Thursday, December 4, 2008

Theme Songs

First, I need to give credit where it's due. So kudos to Barb Chansky of Barb's World who found the perfect adjective to describe me: quirky.

I have always happily described myself as unique because in my family, we're all a bunch of characters who, while frum, don't quite fit the generic frummie mold. But I'm sure you've figured ***that*** one out already. Case in point, since my mother was heavily involved in music, we were encouraged to pursue the arts- not something you'll find in your typical Brooklyn home. While music and art might be appreciated by some, they are certainly not viewed as important to a child's development. Yet I would suggest that it was my constant exposure to the arts that helped me develop certain skills. It's a proven fact, for example, that children who learn music are more adept at tasks that require sequencing, if not full-out mathematical logic.

Upon becoming more frum, I was faced with a conundrum. What do I do about my music? Suffice it to say that music went to the back burner. Nobody wants to hear me sing, which I completely understand from a tznius perspective. And yet for someone who was constantly singing up until recently, including performing and touring as part of an ensemble, to have to turn off that part of yourself is difficult. In fact, it's a tad stifling, albeit for the ultimate cause. More difficult to navigate in a way was my music collection. Obviously all the standard choral music is of a liturgical bent, so that's definitely ix-nay. As for my hard rock collection, I don't think 99% of my neighbours want to hear anything beyond "JPop". I mean, I have a couple of Jewish music albums (sorry- what do the kids call albums these days? I miss vinyl...), and even those I only bought because of the lyrics, not the music. Which is not to knock the Jewish music scene. There are some phenomenally gifted performers out there, especially amongst the young boy singers.

Lately, as I mentioned a few posts ago, I've allowed myself to get back to listening to mainstream music. If I hit a song that's untznius, I either skip it or switch the radio off. I was shocked to discover a "racy" song even on my favourite Dinah Washington album. You can imagine how quickly I hit the >> button on that one, although a tad sadly. She was such a marvelous talent.

Which brings me to theme songs. I don't know about you, but I find that I've had theme songs for given years of my life. Indeed, when I hear certain songs (and my arsenal of such songs easily surpasses the 3 dozen mark), I am actually transported back to that given point in time. So far this month I've got 4 theme songs. Yes, 4- when you have as much going on as I do right now, you tend to be a bit schizoid and require more than one theme song. And, for the record, that's exactly the same reason why I've been tending to abandon theme songs at a bi-weekly rate. What's interesting to note, and probably qualifies as a caveat, is that none of these songs belongs to the styles of music I typically listen to. I guess that means that either my tastes have returned to their eclectic roots (I used to say I'll listen to anything except hair metal and country. Even that no longer holds true. ), or I really am going over the deep end. :P

Anyway, here they are, in order of how often I hit replay. I'm loving Santagold's lyrics; you'll see what I mean. Feel free to weigh in or even share your own.

  1. Santogold- Shove It
  2. Rihanna-Umbrella
  3. Lady Gaga- Paparazzi
  4. TATU- How Soon is Now?


  1. I know that I too have these theme songs, but I am blanking out right now. The only thing I can think of is "Under Pressure" and "Waiting for the Hammer to Fall" by Queen will always be associated with tax season memories and work in general.

    As for Rihanna's Umbrella, it will be forever associated with MadTV for me.

  2. MadTV? Is that bad? Feel free to reference the skit in question. :-)

    As for tax season, I'm sure that it's blah for even an accountant such as yourself.

  3. All you have to do is go to YouTube and type in MadTV and Obama (can't presently send the link). This would be one of the top choices. But I must warn you, it is not particularly (read: very NOT) tznius and a bit outdated, since the clip was made during the primaries. On the other hand, it was aired on public TV, go figure.

    So there, but I should not be held responsible for consequences.