Posts from 18th June 2006

18
Jun 06

Day 72: The Israelites
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 676 views

Egypt was supposed to be a respite for me, a chance to relax after the cattle truck experience and held by the marines. Instead I was remarkably uncomfortable, and I found out why quickly. The part of Egypt I was in was called Memphis. The first, original Memphis. Now I guess its not the Egyptian regions fault that some evil doers misappropriated the name for some horrific town where music is never more than a broken jukebox away. But it unsettled me.

So much so that I made a mistake in getting out of there and rather than getting transport across the Mediterranean to Europe, I ended up on a train to Israel. Which according to the Eurovision Song Contest is in Europe so was at least guilty by association. And I could potentially take out Dana International while I was there, so it would not be a completely wasted trip.

The train went through Jordan by the way, who also has her own remarkably brief pop career as a pregnant woman in pink PVC attempting to qualify for Eurovision. But what on earth could I say about her that would be more degrading than being a pregnant woman with stupid fake tits in pink PVC who did not qualify for Eurovision. Enough to distract me as I bedded down in the holy land (insert political joke here) for some repose.

THE ISRAELITES – Desmond Dekker And The Aces

Aces low in this case. The Israelites explores and exploits all that can be wrong with reggae. A dull chugging accompaniment to nonsense lyrics sung in a style which can only suggest that we are still living in 1823 and the cotton plantations are the pinnacle of a black mans ambitions in life. Perhaps the song is actually a critique of those days, one would hope so. But then if that is the case, why make it next impossible to understand the lyrics by
a) singing them is a stupid way
b) them being barely intelligible in the first place.

Of course the song has nothing to do with real actual Israelites from Israel whose lifestyle and choices probably don’t mean that they end up with ragged clothing and looking like Bonnie and Clyde sir. But the song did come from a period when just mentioning Bonnie And Clyde in a song was a guarantee of a hit. It explains Serge Gainsbourg’s otherwise impossible to countenance success.