Prepare to be stereotyped by the following statement: People fall into two camps - those who love Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" and those who would rather shove their heads in a beehive than endure that song. If you're wondering what side I fall into, let's just say that my coworker James knows that he can mercilessly torment me by singing "Wind Beneath My Wings," and he takes every opportunity to do so, once even by text. He'd had off that day and texted me to see how things were going at the office. I told him things were fine and he replied by saying, "FYI: You are the wind beneath my wings." To which I countered with, "You fill up my senses! Come fill me agaaaaaaaain!" because John Denver makes his head explode.
I like John Denver and I don't really know why but I think it's because I dig folk music and also because he did a Muppet Christmas special once when I was a toddler, so I equate John Denver with Santa Claus. Let us side-step the irony that Santa flies and is immortal, and flying is exactly how John Denver proved that he is not.
Anyway, we talk about melodramatic music a lot. The other day James began singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and he could only remember the "Turn around..." part. I supplied the rest.
"I always thought the guy she's singing to in that song must be kind of a douche because she says 'every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming round.' I wonder why she stays with him if he's never there for her."
"I don't know dude," said James. "Maybe he's got a good reason."
I thought about this. "Well...she does fall apart a lot. Because she says 'every now and then I fall apart.' How often is every now and then in her opinion? Every other day? Every other hour?"
"It's every other Tuesday," James theorized. "And on those days she needs to pet a cat, any cat, and she'll only eat Chinese food and she screams piercingly if anyone touches her."
"So she menstruates every two weeks? Jesus. I thought I felt sorry for her before..."
"And her boyfriend is like, 'Shit, she's falling apart and I'm trying to give her a hug and she's screaming like I'm stabbing her, and she's eating all my Chinese food...I'm out.'"
"Yeah," I said. "Yeah! And she says 'every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears.' Even SHE'S tired of her bullshit."
"That's what I saying!" James said. "Think of the line 'every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes'...how is he looking at her? She's freaking out for apparently no reason and he's looking at her like, 'Back away from the woman who's wrapping herself in tin foil, back away slowly.'"
By the end of this assessment we figured that it was a good thing that the object in the song was detaching himself from her and we were both very concerned about this woman's codependency issues and the glaring need to regulate her cycle. And you would be too if you watched the video that I provided a link to in that last paragraph and in case you ignored it, I'm going to save you some back tracking and post it here. It's.....it's....you just have to watch it. I remember when it came out on MTV but since I was also watching Sesame Street at the time, surreal costumes, ninjas, football players and doves flying didn't phase me when thrown onto the same set. Things didn't have to make sense, in fact it was better when things didn't because then they were ridiculous. But now that I'm older ridiculous has its time and place. Like at work when I'm supposed to be working and instead I'm worrying about Katy Perry.
"What do you think is going to happen to her in the future?" I asked James. "I mean, she's funny. She could act."
"Yeah, but funny doesn't guarantee her a career. Her music sucks."
"Well yeah, but I like her, and I'm just not sure how she's going to do if she doesn't evolve soon. That's what divas do, right? Like Madonna? They say she has good longevity because she constantly reinvents herself."
"Maybe she needs some inspiration like YOU ARE THE WIND BENEATH MY WIIIIIINGS!"
I covered my ears. "AHHH! Stop it!"
"Fllyyyyyyyyy! FLYYYYYYYYYYY away! You let me fly so high!"
"Rocky mountain hi-IIIIIIIGH! Colorado!"
"No! No! Ok, I'll stop. Just make the John Denver stop, please."
"You're such a baby."
"And you are the wind beneath my wings."
"That's right. Some constantly reinvent themselves and some of us prefer to keep tormenting others in the same way, sometimes repeatedly every few minutes."
I'm not sure about James's longevity if this keeps up. But since I've given you a sample of a song I don't like I thought I would give you an example of one that I do like very much right now and that's "Yankee Bayonet" by The Decemberists. It's a duet about a husband and wife torn apart by the Civil War and it's got great lines like:
But oh my love though our bodies may be parted
Though our skin may not touch skin
Look for me with the sun-bright sparrow
I will come on the breath of the wind
Which is dark and sad and beautiful! And...and...it has a bird at the end of it flying on the breath of the wind. Which is not unlike the wind beneath its wings....Goddamn Bette Midler.