Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy - Alex's Reaction To The Song



Song:  Happy

Artist:  Pharrell Williams




First of all...
I am fully aware that I am well behind the rest of the world.

This song had come out last year...and had topped the charts in over 20 countries.

I had only first heard it a few weeks ago at the Mathcounts Nationals.

They had played this song as part of the opening ceremonies.

When I had first heard it...
the very first thing I thought was...
"Man, I just dig that crazy beat."

(forgive me...I am now in my mid 50s).

I hadn't known the name of it...
but I was just crazy about this song.

Just a few days ago...
as we were eating at Zenshin restaurant in Las Vegas
while we were there for the ARML Nationals...
this song was playing over the speakers as BGM.

I just had to ask the staff of the restaurant the name of this song...
as I knew I had to have a copy of it.

This is just one of those songs which I cannot get out of my head.

I hadn't known if this was a song out of the 50s or 60s and that I had somehow missed it
as the singer has the silky smooth high tenor to falsetto voice of Smokey Robinson...
and the beat and rhythm is of the very best which had come out 
of one of the greatest record labels of the 50s and 60s....
Motown.

It was only after I had looked it up did I discover how long it had been out...
and that hundreds of millions of people around the world had already been
enjoying this great song.

Pharrell Williams has great voice control...
as do the background singers.

He controls the tremolo instead of allowing it to take control of each note.
He has great emphasis on, and perfectly controls, the volume of his voice...
and all of the singers are perfectly timed with the driving beat of the percussions...
and the bass.

I haven't felt so inclined to move my body to a song for years
(the last such song which really made an impression on me was "Crazy" by Seal...
the fantastic beat of which I still carry in my head)...
and yes...
when I listen to this song...
I cannot help but feel light and happy.

Over the past couple of days...
I have been playing this song over and over...
well over 100 times in all.

In my mind...
I am dancing down the streets as are the people in the video...
my body in perfect timing with the beat and rhythm.

In reality...
I know my head must look like the head of a perched and caged
parrot as he is bobbing it to music.

The rest of my body must appear as a discombobulated mess in motion.

My head is following the percussion...
my shoulders are attempting to follow the bass...
my knees are trying to follow the chorus of the background singers...
my hips have made up their own beat...
and my feet are attempting to fill in non existent half beats...
and at times...they attempt to moonwalk, in vain, while I remain...stationary
(Yes...I fear it is an ugly sight indeed :)


I have been walking around the house singing this song...
all the while my son attempts to suppress a smile...
and my wife, in vain, begs me to stop.


Today...
I had Alex listen to this song.

What I had expected was for Alex's body to move to the fantasic beat and rhythm.

I had expected to see a big smile at this great new musical discovery (for us).

He sat in my computer chair as I had played the music video for him.

I then asked him what he thought about the song.

He looked at me and began to give me an analysis of the lyrics...
what he thought they were saying and what they meant.

I said, "No...the music...what do you think of it?"

He said in a matter of fact tone...
"I like the beat and the rhythm."

He then left my room.

Hmmm...
I went to my wife and asked her what she thought about this song.

She merely said that I was driving her crazy by my going on about this song.

Hmmm...
I was thinking that some people really needed to learn music appreciation  :) 



The greatness of this song lies in its simplicity.

For a person to be able to repeat the same patterns...
and yet, make them appear as if they were the first time you had heard each one...
that is music mastery.

The silky smooth inflectional and tonal changes of the singer from line to line...
the perfect snap of the drummer's wrist which brings out the crisp hits of the drums...
as well as his perfect cymbal control...
the perfect note changes of the base player...
each note of which is allowed to fully resonate before the next one is introduced...
all without any dead spots...all very clean...
and at times...playing counter point...and then leading the listener 
back in direct harmony with the excellent choral singers...
all of these reasons, and more, make this song such a listening pleasure...
I feel as if there is hope for this world.


It is not even in the lyrics...
but in the simple beauty of this song...
in its demonstration of all that can be good in humans...
the inherent structure and application of the notes which speak 
of the precision of each player and singer in their delivery...
which in turn, speaks of how much humans can accomplish when they 
put in the quantity of quality practice...
of how they had chosen long term happiness over short term thrills...
of how they first had to have had a dream...
and had followed it, and in doing so...
 had defeated their inner demons of impatience and lassitude...
of how they had chosen quality and perfection as a way of life.  

This song also speaks of what may be accomplished (as so in orchestral music)
when people work together in harmony to achieve rhythmic perfection...
and how this applies to all of life.

This is what makes this song so great.

It is not merely in what is heard...
 it is in the demonstrated story behind it.

With this song being so popular throughout the world...
I know so many millions upon millions must think the same way as do I...
and this is what makes me so happy with this song
(besides having a crazy good beat :)


Now...
if I can just convince my son and wife of this  :)




















2 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are Happy to be back home. Haha, you paint an amusing picture of yourself as you listen to the song. I'm with you, though, I love that song. Does Alex ever tap his toes to music or sing along? It just doesn't strike me that it's in his personality to get "funky". :)

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  2. I was expecting for Alex to keep the beat with his head or in his hands or feet...but no...he thinks it is just ok...and no...he never gets 'Funky' :) My wife says she doesn't particularly like it. I simply love this song.

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