Music for a Sunday morning–or not

The weather’s forecasted to turn vicious much later today so Bob and I trundled out early and went to the Wired Monk for coffee.  About two minutes after we sat downstairs with caffeine and cinnamon buns, a staff member followed and went into the secret Staff Room; another moment later and we were blasted by John Denver.  The only John Denver song with which I can deal without getting itchy is “Country Roads,” but I’m willing to bet I was the only person in attendance this am for whom the song shovels up visceral memories of fairy bridges across hollers and the greenest leaves on earth in any August.

Then, too, there is the comedic trope in one of my favorite animes of the middle school girls working working to find the “perfect” Japanese translation of the lyrics to that song.

For his part, Bob decided that the onslaught of Denverish “sunshine” called for a rejoinder and wondered aloud what a montage of John Denver and Lou Reed might look and sound like.  I suggested that the poor people working to create such an “opportunity” might become berserk or die for their efforts.

There’s a homegrown website making the Facebook rounds right now that invites folks to look up the number one song on the day they were born, or graduated from high school or whatever momentous occasion you might want to research from a pop music angle.  There is some scary stuff here that I had managed to repress until seeing in print:  Perry Como?  The Osmonds?  

All of this led Bob and me into a further point-counterpoint discussion of first pop songs either of us actually remembered (although his suggestion of “Row Row Row Your Boat” was disqualified). Peaceniks that we grew to be, each of us offered up a war tune:  “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and “The Battle of New Orleans.” The latter maintained a place at  #1 for the day for nine weeks running, and the former maintained the spot for seven weeks.  John Denver, it seems, never made it to #1 for more than a week at a time, demonstrating that for once in my life, I was with the popular masses when it came to music.

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