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Friday, November 21, 2003
When the song doesn't remain the same...

*my apologies in advance to Led Zepplin*

I really don't like it when a movie or situation ruins a song for me. This hit me the other day while I was sitting here at work pondering some data, and I heard The Who's "Who Are You" spin up on NetScape Radio. I immediately thought 'OH! It's time to watch CSI!'. Grrrr. *For those who don't know, that song is the music for the title credit sequence for CSI*

I have the same issues with Led Zepplin's "Ramble On" (used in Cadillac commercials), "Singing in the Rain" (which was used during a particularly violent scene in Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange'), and, oddly enough, "The Chicken Dance" (because of A trying to strip her clothes off on stage during her first Christmas pagent - somewhere video of this exists, but I don't think I ever want to see it again)

I have a name for this. It's the 10th Kingdom Syndrome. A few years back, NBC put together this huge miniseries about a present day girl who ends up, with the help of a magic mirror, in a fairy tale land where she is compelled to help save the 9 Kingdoms (the 10th being New York City, from where she hails). In that series, which is very well done, there's a scene where John Larroquette (who plays the girl's father) is in a swamp and is sure he's hearing Procol Harem's "Whiter Shade of Pale". Come to find the mushrooms in the swamp are singing it (and they're not supposed to eat the mushrooms, but a few are ingested, IIRC).

I can no longer hear that song without seeing those mushrooms and Larroquette in my mind. I don't know that the song is ruined for me, but the imagery is definitely not in congruence with the song.

It's like driving down a California highway when it's about 68 degrees out, the sun is warm, and "Winter Wonderland" is playing on the radio, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. You wonder what rabbit hole you fell down because it isn't right. But whenever I hear that song, I'll remember a nice warm day going down a California highway, while I was in a t-shirt and jeans. No, no windows open, or sunroof, or hair flying in the wind. *eeeek! Tangled rat nest hair!*

Don Henley's "Taking You Home" is another one. Lovely song. It's about him discovering how life changes with a child in your life. It's not one of those songs that slaps you in the face that it's about such a thing, either. For most, it sounds like a wonderful love song. Emotional, evocative, sweet. And then you find out what it's really about, and it gets that much better.

But the first time I ever heard it was in a sequence on 'ER' that used it when a nurse went halfway across the country to find and be with the man who walked away a year earlier. Thus, this was her exit scene from the show. It was a tear jerker of a scene for the romantic in me, and the song brought that out even more. And every time I hear the song, I see him standing at the boat launch behind his house, with her at the top of the slope that led to it, but that's not what the song is about... and I wish that it didn't stick with me like that because I love what that song means. And I identify with it because I have children and know what life was before and after, although the before was nowhere near filled with the strength and love that the after has. Just as described by the man in the song - 'Oh, in this love I found strength I never knew I had...'

*sigh* Ah well, at least 'A Whole New World', 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight', and Eric Clapton's 'Beautiful Tonight' will always stick in my mind with the imagery that goes along with them. For there are moments from one particular day in my life that I associate with those three songs, and that should never ever change... *grin*