A Different Take On Mainstream


 So my work is never ending and I find myself with almost no time to actually see daylight. (I exaggerate of course. Slightly). Therefore, I had to think of something this week that would be both entertaining, creative, and would allow me not to step foot outside my house for extended periods of time. (That sounds as depressing as it actually is). I figured the one entertaining element I had at my disposal was my iPod. Therefore, I have decided that for this week, I am simply going to put my iPod on ‘shuffle’–literally–whatever embarrassing songs come out– and I’m going to interpret them.
     A lot of songs out there just really make no sense whatsoever; as if they are purposely muttering nonsensical words from the english language, disguised to look like Deep Poetry. Or they just simply repeat the same idiotic word, over and over again. Like: “BABY, BABY, BABY, OOOOH!!!!” Like that people– that is real literature. Right there. Shakespeare would be proud. [10 Duchess Points to whoever knows the reference above].
     Therefore, because I am such a benevolent human being, and I am quite sure you are all super interested in knowing what lurks inside my iPod, I have decided to place said iPod on shuffle. Where I will then attempt to figure out the meanings of whatever comes out of the dark recesses of my download history. Enjoy! I’m so scared.  

I’m Sorry— by CNBLUE

The Band: So this is a South Korean Indie Rock band. What’s unique about them is that though they are considered a mainstream band in Korea, they all play their own instruments, and even write a lot of their own music— which is a very different move compared to the institutionalized Pop scene in Korea. The lead singer, Jung Yonghwa, has a voice like distressed velvet— so you know you are getting a smooth yet husky sound, with a bit of a roughened edge. Also, their tracks are always excellent.

The Song: Kay so…I don’t know Korean. But like, I really really don’t. The few Korean scraps I have managed to salvage from this song is “love”, “please”, and “are you crazy?” However, along with the scattered English words that are sprinkled throughout the song, I have come up with this profound explanation. Ahem: Boy messes up. Like big time. Girlfriend breaks up with him. Boy wants girlfriend back, but she isn’t having it. So he tries apologizing. It doesn’t work. The rest of the song depicts Boy lamenting about how he actually is crazy. 
        I really hope I didn’t just deeply offend some CNBLUE fans right now. I apologize if I just butchered this song for you and now you want to kill me. This is why I don’t post my address on the internet. 
On my iPod since: 2016

Eet— by Regina Spektor

The Singer: I do not know how to describe Regina. Everything about her is quirky. Unpredictable. Unique. She has a breathy, matter-of-fact sort of voice– which makes no sense when I put it to words– but if you just heard her, you’d understand. She sings about the strangest, most random, most heartfelt times during life, switching genres, and timbres, and even tunes–as if she makes it up as she goes along. The music genre people just call her ‘Anti-Folk’. 

The Song: My Gosh. Of all songs. One cannot possibly expect to successfully interpret Regina Spektor. That just doesn’t happen. Her music is all poetry, but the kind of poetry that just leaves you scratching your head way after it ends. Kind of like Sam Pepper. But here goes: Whenever I listen to this song, I always feel as if she’s talking about a human that’s only halfway there. Someone whose not completely in touch with himself or the world. I think the word “eet”, for that matter– is an unfinished word–only something halfway there. The song describes headphones that drown out your mind, and lyrics you always knew but somehow forgot. It’s all these half-finished images, trying to feel something, but not fully getting there. 
On my iPod since: 2012

Teir Abhaile Riu— by Celtic Woman

The Band: I grew up on Celtic Woman. They are what initially got me into Irish folk music and fiddle in the first place. They are an Irish girl group that specializes in Celtic Folk music. While they will occasionally sing some popular non-Irish Folk music as well, most of their stuff is definitely Celtic, and usually half in Gaelic. 

The Song: This one doesn’t need much interpreting; the words are pretty straight forward, as it is a folk song. But I always got a thrill out of this song, as I always wondered who was the adventurous soul that wrote this back then? The song tells of a rebellious girl looking off into the town lights, dreaming about the sailors that will soon be coming, and whisking her off to Galway. However, “home you’ll go, and it’s there you’ll stay, for you’ve work to do in the morning–give up your dream of going away, forget your sailors and Galway”. Say the nasty town girls who try to hold her back. It’s such a fun song. Just check it out. 
On my iPod since: 2014

My Immortal— by Evanescence

The Band: I see you laughing at me. I see you. You can stop now. 
 I admit it, OKAY! I like Evanescence. Actually, that’s a lie–I love Evanescence. You Rock and Metal snobs can mock all you want, calling it some Emo group for metalhead wannabes (which is something I’ve heard before), but I happen to love Amy Lee’s haunting voice against the grunge of the shrieking guitars. It’s like the voice of midnight against a storm, and the effect is beautiful. 

The Song: This song always does something to me. Something to the inside of me. Evanescence was a crutch during some of the darkest moments of my life, and this song especially, was like a ray of darkened light tethering me to reality. For Amy Lee, this song must have been about her sister, who died when she was younger. The lyrics tell of a girl wiping away someone’s tears when she cried, and fighting away someone’s fears when she screamed. How this mysterious girl is still with the singer, somehow, but yet–she is still so alone. This song always made me think of my own 13 year old sister.  My sister is a tough kid, who is wise beyond her years, and sees things that many adults cannot even begin to fathom. But even she cannot hold everything in at times, and the lyrics in this song just make  me think of how much I appreciate and care for my sister, and how honestly, I would do anything for her. That she should only know how much I want to always be there for her– no matter what she’s going through. If you are reading this, I love you, Sis. 
On my iPod since: 2015

Falling— by JudaBlue

The Band: So this is probably the weirdest band on this list. Y’all probably never realized that something like this ever existed–but this is what I mean when I mention cultural stereotyping and appropriation– there is so much we do not know about different cultures, that we really do have to be careful what we borrow and appropriate. So JudaBlue is a Jewish Indie Rock band. They are not the only one of their kind, nor are they the most famous– in fact, they are quite obscure. A lot of people have this warped idea that Jewish music is some Fiddler-On-The-Roof-Esque squeaky violin from some German countryside in the 1800’s. With some “Hava Nagilas” thrown in. When in reality, this is so far from the truth it might as well be comedy. Judaism is a religion spanning every continent (well, perhaps not Antarctica), and practically every single country. I know true and proud Jews who hail from places like China, Ethiopia, Uganda, the Philippines, Argentina, Costa Rica, Korea, Puerto Rico, Egypt, Japan, Syria, Belarus, Iran, Scotland, Ireland– I can go on and on. And except for the Philippines, Uganda and Costa Rica– who are people I know only through mutual friends, every country on this list, I know people personally. 
       What I am trying to say is, just like every culture, and every race, is different around the world, so too, Judaism looks different all around the world. I mean, you really can’t expect Ethiopian Jews to take up the squeaky violin and start dancing to Have Nagila! I mean, it is SO not their culture! They come from Africa, not Europe! Wow. I did not mean to get into that tangent. Did not realize I feel so passionate about this. Whatever, bottom line is– different parts of the world, different sounding Jewish music. 

The Song: this is an inside look at the story of David and Goliath, mostly from a symbolic perspective. It treats King David as the teenager that he was at the time this took place– going into what he may have gone through to defeat Goliath. The song also has some subtle Orthodox Jewish Symbolism within it that you may not catch if you don’t know what they are talking about. But over all, I don’t think you’d believe me if I told you this video was produced in one day by a bunch of kids who had just graduated High School. Check it out if you dare. 
On my iPod since: 2016

       And that is all, everyone! I sincerely hope you enjoyed this random trip through my iPod. I know I definitely did. Some of these songs, are old. Honestly though, just go check out this music, each one is really awesome in its own way. Or maybe I just think that because every song holds some sort of memory for me. 
And remember, don’t forget to guess the reference down in the comments below to participate in the giveaway! 

 Giveaway details on THIS POST

What was the last song you guys listened to?
Leave a comment below! 

Cynical Duchess.