Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pretty Girls Can Run Their Mouths And Get Away With It

The "Flower Duet" from Lakmé, by Clément Philibert Léo Delibes

Under the dense canopy
Where the white jasmine
Blends with the rose
On the flowering bank
Laughing at the morning
Come, let us drift down together
Let us gently glide along
With the enchanting flow
Of the fleeing current
On the rippling surface
With a lazy hand
Let us reach the shore
Where the source sleeps
And the bird sings
Under the dense canopy
Under the white jasmine
Let us drift down together

If it sounds familiar, it should; Hollywood, video games, Madison Avenue, and every fruit stand and conglomerate alike have been raping it for thirty years now.

According to Wikipedia's list of uses of the melody in pop culture, you listened to it in sorrow as you shoveled Godiva chocolates in your gob with one hand while smearing Ghirardelli chocolate all over the rest of your face with the other. You were bereft; your lover left you when you demanded he stop playing video games like Fallout: New Vegas instead of watching Kirstie Alley waddle around the Dancing With The Stars stage leaving footprints in the hardwood floor, while dead Leo's old warhorse purred in the background of both. You'd already had a tiff over whether David Usher's sample of the song or LL Cool J's sample of the song was superior; then the cad said he liked the cello-based rock band Rasputina's gloss on the song best, which they called "Mr. Romberg" for some reason, and you knew it was over. What a barbarian.

So he split town on British Airways, kited high into the stratosphere by its dulcet tones, and you went to your Netflix queue and erased True Romance, Private Parts, The American President, The Oh in Ohio, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Meet the Parents, Superman Returns, Five Corners, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Hunger, Carlito's Way, I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, because you knew they'd use some version of the thing -- one that sounded like a chicken pecking it out on a toy piano if they couldn't afford the rights to a talented live person singing it -- and it would remind you of that beast. You tried cable for a while, but CSI: Miami, The Animal Planet, Nip and Tuck, Alias, and pretty much everyone outside R. Lee Ermey had it on a continuous loop -- and even Ermey looked like he might go wobbly on you -- so you decided to end it all, and took a bottle of pills.

As you drifted off, you knew in your heart they'd play it at your funeral .


Sixty Grit said...

Beautiful duet - nicely song, well staged, altogether wonderful. Thanks for posting that.

Jewel said...

I would rather have Fauré's equally ubiquitous yet commonly unknown work from Pélleas et Mélisande played at my computer, Landru's funeral. The withdrawal is making me crave deadly amounts of Godiva...and now I can't get the song outta my head.