Something has happened to the radio in the Star Wagon these school holidays. It has found itself tuned away from the usual independent broadcaster and over to “Gold FM”, home to the Good Times and Great Classic Hits.
This is partly because some of the music played on the independent station makes my children cry with fear. Which is not to say that they don’t cry when Gold FM is on – I just wouldn’t know because I’m too busy singing along to Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark at the top of my voice. Yes, through the power of The Singalong, I’ve been finding that Happy Place in my head as I ferry my screaming children between school holiday activities. Also, I’ve been trying to drown out that Elmo Chicken Dance song that still haunts me from time to time.
For a while there, I was worried that my husband might burst my bubble by calling me a “goddamn 80s tragic loser” and turning the radio back over to the independent station.
But no, he came back from taking the car out, all smiles and exclaiming “That Gold FM plays hit after hit after hit!”
So we’ve both been driving around enjoying good times and greatest classic hits and life’s been good… except…
After a while, you begin to realise that there really aren’t *that* many songs Gold FM gives its Great Classic Hits Stamp of Approval to and that you’re hearing a lot of the same songs again and again. And again. And you hear a few too many songs by Christopher Cross, Phil Collins and Whitney Houston and you start wondering whether the 80s were really that “great” after all.
And then you find, after one too many repeats of a song like “Eye of the Tiger”, that it slips easily into your head, like so much tanbark into your shoes, and that you just can’t shake the thing out, no matter how hard you try. Even when all is still and silent at night, all you can hear is “DAH! Dah-dah-DAH! Dah-dah-DAH! Dah-dah-DEEEEERRRHH!”
And then you start to find everything you do and say and write is informed by that song and that you’ve totally become this freakish Eye Of The Tiger Lady and the goddamn song has become the goddamn soundtrack to your goddamn life.
And then you stop fighting it. You accept that this is how things are going to be from now on. And you google the lyrics so you can at least sing along to this stupid song in your head accurately and not just go “nah-nah-nah” in the bits you don’t know.
And that’s when you find out that the lyrics that you’ve thought were “it’s the thrill of the fight” for twenty-eight years are actually “the cream of the fight” and there’s all these references to “rising to the challenge” and being “face-to-face out in the heat” and you realise that the whole song is thinly-disguised pornography and that the “eye of the tiger” is probably a euphemism for that hole at the end of a penis and now it’s LODGED IN YOUR HEAD AND YOU CAN’T GET IT OUT.
So much for that Happy Place in my head. Sheesh!