The Music Meme: Day 9

Day 9: A song that makes you want to dance


One of the great divisions in life is that between the people who love to make music and the people who love to dance. Having been a dedicated member of the former group since roughly the age of 11, my eligibility for the latter is, to put it mildly, problematic. There have certainly been occasions when I have danced, but they are, for the most part, occasions when I was chemically prepared to do so. Sometimes the chemicals were alcoholic, as seen on the evening in September 1983 when I learned that British cider is rather stronger than it tastes, resulting in a furious session of flailing around to U2's "Two Hearts Beat as One" and New Order's "Blue Monday." Sometimes the chemicals were pheromonal, as I have followed ladyfriends onto the floor to move my feet and/or other body parts to tunes such as the Romantics' "What I Like About You" or Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." And a few times I've had a kind of hormonal fight-or-flight response to singing onstage, unprotected by an instrument, which has led to a surge of adrenaline and a wild, almost spastic movement amongst my bandmates. This first occurred at He's Not Here in the fall of '84 when the group that would eventually become Terminal Mouse cut loose on XTC's "Respectable Street" and I basically lost all touch with Planet Earth for about four and a half minutes.

But these are exceptions. I am generally very shy about dancing, and when I do opt to cut a rug, it tends to be a response to songs that fall somewhat off the beaten path. Ska music is the genre most likely to get me to drop my inhibitions, though I've also been known to dance to everything from soul to rock to polkas, and any human being who can't recognize Fishbone's "Party at Ground Zero" as a reason to get on the floor is simply devoid of funk.

In general, however, I don't feel like dancing. Which is one reason why I consider this song, with its paradoxical lyrical conceit married to an irresistible straight-up beat, to be such a marvelous achievement. It is one of the handful of pure dance songs ("Dancing Queen" and "Stayin' Alive" being two others) that justify the genre of disco. And it does, in spite of everything, make even those who don't want to dance want to dance. 

Go ahead. Get down with your bad self.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on August 14, 2017 10:39 AM.

The Music Meme: Day 8 was the previous entry in this blog.

The Music Meme: Day 10 is the next entry in this blog.

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