So, I'm driving around listening to Abbey Road by The Beatles, ebulliently rekindling my youth with my young daughter.
"Wait. You'll love this," I excitedly tell her. "It's a children's song."
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" comes on.
"Back in school again, Maxwell plays the fool again, teacher gets annoyed,
Wishing to avoid an unpleasant scene,
She tells Max to stay when the class has gone away,
So he waits behind,
Writing fifty times I must not be so
But when she turns her back on the boy, he creeps up from behind,
Bang bang Maxwell’s silver hammer came down upon her head,
Bang bang Maxwell’s silver hammer made sure that she was dead."
Did you ever hear such a whimsical light-hearted tune? And was there ever a greater mismatch of flippant tone paired with such casual, violent imagery? (Imagine the video they could've done!)
"Gee, Dad, did you ever listen to the lyrics?"
"Yeah, I mean, no, I mean, I guess not. I don't know. I guess I never really got that it was so violent."
We laughed. What could one say? Tone is everything, hunh?
Later, it somehow reminded me of a conversational game my older brother and I used to play, creating hilarious mismatches of pop songs being "covered," as they say, with the worst possible combinations.
Kate Smith or Ethel Merman doing Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze."
(Okay, you have to be a certain age to see how ludicrous it is.)
Bing Crosby covering The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."
And so on.
Come up with your own, because if you are expecting me to be hip in any contemporary way, it ain't happening.
Prince doing "White Christmas"?