People who know me well know I am a big time music lover. I listen to it every day of my life. I own thousands of records, CD’s and concert videos, all stored on shelves in my cave and alphabetized by artist. Next week when I am in San Francisco, I am choosing to visit Amoeba Music, one of the largest record stores in the world, over several of the bay area’s more notable attractions.
Yes, I think I qualify as a music lover.
But I don’t watch the Grammy’s. Haven’t in years, and don’t plan to ever again.
I would rather pull my kitchen garbage can out into the middle of the floor and sit and stare at it for two hours. It would be just as enjoyable and of similar quality.
I was amused last night to see so many people Facebooking about how awful the Grammy performances were. One friend said, “Waiting for the first Grammy performer who can actually sing.” Another said, “I can’t take it anymore. I’m going to bed.” I wondered why they were putting themselves through the torture.
To me, music is a gift from God. Though I am partial to jazz, I like and can appreciate all kinds of music. But when music becomes an attack on my sensibilities, you can count me out. Is it asking too much to want to hear songs with more than three or four chords? Is it asking too much to want to hear lyrics that I can understand and that aren’t offensive? Is it asking too much to want to hear singers who can sing on pitch and have heard of a little thing called diction? Is it asking too much to want to hear musicians that are capable of doing more than just beating on their instruments?
In the old days, I used to enjoy the performances and understood that there would be one or two I would hate. Now, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to find more than one or two that I would enjoy. So why bother?
Ironically, yesterday afternoon I was channel surfing and found My Fair Lady. Just after I tuned in, Eliza Doolittle sang, I Could Have Danced All Night. Ahhh, yes, Lerner and Loewe. Marni Nixon dubbing the voice of Audrey Hepburn. Classic.
And a little sad.
It reminded of a song by Cynthia Thompson and Ray Jessel.* The words go like this:
Whatever happened to melody?
Sweet, old-fashioned melody?
Roses and ribbons and romance and rhyme,
Songs about two hearts in three-quarter time?
Once there were movies with stars who were stars,
Where, oh where can they be?
Why aren’t there heroes like yesterday’s heroes?
And whatever happened to melody?
* Whatever Happened to Melody, Cynthia Thompson and Ray Jessel