Wordy Rappinghood

Every time our boys come over, we have lovely, fun, serious conversations and often recount memories of their childhood and youth. They’re such great guys, and while it’s rare for us to be able to have all four of our boys (and partners, where applicable) together at the same time, it happens once every two years, for sure, when one visits from overseas. Each of the four is quite different from the other, but they are all good human beings.

Today, our two younger lads came over, and we had waffles and bacon. The youngest, an electrician, repaired a faulty connection on a light, and the older one, a musician and educator, practised a song on the old, out of tune piano. They are so funny together, feeding off each other like a comedy team. It was really nice for Sweety and me to have them home for a visit. We also had a brief, impromptu FaceTime conversation with some of the London family just before our brunch.

When these two were very young, I’d pick them up from school or after-school care or their mom’s, and we’d always have music playing in the car. I remember the first time I played today’s song for the boys they both looked bewildered and asked, “What’s that SOUND, Dad?!” when hearing the several typewriters clacking away at the beginning of the track. Like most their age, they would never have heard, much less seen a typewriter. When I had my first office job in 1979, the railway office was filled with typewriters. By 1989, there were still lots of them, and two computers in an office of 100 people. Now, neither any of those jobs nor that office exists.

Incidentally, that first office job paid CAD 2.95 an hour, up from the 2.35 when I started at McDonald’s and 2.70 at Consumers Distributing, but then those were both part-time. But now, I’d finally arrived: I had a career — and its title was “office boy.” I collected, opened, sorted and distributed mail, and in the morning and afternoon collected money from management and staff and took a large wire basket down to the cafeteria where I’d pour about 25 cups of coffee, which I’d then carry, gingerly, back to the office. I had to be back precisely at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm or people would be angry that they had to wait to be served their coffee! As soon as I put the basket down on the counter, it was like seeing people get up during a fire drill, only less orderly. Honestly, I had to jump aside or be trampled by the agitated, caffeine-depleted, cigarette-smoking accounting mob (that was back when people smoked cigarettes at their desks all day).  

But, back to the song. This might be the only time you see anything like a rap song on my blog. I’m just not partial to rap, hip hop and related genres, though once in a while I’ll hear something that’s intriguing. But I won’t pretend to know about those styles, so don’t have much to share.

Tom Tom Club, a new wave band from the US, started in 1981 as a side project of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, a husband and wife who were also in the group, Talking Heads. I first heard Talking Heads after closing time one night in late 1977 at McDonald’s when the enigmatic night-shift cleanup crew played the store sound system on high volume (also where I discovered my affinity for late-night FM radio). When posting about my visits to Vancouver (please see my post on January 19, 2020), I forgot to mention that Remain in Light (by Talking Heads, 1980) was popular record with my friends there at the same time they were listening to “Ashes to Ashes” from Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).

Talking Heads broke up in 1991, but Tom Tom Club is still active and, over the years, has included numerous musicians such as Adrian Belew (frontman for King Crimson).

“Wordy Rappinghood” is an amusing song, a touch on the long side at 6:27, but has some endearing moments: chants and choruses, life lessons, commentaries and cautionary notes on society, and a cameo appearance by voices resembling Alvin and the Chipmunks. And, now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy. 

Here’s the official audio from Tom Tom Club’s Youtube channel:

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