sister-in-law saying to my brother, "Don't lay a heavy scene on me man!"

Perfect seventies-speak. I don't think people say that any more, except for me when I want to annoy people ...  So many lost words. But "hang up" has survived. "Don't be so hung up," we'd bleat to our parents and to anyone in mainstream society. Those were the days.

I was reminded of seventies-speak last week when I was having coffee at a Prêt à Manger, or should I say à l'Anglaise, Pret a Manger. Suddenly, breaking out from the ever-present Manhattan  hum that is a blend of traffic noises, jackhammers, A/C emissions and the babel of New Yorkers, came a complete and distinguishable sentence.

"Oooohhh that's MY song!" screamed the gap-toothed black girl behind the counter. I put down my cappachino and listened to the song that was playing. And recognised the opening bars, cords? whatever of Luiz Bonfá's "Seville". Swallowed quickly by Melbourne singer, Gotye's, "Somebody That I Used to Know".

"But that was love and it's an ache I still remember", swoon-sang the girl behind the counter, turning the volume up full blast.

Kimbra's sweet voice singing, "Hung up on sombody that I used to know."

"Somebody That I Used to Know" is the song of preference in New York stores and coffee bars this summer.

On my way out, I stopped and told Gotye's Pret a Manger fan that I was from the same town, Melbourne, as the singer. "Oh Goatee, he is so wonderful!" she answered.

I smiled and agreed, not wanting to disillusion her with the correct pronunciation of his name. After all, life's to short to disillusion people, and it has been a long hot and confusing summer.

Why, just yesterday, dear reader, I was taken completely by surprise. "Somebody That I Know", the title of Gotye's hit, applied to me! I discovered, quite by accident, that one of my dearest friends is ... gasp! ...

a Republican!

Stay tuned.

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