Yesterday I walked from my office to my home, a journey of 8,177 steps according to the pedometer I borrowed from the Ottawa Public Library. The 75 minutes passed quickly because I was plugged into my iPod. (I found the iPod lying on the street months ago; I put up signs, but nobody ever claimed it, so now it’s mine. After replacing all the former owner’s hip-hop and rap with my own eclectic favourites, I was ready to go.)
It’s kind of weird how much music can affect your mood. First up: Vivaldi’s Spring, then Janis Joplin’s Summertime. Great evocative tunes, both of them, and good choices for a frosty winter day.
Then suddenly the iPod exploded into The Twist! Remember The Twist craze? Dancing the Twist was described like this: “It’s like putting out a cigarette with both feet, and wiping your bottom with a towel, to the beat of the music.”
One of my all-time favourite childhood memories is doing the Twist with my mom and my sister in the living room with Chubby Checker cranked up high on the hi-fi record player. I was six, Deb was seven, mom was 24. The record would end and we’d start it over again. We worked ourselves into a dancing FRENZY.
The Twist kicked my mood up a couple of notches, and then Sugar Sugar by the Archies came on, and that has GOT to be the catchiest little tune ever written.
Did you know that the Archies didn’t really exist? They were like Alvin and the Chipmunks, kind of a pop-culture comic-book band. Most of their records were distributed on the backs of cereal boxes. No kidding. You just cut the cardboard record from the back of the cereal box and played it on your record player. Not great for the needle, but oh my god, every 10 year old in the entire universe knew all the words to Sugar Sugar.
The lyrics are so dumb: “Sugar Sugar, you are my candy girl, and you got me wanting you. I just can’t believe the loveliness of loving you, I just can’t believe it’s true…” but that song makes me so crazy happy. There’s something about it: whenever I hear it, my mood soars and I get an instant 1969 Sugar Sugar rush.
At this point in my walk – somewhere around the 2,800 step mark – I was so insanely happy it was all I could do not to burst into song and start dancing through Chinatown. (But then Buddy Guy came along with his rendition of “Done Got Old” and that brought me back down to normal again.) (Note to self: delete Buddy)
By the way, don’t you think it’s funny that sound systems used to be furniture, but now we can carry our sound system and all our music in one pocket?