Friday, October 23, 2009

what's goin on? (not marvin gaye)

Somehow, I changed to arial font last entry, so to keep it consistent, I'm keeping all my music entries arial, because I am OCD.

So as I was perusing (looking through thoroughly, not the often misused definition) through the dearth of comments (I still after 7-8 years of blogging do not have a readership of a hot chick who wrote about how cool her boyfriend is or what she had for pinkberry last weekend, ef em el) I was reminded by my good friend Brian Lee (i don't know why i mentioned his last name, particularly because adding the Lee after Brian doesn't add to any specificity because the Brian Lee subset is probably 90% of the people named Brian) when he commented on my past entry on the next song on my emo playlist, called "What's Up" by Four Non-Blondes.

The song was ubiquitous, a hit at our elementary school for some odd reason, as little of us could probably relate with 20-somethinng lesbian angsty rockers at the time. I just remember one kid singing it to a teacher in defiance, and it was pretty funny at the time. Might be one of those you had to be there moments.

Anyway, listen here.


Lyrics:

Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination
And I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
ooh, ooh ooh
and I try, oh my god do I try
I try all the time, in this institution
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination


I suppose any rambunctious 9 year old would love a song that involved screaming at the top of one's lungs. I used to be produce high pitched noises at octaves not known to normal humans (resembling the sound of a pterodactyl, should one know what a pterodactyl sounded like 65 million years ago) using a technique that didn't involve an open throat sound as in normal screaming. Though I suppose the actual chorus isn't a scream, per se.

Anecdotally, I can only remember playing this numerous times whilst playing at this friend's house of mine that I do not have any contact with anymore (even facebook was unable to rectify that). As somewhat of an outcast during my earlier years growing up, I could understand the not fitting into the world part of the song that the singer goes through. Without going too deeply into the details of that, it would sufficeth to say that I often wondered, "What's going on?"

Today's perspective on the song:

It's kind of funny looking back since I'm 25 now, and the song probably has more relevance for me now. I suppose this was the "quarter-life crisis" anthem before John Mayer wrote his first song. Watching the music video kind of makes me like the song less, particularly because the whole lesbian non-blonde thing is too feminine power (brotherhood of man, for whatever that means, etc.) thing going on for me as I used to have no idea what exactly the Four Non-Blondes were, save that they were four...non-blondes.

The song isn't too complex, the concept and the structure are easy enough to understand at first glance. I think its simplicity and the somewhat catchy anthem like nature made the song popular.

What I do like is the techno remixed version, which you can find here.

3 comments:

chunlee17 said...

pivotal song of my adolescence: Gangsta's Paradise.

haha. i kid you not. i think that's why i want to teach.

Will said...

B-

blee said...

lol takes me back. that song was so good for no reason