August 13, 2007

I often wonder what the purpose of this Goodboys Nation weblog is – is it just some form of self-gratification to satify my need to spout nonsense? Or is there some higher purpose involved – you know, a way of somehow setting this universe gone mad straight, perhaps? I’d like to think it’s more the latter than the former, and a comment last week confirmed that very thing. Let me explain:

Back in February, I gave a long-deserved fisking to that old Fifth Dimension song “One Less Bell To Answer”. It was really just a throwaway post following a dopey conversation over beers with fellow Goodboy Steve “Killer” Kowalski while we were in Vegas, but how could I ever have known that that single post would help one Goodboys Nation weblog visitor, one Brian from Alamo, CA, to exorcise some long-standing demons that had up to then required decades of psychotherapy, hundreds of thousands of dollars in 3rd-party payor bills, and an untold number of harrassing collection agent phone calls? As he wrote in response to that post last week:

Thank YOU, this damn lyric “eggs to fry” has been in my head for over 20 years yet I could never find the song or the full lyrics anywhere on the web. I researched every depressing female singer in the 1970’s I could find with no luck because it was “The Fifth Dimension” as you disclosed. I thought is was Laura Nyro and I was close because she wrote for the Fifth Dimension (Wedding Bells Blues, same singer) but no this song as you explained.

Man, those saxophones where depressing. This is one of those total post 60’s summer of love, 70’s hangover songs and how most of that free lovin’ wasn’t so damn free, like it is now . Again, thank you not only for finding this damn song but debunking it, I will now listen to it again and again to exorcise it from my brain.

But that, as it turns out, isn’t the end of the story. Brian and I ended up exchanging an e-mail or two about this, and it turns out there’s some pretty strange mojo workin’ out there, as he wrote me yesterday:

…Here’s a creepy follow up, I have not heard that song since I was about 6 or 7 (1972 when the song came out). I’m sitting in my hot tub last night and there is a live band playing for a party somewhere down the valley. The wind is picking up the music and sending it my way. It must have been a sixtysomething group of partyers as none of the music went past 1970 or so. So what song comes wafting up the valley around 9pm? “One less bell to ring”… creepy, maybe it is a sign I will now be released from it’s enduring lameness. Now I’ve got my whole Cul De Sac remembering it and will be playing in Itunes download tonight at our BBQ to rub it in..

…which, I think, Brian, is the correct strategy. If you can’t beat it out of your head, pass it along to your neighbors!

As it turns out, thousands of articles about this syndrome, called the “Recurring Crappy Pop Tune Syndrome” (RCPTS, for short) have been published in professional journals worldwide. In fact, I was a victim of it for years, except for me the song was Bobby Vinton’s “Una Paloma Blanca”, a polka tune that came out in ’72 or ’73, with these unforgettable lyrics buzzing around in my head:

When the sun shines on the mountains
And the night is on the run
It’s a new day, it’s a new way
And I fly up to the sun

Una paloma blanca
I’m just a bird in the sky
Una paloma blanca
Over the mountain I fly
No one can take my freedom away

Once I had my share of losing
Once they locked me on a chain
Yes, they tried to break my power
Oh, I still can feel the pain

Una paloma blanca
I’m just a bird in the sky
Una paloma blanca
Over the mountain I fly
No one can take my freedom away

Now these have got to be some of the most gawdawful lyrics that have ever been penned, and for five years that’s all I heard in my head. That is, until one day when I was walking out of a head shop in Wilmington, MA with a “Bob Marley is God!” poster under my arm and was struck by a psychedelic-painted VW microbus bus, causing an induced coma for 12 days. When I awoke without nary a bruise or broken bone, Voila! the song was gone.

…Or at least I thought it was. Uh-oh here it comes again! Aaaaaack!

All I can say is, hang in there, Brian!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:01 | Comments (0)
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