Tuesday, 4 November 2014

this is crazy, but...

I'm currently reading Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything"
 Not very musical  I know but stay with me. Apparently, an exploding star, or Supernova, lasts about 30 days. It erupts in the night sky, shines for a month then fades to black.

And that's not to dissimilar to your average pop song. 
I'm not having a go at pop music but that's its nature. A short, massive explosion. Maximum exposure, airplay, sales and downloads before everyone gets sick of it and moves onto the next thing.

I guess the extreme examples of the past 12 months are Royals, Let it Go and Happy. All enjoyed and suffered from blanket saturation to the point that none of us need to hear any of those songs again for a very long time. 
This is a shame because all of them were a great addition to my music programme for too short a time. But as I said, that's the nature of pop music and if I'm going to connect with these kids in my class, I'd better make sure I'm keeping up with what's in and out (see my blog about The Cool Wall).

But what if there was a song resistant to the normal pop laws?  

I'm talking about a song that has been played everywhere for 3 years, suffered endless parodies and should have truly run it's course but it  just keeps going? Add to that fact that  the entire song is hinged on just 2 chords, (C and D if you're interested) making it a perfect hook for an introductory ukulele lesson.

The song I'm talking about is of course Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" and the reason I'm bring this up is because I've found it to be an absolute winner in ukulele lessons. I said to my class today before we began the song, "It doesn't matter how cool you think you are, when I play this track, something inside of you will be dancing."

I've seen this proven time and time again over the last year. Normally a collective groan will go up as the opening bars play but by the time we hit the bridge, everybody is into it and playing those two very simple chords. Shoulders will be bopping up and down and at least half of the class will be singing along enthusiastically.

Last year during one ukulele lesson I looked out the window and to my astonishment, saw two of our schools Alpha Male pupils, , halfway across the courtyard dancing in the pouring rain. They had put down their cartons of recycling and for just 15-20 seconds, enjoyed a dance in the rain to the music booming from my classroom, before picking up the boxes and carrying on to the recycling shed.

It's quite incredible and I can't think of another song that has the same reaction. If you know of a song with a similar effect, I'd like to know about it.

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