“Three-and-a-half minutes of sheer, giddy positivity…”
That was how Guy Garvey’s sister Becky, aka “The Beckapedia,” described Rare Earth’s 1971 hit “I Just Want to Celebrate” in her segment during the November 22, 2020 instalment of Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour (“Happiness and Home”) on BBC 6 Music.
I was listening to the episode on the BBC Sounds app after today’s morning chores and routines. The Beckapedia talked about her need during the pandemic for music that serves as an “emergency reset button,” and her trademark ending was ever so slightly adjusted in light of the ongoing situation: “And why am I telling you this? Because you really need to know.” Indeed, we’ve all needed that reset button at times this year.
Rare Earth was the first big, hit-generating, all-white band to be signed by Motown Records. The band had several hits from 1970 to 1972, but not much after that. Over time, today’s song has found its way onto American advertisements for cars, telecommunications, and smoking cessation patches, plus some TV shows, like Six Feet Under.
I remember the song (but not necessarily the ads) from my youth, though I don’t know if I automatically identified it with positivity, though, of course, Becky is correct. It is full of positive, persevering attitude.
“I Just Want to Celebrate” comes from the Rare Earth’s fifth studio album, One World. Studying the lyrics today, I noticed that element of positivity contrasted with what could be a source of discouragement. The positive side grows with each successive verse and chorus, guiding the listener to move from sorrow and hate. By the end of the track, the positivity vibe is all-consuming.
Like Becky’s emergency reset, the song (and the emotions it stirs) gives me hope for my anxieties and yearnings and the easing of conflicts and unease, both in society in general and among people close to me.
“Don’t let it all get you down, no, no
Don’t let it turn you around and around and around and around and around
Well, I can’t be bothered with sorrow
And I can’t be bothered with hate, no, no
I’m using up the time but feeling fine, every day
That’s why I’m telling you I just want to celebrate
I just want to celebrate another day
Oh, I just want to celebrate another day of livin’
I just want to celebrate another day of life
Don’t let it all get you down, no, no
Don’t let it turn you around and around…
Don’t go round
I just want to celebrate
I just want to celebrate
Well, I just want to celebrate
Said I just want to celebrate (celebrate)
I just want to celebrate (I want to celebrate)
I just want to celebrate (I got to celebrate)
I just want to celebrate”
(from “I Just Want to Celebrate,” by Dino Fekaris, Nick Zesses)
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 audio from the Rare Earth YouTube topic channel:
And, the full lyrics can be found on AZLyrics.com.