Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson and my unconscious playlist

I am not a big Michael Jackson fan. I just looked at my i tunes library, where I have my music, and there is not a single Michael Jackson or Jackson 5 song. Actually, I shouldn't say that. I have the song "Never Can Say Goodbye", but it's the Isaac Hayes version.

So, that should be the end of the story. I am simply one of the few people who were never moved by Michael Jackson. And yet? And yet?

I don't like music videos as a genre. I do have a few favorites, which include Springsteen's "Streets Of Philadelphia", and Sting's "Fields Of Gold". However, if I had to chose an artist who has multiple music videos that I think are worth watching, the only artist that I can think of is Michael Jackson. From my point of view, Michael Jackson is the music video genre.

There's another aspect of my existential encounter with music in which Michael Jackson features prominently, and that is my unconscious playlist. I've no idea if anybody else has this. I've never thought to ask anyone else if they have one. In any case, I do. What is it?

Well, it's a list of thirty or so songs that I find myself singing, day after day, year after year, and, eventually, decade after decade, in some cases. This is not the list of my favorite thirty songs, although some of these songs are on such a list. Rather, these are songs that have either chosen me, or that are more meaningful to me than I understand on a conscious level. Let me give you an example.

My favorite song is "Hey Jude". And yet, on this unconscious play list, there is only one Beatles' song, and it's not even close to being my favorite Beatles' song. The song is "Taxman".

The lyrics I usually find myself singing are the following:

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet

However, I often find myself singing the entire song.

Anyway, on this list, are three Michael Jackson songs. They are "Human Nature", "Man In The Mirror", and "Rock With You".

These are the lyrics I usually find myself singing:

Reaching Out
To Touch A Stranger
Electric Eyes Are Ev'rywhere
See That Girl
She Knows I'm Watching
She Likes The Way I Stare

If They Say -
Why, Why, Tell 'Em That Is Human Nature
Why, Why, Does He Do Me That Way
If They Say -
Why, Why, Tell 'Em That Is Human Nature
Why, Why, Does He Do Me That Way
I Like Livin' This Way
I Like Lovin' This Way

Here are the lyrics I sing:

I've Been A Victim Of A Selfish
Kind Of Love
It's Time That I Realize
That There Are Some With No
Home, Not A Nickel To Loan
Could It Be Really Me,
Pretending That They're Not

A Willow Deeply Scarred,
Somebody's Broken Heart
And A Washed-Out Dream
(Washed-Out Dream)
They Follow The Pattern Of
The Wind, Ya' See
Cause They Got No Place
To Be
That's Why I'm Starting With
(Starting With Me!)

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change)

Here's the last one:

And here are the lyrics that I find myself singing most often:

And when the groove is dead and gone (yeah)
You know that love survives
So we can rock forever, on
I wanna rock with you
I wanna groove with you
I wanna rock with you
I wanna groove with you

Here's the oddity. The are only two other songs that come close to "Rock With You" on my unconscious playlist's most sung tunes. Here they are ( and they would be on my top thirty list):

People moving out,
People moving in.
Why, because of the color of their skin
Run, run, run but you sho' can't hide

An eye for an eye,tooth for a tooth,
Vote for me and I'll set you free
Rap on, brother, rap on

The only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher
And it seems
Nobody's interested in learning
But the teacher

Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration,
Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation

Ball of confusion, oh yeah
That's what the world is today, hey

On "Ball Of Confusion", I usually find myself humming the beginning and making a sound like a whirling dervish. On "Everybody Is A Star", the highlight is my Larry Graham impersonation.

There you have it. I cannot count the number of times that I've sung "Rock With You". Possibly close to ten thousand times so far, with no seeming end.

Just for fun, I should say that, although I've never had children, two songs on this playlist are Jackson Browne's "The Only Child" and Paul Simon's "St Judy's Comet": ( It begins at about 6:50 ):

Two other Paul Simon songs figure on this list:

And "One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor". Again, although I like these songs, they are not among my favorite Paul Simon songs.

On this unconscious playlist are about 12 artists. That's it. Now, I'm not saying that I don't sing or hum other songs, only that these songs constantly pop up uncalled for, day after day, throughout my life. I've no idea why. So, obviously, on some level, Michael Jackson's music must mean quite a bit to me.

Let me end with the three Presley tunes on this list:

I wish I knew what all this says about me. Or not.

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