Monday, September 10, 2007

i think i may have blogged this before, but some things are so true that they bear repeating

ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me" is the saddest song in the history of the world. It came up on iTunes again, and I couldn't listen to it all the way through. Aboriginal dirges about the loss of their land and society and how they are not building McMansions on top of Uluru are not so sad. "They'll Need a Crane" by They Might Be Giants, while also sob-in-your-Snapple sad, requires a more refined sensibility to appreciate and even then still isn't as sad.

The first verse, in case you don't remember and for some reason want to be thrown into melancholia:
If you change your mind, I’m the first in line
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down
If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try
It's made much sadder by it being very cheerfully. Is this song part of Mamma Mia!? Is Mamma Mia! being done as a high school musical? I've always said I'm lucky I'm not one of those people who has to wear a cyanide pill in a locket around his neck, as there are faculty meetings I would not have survived. I think a gawky high school girl singing this song with sincere enthusiasm could likewise send me over.

8 comments:

Ang said...

Most Broadway musicals don't release the rights to the show until it's NY run is totally over. I don't know if it's still on Broadway, but I would bet that you're safe for now.

I only wish I could say the same of "Memory" from Cats.

Sarahliz said...

I think if all faculty had to wear cyanide pill lockets there would either be a lot fewer faculty or a lot fewer faculty meetings.

Brayden said...

I don't recall ever feeling sad while watching Mama Mia. Irritation yes, sadness no.

Ken Houghton said...

It appears to be near the end of the second act. So I suspect the show is built with your interpretation of the song in place.

Omar said...

Have you ever heard Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" lyrics? The chorus goes something like this:

You don’t have to say you love me
Just be close at hand
You don’t have to stay forever
I will understand
Believe me, believe me
I can’t help but love you
But believe me
I’ll never tie you down

And it isn't nearly as upbeat as the ABBA song.

Anonymous said...

That's a great subject, songs that people mistakenly take for happy songs. Or as Homer Simpson said, "They lied to me in song!"

Blister in the Sun is pretty creepy when you think about what they are singing about. Especially now that Wendy's is trying to tie it to a hamburger.

Brock20

carly said...

You know, ABBA is often mistaken for a happy-pop sort of band, but the truth is that a lot of their songs are deeply melancholic. Knowing Me, Knowing You chronicles a sort of doomed-to-failure romance, SOS is about a relationship that has reached the point where the partners no longer recognize each other, and The Winner Takes it All conceives of love as an zero-sum game where the aims is for one person to conquer another. Not very happy stuff.

Gil said...

I'm pretty sure Mamma Mia already toured across the nation or whatever it does. I know it was being done in Vegas, there were posters all over the city and on every other cab when I was there in '06.