Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Songs of love and special things....

I cycled to work this morning listening to Barry Manilow.

We go back a long way, me and Barry. When I was five or six, I used to (and I'm relating this second-hand; I seem to have erased it from my memory but I’m sure a trained therapist could retrieve it) kiss the front cover of my mother’s Manilow Magic album*. The first album I ever bought was, embarrassingly, “I Wanna Do It With You” by the same Mr Manilow. I loved it. It was a bit racy, mind, particularly the title song with its frankly graphic lyric**:

“I wanna do it, do it with you
I wanna do it, do it with you
I wanna hold you all night long
Ooh baby, feel so strong
I wanna do it, do it with you
I wanna do it, do it with you
I want to love out my fantasies***
Come on baby please”

I don’t think I knew quite what Barry meant, but I knew I liked it. And, let’s face it, the man is a lyrical genius. Never one to miss a trick, he cleverly shoehorned the phrase “have a banana” into the middle section of that paean to lost love and the merengue, Copacabana. I mean, it was crying out for it. Not quite as satisfying as Abba rhyming “sensible” with “incomprehensible”, granted, but up there nonetheless. And who could forget the cheeky, towel-hopping calypso of “Bermuda Triangle” (Bermuda Triangle! It makes people disappear!), with its breathtaking marriage of “my angle” with “triangle”. Could you have come up with a rhyme for triangle? I don’t think so.

So there you have it. Barry Manilow. Genius. He truly does write the songs that make the whole world sing.

Fact.

*I was going to put “LP” instead of album, but 1) I couldn’t work out whether it should be “LP” or “lp”, and 2) it looked so archaic I wasn’t wholly convinced that I hadn’t dreamed it. So, album it is then. God, the days before CDs and MP3s were a wasteland, weren’t they?

** When I went online to check the lyrics**** it all got a bit weird. The site I used made suggestions of other artists that people checking Barry Manilow lyrics might be interested in. The list included, along with the perfectly acceptably-indexed Dido and Dire Straits, the rather more random inclusion of Placebo, Rage Against the Machine and Ludacris. Placebo and RATM I’m going to give them. After all, I love Barry so why wouldn’t other fans of guitar music? But Ludacris? I’d love to know the thinking behind that one.

*** I wonder how the sexual fantasies of Barry Manilow might shape up? I bet he’s a plushie.

**** Shut up.

23 Comments:

Blogger Wyndham chimed in with...

I've always had an ironical* soft spot for Barry. Someone took me to see Copacabana, the deeply shit musical of his songs, but Barry came on afterwards and was deeply charismatic in the way that only certain performers can be.

* Get-out clause.

08 November, 2006 19:55  
Blogger UnderCrackers chimed in with...

Don't worry I had a Pussycat album and one by Chicory Tip...I also had a yearning for Leif Garret..he was made for dancing you know.

08 November, 2006 19:59  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

I just never got it.

Neil Diamond, either.

I think i'm more in the Abba camp.

08 November, 2006 20:21  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

Abba...camp....i see what you did there.

08 November, 2006 20:23  
Blogger whyioughtta chimed in with...

Finally someone looks beyond the musical genius and celebrates the oft-overlooked lyrical gifts. Long live the Golden (Deviated) Septum. Thank you. And great post.

08 November, 2006 21:23  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

Witty.

Yep.

08 November, 2006 21:48  
Blogger Conan Drumm chimed in with...

Barry Manilow should have a cheese named for him the way latter day pop 'stars' and celebs of varied provenance have their own 'fragrances' ... Manilowganzola anyone?

09 November, 2006 00:21  
Blogger Salvadore Vincent chimed in with...

Why dangle my bangle?
I jangle my mangle!
Why tangle? Try strangle!
By wangle I wrangle.

*Puts rhyming dictionary away*
*Disentangles newfangled star-spangled banner*

09 November, 2006 09:03  
Blogger Betty chimed in with...

Have you seen the latest publicity shots of him? He seems to have had so much work done on his face that he now resembles an android.

09 November, 2006 11:43  
Blogger Spinsterella chimed in with...

Um, what's a 'plushie'?

I'm too scared to google.

09 November, 2006 11:57  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

I was wondering that too spinsterella ... tell us sg - I'm at work and couldn't possibly google it.

09 November, 2006 12:42  
Blogger Betty chimed in with...

I have Googled it.

... it's a funny old world ...

09 November, 2006 13:36  
Blogger The Murphmeister chimed in with...

He also missed the opportunity to incite people to "Go pack a nana" which would have meant more holidays abroad for senior citizens.

Did Spinsterella mean to type "too scarred to Google"?

09 November, 2006 14:12  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

hehe... plushie... *snork*

But, EW.

09 November, 2006 17:47  
Blogger longcat chimed in with...

you haven't lived until you've heard frank sinatra rhime "heaven rest us" with "i'm not asbestos"

x

10 November, 2006 00:02  
Blogger Vicus Scurra chimed in with...

This is satire, right?
And where was he sitting on your bike?
I go away for a few days and suddenly everyone develops mental illness.
Don't worry, dear, I am back. Just lie back and listen to Frank Zappa.

10 November, 2006 09:36  
Blogger Annie Rhiannon chimed in with...

When I was 6 or 7 felt like that about Kylie's classi hit "I Should Be So Lucky". I was too embarrassed to sing the word "love" though, so I sang "I should be so lucky in luck" instead. One day my dad corrected me, "Isn't it 'lucky in love', sweetheart?" and I went bright red and ran out of the room.

10 November, 2006 13:02  
Blogger Geoff chimed in with...

He inspired David Copperfield to choose a career.

"Manilow? Magic?"

...as he looked in the mirror.

10 November, 2006 13:58  
Blogger Fifi chimed in with...

I am proud to admit that I once interviewed Barry by satellite and then went to see him in concert with my friend Shirley.

But I don't know what a 'plushie' is either.

PS. who was it who once rhymed 'ghost' with 'piece of toast'. Someone like Gabrielle but not. I know you know Surly Sis - please enlighten!

10 November, 2006 17:29  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

it was des'ree. i'm afraid to see a ghost, it's the thing i fear the most, i'd rather have a piece of toast, watch the evening news.

i believe she won an ivor novello for that.

10 November, 2006 17:42  
Blogger jromer chimed in with...

word on the street is, plushie or not, he'll be interested in your male friends

12 November, 2006 21:16  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

no! the scandal! doesn't he just, i don't know, love his mum, or something?

12 November, 2006 22:11  
Blogger Rob chimed in with...

Thank you for the Abba rhyme, which bugged me until I Googled it.

My favourite of their rhymes has to be treks/sex. Great song too.

15 November, 2006 17:20  

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