There are several of us who at transport will sing to the puppies as they stop at our table to get their photos and transport stickers–always a song inspired by their names, like the time the entire table and the dog’s escort broke into, “My, my, my Sharona!”
Sometimes I feel like my colleagues are hoping to stump my musical memory, so the other day, I knocked out four in a row as the dogs came through before a lull.
For Miracle: I believe in miracles, where you from (you sexy thing) (Hot Chocolate, 1975)
For Joene: Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, woman, please don’t take my man (Dolly Parton, 1974)
For Josie: When Josie comes home, so good, she’s the pride of the neighborhood (Steely Dan, 1977)
For Jeremy: Jeremy spoke in class today (Pearl Jam, 1991)
That is an odd mix of songs, and they have some dark undertones. In the first, Sexy Thing has come along after the narrator has been lonely a long time, and it may sound upbeat, but he’s begging the new love not to leave, clearly already dreading loss and more loneliness. Jolene is heartlessly threatening the narrator’s happiness by stealing her true love, even though Jolene could have anyone she wants. As for Josie, it’s one of the more ambiguous homecomings in musical history. Josie sounds like she was a wild thing. Where has she been? Is this homecoming a celebratory reunion or something graver? Also, if you read the lyrics, they say Josie prays like a Roman with her eyes on fire. I always heard it as Josie “preys like a Roman with her eyes on fire.” Hmmm… And of course Jeremy is about a bullied, unloved child committing suicide in front of his classmates.
Cheery stuff, right? The puppies don’t care. They just know they’re getting some attention and it sounds happy.
The dates on those songs make me realize why none of our younger staffers and volunteers know what the heck we’re singing half the time.