My Most Embarrassing Favorite Song

I was surprised when someone I have known since high school turned up his nose at “Brandy” by the Looking Glass as a fine song. Yeah, it is a mere wisp of a song, but I love it. And if it’s good enough for a  Guardians of the Galaxy movie soundtrack, it should be good enough for all of us.

I’m a sucker for catchy pop songs. “Brandy” is one of those. I filled my 2019 summer playlist with light, breezy, fun, and wistful songs. Although summer has ended, I find myself going back to that playlist for certain songs when I’m down and need cheering up or when I am already cheerful, so basically all the time. Some of those select songs include …

  • Happy Hour by Weezer
  • 24 Frames by Jason Isbell
  • King of a One Horse Town by Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys)
  • Up All Night by Beck
  • Renegades by X Ambassadors
  • Spirits by the Strumbellas

And then there’s one more older song that I can’t stop listening to, but I should. I need an intervention. Stop me before I listen to this song again …

Before I name that tune, I have to say that I think Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra is a musical genius. Heck, he’s in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of ELO, but his genius goes far beyond performing. He’s a production wizard that has done outstanding work for George Harrison, Tom Petty, Brian Wilson, Travelling Wilburys, Roy Orbison, and Paul McCartney just to drop some of the bigger names.

But then there’s this ELO song written by Jeff Lynne with lyrics like …

“Everybody all around the world
Gotta tell you what I just heard
Everybody walking down the street
I know a place where we all can meet
Everybody gonna have a good time
Everybody will shine ’til the daylight”

I never claimed Lynne was a great lyricist, but those lyrics are just dreadful. And that’s not even the worst of the lyrics. How about these gems …

“London, Hamburg, Paris, Rome
Rio, Hong Kong, Tokyo
L.A., New York, Amsterdam
Monte Carlo, Shard End and”

Brilliant! Cities of the world. Why didn’t I think of that?

Contrast those lyrics with these lines from a song called “Dear God” by XTC from the same musical era.

“Dear God, sorry to disturb you, but I feel
That I should be heard loud and clear
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears
And all the people that you made in your image,
See them fighting in the street
‘Cause they can’t make opinions meet
About God
I can’t believe in you

Did you make disease, and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the devil too!”

Now those are lyrics. Video link here for your contemplative enjoyment.

But the problem is that I can’t stop listening to the ELO song called “All Over the World” from the Olivia Newton-John cinematic disaster called “Xanadu” featuring a clever chorus like …

“All over the world
Everybody got the word
Everybody, everywhere, is gonna feel tonight”

Yep, we got the word and we are indeed gonna feel tonight. Wait, what word? And how do we feel a night?

It is a terrible song that I cannot stop listening to, and I hate to admit, sometimes sing along with. But at least the music video is sort of fun, taking us back to a time when flash mobs were a thing. Tell me again, why were they a thing?

Anyway, I’m glad that’s off my chest. I couldn’t hide that dark secret much longer. Yes, I love the lyrics from Andy Partridge of XTC philosophically challenging the existence of the Divine in “Dear God.” But at least for a little while longer, I’ll be saying to …

“Everybody all around the world
Gotta tell you what I just heard
There’s gonna be a party all over the world”

Ugh! Make it stop, but don’t.

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