Tag Archives: songs

Oh, Delilah

I work in a room by myself, and therefore am the sole controller of the radio.  I like to listen to something while I work.  On the weekends, I look forward to listening to NPR all day, but during the week, I sometimes tire of the news stories.  My usual go-to for a music station is the local public music station, KXT.  However, for some reason around 6 or 7 at night, it’s really difficult and complicated to get KXT to come in on the radio I have access to, so I usually resort to some sort of top-40 station.

Last night, I was listening to KVIL (Lite FM), which features the syndicated program Delilah at night. I love Delilah.  I really do. I know she can be a tad cheesy at times, but she seems really sweet.

Last night, she said something to the effect of, “If you can’t get through to request a song for the one you love, pick out a song that I play, call that person and tell them, ‘Go listen to the song Delilah’s playing right now. That’s the song that makes me think of you.’ I know it’s not the same, but it’s still a way to connect.”

I started to think: What if someone did this with really weird things? Like, “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats or the This American Life episode where they redacted “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory”.  I kind of want to do this to someone…find a station that’s playing “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof or an episode of the old radio suspense show The Whistler and call up a friend and just say, “Please turn it to *insert station here*. This is what I think of you.” And then hang up.  And never speak of it again.

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Dear Music Hipsters

Dear Music Hipsters,

For years I have pretended to be one of you.  While I haven’t been the type to seek out new music often, I have been inclined to reject popular songs outright in favour of obscure songs sung by bearded, flanneled, guitar-weilding artists in order to appear as if I have a refined taste in music.  Any songs that I am partial to that have ever been played on a Top 40 radio station, I have usually quarantined to the section of my favorite music entitled Guilty Pleasure Songs.  But, no more.

You see, lately, I’ve noticed that my Guilty Pleasure Songs lists is getting longer.  It now has one musical artist’s entire career on it.  Frankly, it’s getting out of control, and recently I realized that it’s because I’m embarrassed to admit that I like certain songs/artists/genres.  This all stems from my life-long desire to be a woman of refined tastes, a woman whose interests include reading classic literature, who knows the difference between classical and baroque music and who has an opinion on which is superior, who routinely chooses Wagner over the Wallflowers, who others consider an intellectualist.

We all have to come to terms with the truth at some point.  As none of the above things apply to me, I suppose it’s best to admit it sooner rather than later.

So, dear Music Hipsters, I’m here to admit a few things about my music tastes.  While I enjoy Mumford and Sons, Slow Club and Florence in the Machine, I also enjoy songs by R.E.M., Duran Duran and Billy Joel.  My most listened to album is Bringing Down the Horse by The Wallflowers.  I have never heard a Taylor Swift song that I haven’t liked.  In fact, “Love Story” made me cry once.  I will unironically listen to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler (though, all music-video-watching is surely ironic for that song).  There is a song called “Simple and Clean” that I discovered (and subsequently loved) because it is played at the end of one my favorite video games.  I enjoy the occasional Pat Benatar hit.  I have listened to U2 for the majority of my life, I don’t dislike Alanis Morisette’s voice and I find “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion to be a vocal triumph that few can mirror.  The Fray, The Backstreet Boys and The Cranberries have all released songs that I thoroughly enjoy.  And, while I prefer Fleetwood Mac’s version of “Landslide”, I will admit that I was at one time in the past six years borderline obsessed with the Dixie Chick’s “Traveling Soldier”.  I even like some songs by P!nk.  There, I admitted it.

It feels good to get that off of my chest after all these years.  I do enjoy the deeper, more intellectual music available.  However, I’m tired of pretending as if I don’t enjoy listening to the shallow, ridiculous stuff too.

Hope you’re all still okay with being friends with me.

Sincerely,

Chelsea


Dear Users of Nouns, Pronouns and Verbs

Dear Users of Nouns, Pronouns and Verbs,

I would like to make the bold request that you be more precise when speaking/singing/writing.  Using ambiguous nouns and verbs makes it difficult for the reader to decipher what you intend to communicate.  Ambiguity can also result in entrapment or even death, as this letter will no doubt prove.

My first example is something that happened to me today.  I was exploring my school campus, looking for a place to read alone, when I found a really great balcony.  The door leading to the balcony had several signs on it, and I read each one.  Scrawled in some messy penmanship on one of the signs was the statement:

Door will lock after closing.

I thought about this for a moment.  Did the author intend to communicate that the door would lock after the building closed or after the door closed? I went with the former, assuming that, had the writer meant the latter, they would have written something like, “Door will lock when it closes,” or “This door locks from the outside,” or even “Prop the door open by any means if you don’t want to be stuck on a balcony for the rest of your life.”

I soon discovered my mistake and was forced to call a school admin to let me back in the building.  This incident could have been avoided if the wording on the sign had been more specific.

The next example is a very serious one indeed.  You may be familiar with the band The Postal Service.  The opening line of their song “Clark Gable” is:

I was waiting for a cross-town train in the London Underground
When it struck me

What struck you, Postal Service Lead Singer Guy? To what does this “it” refer? Because, to be honest, every time I hear this song, I imagine you standing on the rails, waiting and thinking deep thoughts.  And then I imagine an underground train rushing out of nowhere, hitting, and killing you. (As a side note, I do realize that that intention of the writer is clarified one line later.  However, as a result of the construction of the song, I still feel that the pronoun used here is ambiguous.)

These examples clearly illustrate just how important it is to use clear language.  If you don’t, you may end up in serious danger…or, at least, the subjects of whatever you’re writing, may end up in serious danger.  Either way, it’s something to pay close attention to.

I hope that this letter persuades you to be more careful and specific in your word usage.

Sincerely,

Chelsea