This is not a good thing.
Time in a Bottle ranks up there as one of my all-time least favorite songs. One that makes me about want to slit my throat it is so grim, gloomy, depressing and so very dated. It just screams AM radio circa 1972. On a transistor radio. The song is downright execrable (I love that word and really just wanted to find an excuse to use it).
Anyone who knows me knows I have a deep aversion to 70’s music. Anything played repeatedly on an AM radio between 1970 and 1976 pretty much fits in that category. I know I’m a freak about this. Music connoisseurs always liken 70’s music to nirvana (the state, not the band). To me it’s not nirvana; rather it gets on my nerves. Stairway to Heaven? Pass the ear plugs. American Pie? I’ll take cake, thank you (and I love pie!). Black Water? Sounds bacteria-ridden to me.
Bands I can’t stand: Doobie Brothers, much of Led Zeppelin (yet I like their newer stuff—go figure), Peter Frampton, Captain and Tenille, Melanie (remember that one-hit wonder? I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, you’ve got a brand new key. Okay, then.), Cher (Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves? Shudder!), Tony Orlando and Dawn, Dr. Hook, Queen, Aerosmith, Moody Blues (actually a relic of the late 60’s), Stealers Wheel (Stuck in the Middle–I instantly switch channels if this ditty comes on the radio), Bachman Turner Overdrive. Some more lamentable songs: Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road (Loudon Wainwright), It Never Rains in Southern California; Billy Don’t be a Hero; Sylvia’s Mother; Heartbeat, It’s a Love Beat. Well, you get the drift.
I wrestle with some 70’s icons. Elton John’s had some great hits. But the whole ghastly-dated-70’s-frivolous-costumes-and-such just so resonates with outmoded ridiculousness that it makes me think twice about listening to some of his stuff. I think I like his newer music. I’ll take a pass on B-B-B-Benny and the Jets, thanks.
But I reserve the worst of the worst for those sappy balladeers like Jim Croce (I know, I know, tragic death and all. But really, it’s not that I speak ill of the dead, here. I merely speak ill of the dead’s music. Big difference). Seals and Crofts. Ann Murray. Harry Chapin (Cats in the Cradle, anyone?). And I can’t forget Bread. Oh, and also the pop “artists” (and I use that term lightly). Please, somebody own up to truly liking Captain and Tenille’s Muskrat Love. I mean, really.
I’m going to go out on a limb here. I might even lose friends over this. However if a friend abandons me over this, well, then, so be it.
Okay, here goes: Abba makes me cringe. To me, listening to Abba is like being trapped in a broom closet, subjected to the worst, most boring, bad-breathed, greasy-haired, sweaty-armpitted teacher you ever heard in your life, the one that made your ears pin back like a German Shepherd hearing a dog whistle. Throw in screechy chalk being dragged down the chalkboard and the fingernails slipping off the chalk and following down the board just to add insult to injury. And a couple of feral cats, mating. Maybe include a really loud diesel truck, coupled with a pack of Harleys tooling down the highway at 70 MPH right next to you with the roof down, so you can’t avoid their noise. Abba music pains me that much. So much so that I’ve turned down trips to New York that involved having to go to see Mamma Mia on Broadway (which ranks up there as a close second to Cats in my world). No lie.
So imagine my husband’s great surprise when I expressed the slightest inkling of possible interest—well, interest is stretching it a bit, it’s more like how a ten year old wants to taste a beer but then takes a sip and winces and spits it out like a gloppy furball—to see Mamma Mia: the Movie. “Let me tell you something,” he said to me after I modestly enthused over the movie’s trailer we saw on TV last night. “You are not going to see it. Case closed.”
Now, I have a stubborn streak in me that comes from being part Irish, part German, and occasionally unreasonable. It has much to do with being the only girl amongst three brothers during my formative years. So when I’m denied something, it only makes me want it more (case in point: I chose to be an author. Who does something that insane but for one who regularly rises to the challenge of rejection).
So I went to my friends—because I knew better than to ask any of my children, who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can’t listen to Abba, not even for a second.
“Do you suppose I could go to it, and just cover my ears for the singing part?” I asked.
“Uh, no!” My friend laughed. “The entire thing is singing. That’s all they do is sing.” Abba music, that is. Hmmm…Maybe I could wear my iPod and just crank it every time another Abba song came on. This seems imminently unfair. Because the movie looks so darned cute. That cheerful, colorful cast of big-name actors, all kicking up their heels and having what looks like a hell of a good time in Greece. The usual sort of frivolity one would seek were one to embark on a Grecian holiday. What’s not to like? Well, except that Abba music. Looks like I’ll be returning to see the monochromatic Wall-E when my family goes to see Mamma Mia: the Movie. Curse that blasted, Abba.
In my time capsule, then, I think I would be sure to not include any 70’s music. Also no bell-bottoms, smiley faces, platform shoes, have-a-nice-day stickers, or any other hint that we all must have been out of our minds (either that or smoking some early version of crack) to have liked all of that stuff. Let me just say I go on record as having never liked it. The 70’s needs to be relegated to the mothball-ridden attic of our memories, where it should have been from the word go.
And now I’ll throw down the gauntlet and challenge you to suggest some 70’s songs that I did like. Believe it or not, there are plenty of them. It just doesn’t seem that they’re the ones that remain in the oldies vaults, dragged out as they are ad infinitum. You got a good 70’s hit for me?
(PS, my apologies, for some reason this was set up to disallow comments. Now you can comment away! My internet and phone have been down since yesterday due to storms so only now have been able to get on. Sorry!)