30 Days of Songs: Day 3
Before I jump into today’s topic, I wanted to point you toward a few Friends of Harriet who decided to give this meme a try as well:
If you decide to join in too, let me know and I’ll add a link to your blog too.
Additionally, since we’re on the subject of songs, I need to inform you that someone logging in from the Chateau Marmont reached my blog yesterday by searching for the theme song from Diff’rent Strokes. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. And that’s good, because today’s topic is:
day 03 – a song that makes you happy: Cee-Lo Green: Fuck You
Notice that today’s theme asks for a song that makes you happy, not one that you play when you are happy. That’s a separate question in this meme one we’ll get to in a couple of weeks. There are definitely some songs I use for both purposes, but for today, I am trying to think of the song that best lifts my mood, makes me happy when I might not already be feeling that way.
There are many, many songs that make me happy, and there’s not always a lot of logic to it. I recently made a playlist for myself of some of my current favorite happy songs and called it “Happy Day.” Then I started listening to it a lot and realized how truly sad – tragic even – some of the songs were. Lost loves. Death. That sort of thing. Also muddying the waters is the fact that the songs that make me the happiest also tend to make me cry. Tim Oxley’s “Beautiful Day,” which I wrote about recently here, is one song like that for me. Clearly I am a musical emotional wreck.
But I have to say, the one I put on these days just to feel better is not especially original: “Fuck You” by Cee-Lo Green.
I need to stress that this version, the original one is the one I put on, not the cleaned up “Forget You” version they play on the radio. Singing along with all the cursing is half the fun. In general, while my language isn’t perfect, this is a word that I tend to use only when dropping something heavy on my foot, in which case I will proclaim it repeatedly in rapid succession with increasing volume. I’m reasonably sure that I’ve never said “fuck you” to anyone, which is part of why it amuses me to sing it loud along with Cee-Lo. In the context of the song, it appears so frequently as to be rendered virtually meaningless, just another syllable. Still, “forget you” is just not as fun to sing.
But a lot of why this song makes me happy is that it makes other people happy, and that makes me smile more than anything. Last month, when I got off the plane in New York before my Je0pardy audition, I called the car service to take me to Cranky’s house. When they pulled up, I could see the car was driven by a young man. His girlfriend was sitting in the passenger seat. The radio was on softly in the background. Both of them said hello to me and the girlfriend chatted me as we drove through Brooklyn, asking me about why I was coming to New York, telling me about growing up in Brooklyn. Then the song came on the radio and she asked me if it was okay if she turned it up. “I love this song.” The driver, who was a little quieter, started tapping out the beat on his steering wheel at a stoplight. Pretty soon all three of us were singing along. I think of that night every time I hear this song now, meeting two strangers whom I’ll probably never seen again, connecting over a song, and singing along on a beautiful spring night driving through one of my favorite places in the world.
What song makes you happy?