Friday, April 30, 2010

Seoul, I Hear You Calling

There was karaoke last night. I missed it, because I got there late, because I had a show, but Bennett sang Erasure's "Respect." And then Emily mentioned it on her tumblr.


Can we talk about this Erasure song? Because in the video, which was in some episode of Al TV that my brother and I taped with the VCR and then watched and re-watched obsessively, there is a moment when Andy sings "Souuuuuuuul" and they show the logo from the Seoul Olympics (at :48) and for the longest time I was convinced that this song was actually about "Seoul, I hear you calling," like it was some epic anthem for the Seoul Olympics -- except, at the same time, I remember the Seoul Olympics because I am ancient and because I love the Olympics so much, and there was an official anthem called "Hand in Hand" but anyone who is a dedicated Olympics person who then also had to do warm-ups to the song in ballet class will recall that the Seoul Olympics are forever associated with "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston, which she performed during the opening ceremonies. Oh wait, maybe she didn't, but it was totally the theme song because DIG THE VIDEO. That is some inspirationally epic shit right there. And just listening to these lyrics makes me want to warm up for ballet class. BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY:

If you think about it, "a little respect" could totally be about the Seoul Olympics, a tiny bit? Like you hear the siren tones of Seoul calling your name and you know that you need a little respect so that you can muster the courage and confidence to do rhythmic gymnastics? Okay, admittedly, if you read the lyrics, I guess it's a really big duh that this song is not about the Seoul Olympics at all, especially when you factor in the line: "What religion or reason / Could drive a man to forsake his lover." (Also: props to Erasure for non ambiguous gender pronouns. A man and HIS lover. That is totally in your face gay. Just like Erasure!)

And yet, there is still something appealing about these lyrics being in a song about the Olympics:
And if I should falter
Would you open your arms out to me
We can make love not war
And live at peace in our hearts
Because I always thought this line was, like, about people doing hurdles or running a relay or a marathon in the Seoul Olympics and, you know, stumbling or something - and it's a plea to the people of all nations to support each other. JUST LIKE THE OLYMPICS.

But that is because I was a child! And confused by the video! Because, man, he is totally not singing about stumbling during the 4x400 relay at the Olympics and metaphorically making love, not war. He is singing about doing it.


Anonymous said...


SSmith said...

Didn't they re release it for the Olympics with the words Seoul instead of soul? I'm sure it was used as the official Olympic song.