Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Music and Memories: or Why I Hate Celine Dion

So I'm bored again at work and, believe it or not, listening to music with headphones on.

They pay me for this?!

Anyhoo, I have a bunch of CDs here that I brought from home. The one playing now is a collection of "memory" songs. Each song is associated with a particular period in my life. Sappy, yes, but every time I throw this CD in it gets me strolling down Memory Lane.

It's mostly cheesey 80's tunes, so I won't make the list of songs public here.

Something else I tend to do when I'm bored at work is come up with a blog subject. Magically, I've been able to combine the two.

Which brings me to Celine Dion.

Let me give you a little history. Many moons ago, I was a young lad at a concert celebrating Saint Jean Baptiste Day at Harbourfront in Toronto. Every year, some big name French-Canadian singer would belt out some tunes for the appreciative crowd on that late June evening. It was an excuse to go downtown and hang out with a couple of friends (who happened to be the sons of my mom's friends) from my French elementary school in Brampton.

One year, Celine Dion was the singer. She had been a star in Quebec since her early teens, but at this point she was starting to break into the English market in Canada and the U.S. I used to even think she was kinda hot.

I was a bit of a shit disturber back then (go figure) and being my mother's son, one opinionated s.o.b. So, when Celine Dion started singing some English tunes at this French-Canadian celebration, I started to chant "En français! En français!" Well, it didn't take long for the chorus to get picked up by numerous people in the crowd.

It got so loud that she actually stopped the conert and explained to the crowd that she was proud of her bilingualism and that's why she was singing English tunes.

I didn't buy that argument then and I certainly didn't buy it about a year or so later when she appeared at the Gemini Awards (I think). She had just been named English Singer of the Year and had the nerve to refuse the award because she was French-Canadian at heart and thus a francophone singer.

What a hypocrite.

Ever since then, I've hated that skinny bitch.

And it got worse. Forget the fact she married her grampa manager who met her when she was, like, 13 or something, I continue to despise Celine Dion the same way I despise Paris Hilton: she is beyond overrated.

Here's how I see it: had Celine Dion not done songs for Titanic and Beauty and the Beast (amongst other flicks), would she be the "megastar" she is today? (despite the fact she's done dick all in the last how many years?)

See, we often associate music with events. In the case of films, we associate soundtracks with films. How often do you hear a song and picture the movie or music video that goes with it?

Well, Titanic was essentially a $100 million music video for "My Heart Will Go On" (a terrible, terrible tune, but one heckuva blockbuster flick seen by millions). Titanic was the film of the year and that song rode that wave (where's an iceberg when you need it?). Does the song's success mean the singer is "great"? Hell no!

To this day, I can not hear a single note of any of her songs without lunging for the dial.

In fact, I despise her so much I refuse to put a picture of her in this blog. Ditto for Titanic.

So, instead, I offer a pic from the terrific (and seldom seen) music video for "Don't Answer Me" from the Alan Parson's Project which is playing in my headphones (at work!) right now.

If you believe in the power of magic,
I can change your mind
And if you need to believe in someone,
Turn and look behind
When we were living in a dream world,
Clouds got in the way
We gave it up in a moment of madness
And threw it all away
Don't answer me, don't break the silence
Don't let me win
Don't answer me, stay on your island
Don't let me in
Run away and hide from everyone
Can you change the things we've said and done?
If you believe in the power of magic,
It's all a fantasy
So if you need to believe in someone,
Just pretend it's me
It ain't enough that we meet as strangers
I can't set you free
So will you turn your back forever on what you mean to me?
Don't answer me, don't break the silence
Don't let me win
Don't answer me, stay on your island
Don't let me in
Run away and hide from everyone
Can you change the things we've said and done?

-"Don't Answer Me" Alan Parson's Project
Ammonia Avenue -1984

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