Mashup

Sta. Ana coordinates Action for Economic Reforms. This was published in the January 4, 2010 edition of the BusinessWorld, pages S1/4 to S1/5.

A new year’s ritual, other than having a resolution, is choosing the top items in any category for the past year. The specialists, the critics, the journalists, the opinionated, the kibitzers, and the obscure bloggers have something to say about the top news stories, top gadgets, top books, top movies, top sportsmen, top artists, top songs, or what have you for the year that just ended.

But what caught my attention was a YouTube video sent by my goddaughter Kay, known as “2009’s Top 25 Song Mashup.” It’s actually titled “DJ Earworm—United State of Pop 2009 (Blame it on the Pop).” Mashup is an unauthorized cutting up, blending, and rearranging of different songs (and videos) to create a new piece.  Mashup is also called “bastard pop,” defined by The Free Dictionary as “the practice of assembling new songs from purloined elements of other tracks.”

The Top 25 Song Mashup for 2009 features the current popular pop musicians like Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz, Beyonce, Kanye West, and Katy Perry. I am not a fan of them, except for Black Eyed Peas.  And many of their songs do not appeal to an oldie like me, who veers away from accessible, commercial tunes.

Nonetheless, that YouTube song mashup gave me an idea to combine the lyrics of the songs that I most frequently played on ITunes . Although the songs on my list were written, sung and recorded years ago, they turned out to be my favorites in 2009.  My top 10 songs (and the singers) are the following:

1. Cheer Down, George Harrison.
2. It Hurts Me Too, Keb’ Mo.
3. Privilege (Set Me Free), The Patti Smith Group.
4. The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys, Traffic.
5. I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free), Derek Trucks Band.
6. Come on (Let the Good Times Roll), Jimi Hendrix Experience.
7. Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeppelin.
8. With or Without You, U2.
9. Standing at the Crossroads, Elmore James.
10. Tell the Truth, Derek and the Dominos.

From these songs, I lift lines to create a mashup. Don’t expect the lyrics to convey the original meaning or intent.  The object is to create something new.  I can’t avoid making a mashup that is attuned to the signs of the times.

Tell the truth, tell me who’s been fooling you?
Tell the truth, who’s been fooling you?

I can see by your grin
That you’re trembling within.
It’s all over town, cheer down.
And the smile on your face
Is sometimes out of place
Don’t mind, no frowns, cheer down.

No I won’t stand
To see you pushed around.
But when things go wrong
go wrong with you
It hurts me too.

My hands are tied,
My body bruised, she’s got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose.

Well I’m standin’ at the crossroads,
With my head hung down and cryin’.
Well I’m standin’ at the crossroads,
With my head hung down and cryin’.

And I wish I knew how
It would feel to be free.
I wish I could break
All the chains holdin’ me.
I wish I could say
All the things that I should say.

And strip me of everything, including my pride
But spirit is something that no one destroys.
And the sound that I’m hearing is only the sound
Of the low spark of high-heeled boys.

You need coolin’, baby, I’m not foolin’,
Wanna whole lotta love.

Come on. Come and love me. Come on.
Set me free. Set me free.
Come on. Set me free, set me free.

Whole world is shaking now, can’t you feel it?
New dawn is breaking now, can’t you see it?

Hey! Yeah! Let the good times roll!
Feel me baby! Come on, good times roll!
Come on and let me fill your soul,
Hey, let the good times roll.

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