So, where were you when Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States of America? That is one of the two questions that future generations will be asking us in years to come. The other one will be: What were you doing whilst history was being made?
To which Killer Opening Songs will reply... will reply... will reply...
Psssss, psssss... K.O.S., come out from under the bed, mate, it's all right, people will understand, you don't have to be ashamed of anything. See, we all have a soft, romantic, idealistic side and you, as part of me, but without being totally me which makes you a third of you with two thirds of me thrown in for good measure... Oh, I digress. Anyway, we all have moments when we are swallowed up by the surrounding euphoria and dare to dream. And that's what you were doing last Tuesday 4th November in the evening whilst washing up. Dreaming. That was the day the USA had chosen to vote. That was the day that the USA had picked up to make history. But you did not know that because you are five hours ahead of those who live in the East Coast and eight of those who dwell in the West Coast, so in your own way and guided by your subsconscious mind (capricious human artifact whose spell we fall under once in a while) your hand reached for that CD that many years ago had shaken you to the core. Those 36 minutes, 11 seconds of pure and blissful paradise. And you dared to do the impossible in these times of political cynicism and social misanthropy. You dared to dream. And as the first lines of 'Talkin' 'bout a Revolution', the Killer Opening Song from Tracey Chapman's eponymously titled debut album, blared out of the stereo in your kitchen, you felt as if the verses were clinging to your skin and you were being enveloped in a feverish embrace. Tracy Chapman's voice manages to capture that 80s angst caused by Reagan and Thatcher's laissez-faire market policies. And you couldn't find a more appropriate time to play this masterpiece than on that night:
Finally the tables are starting to turn/Talking about a revolution/Finally the tables are starting to turn/Talking about a revolution oh no/Talking about a revolution oh no
There are Killer Opening Songs that become trail-blazers in their own right. Their other-worldly nature strikes the listener as much an allegory as a melody. And tonight K.O.S. will be opening another mini-section within a section: tracks at the beginning of an album that have become either trendsetters or generational benchmarks. Some of them might feature famous guitar riffs, whereas other will boast powerful lyrics. There will be tunes whose delicate delivery will be the equivalent of venturing into a magical realm, maybe reminiscent of the Aztecs' cultural exuberance or the enchantment of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales.
These weekly Proustian memories (although on this subject the late French writer might have disagreed with K.O.S. as these souvenirs will be retrieved by intelligence, rather than by accident. My riposte would be that on being the object, K.O.S. turns the listener into the subject and therefore the effect of listening to a Killer Opening Song that has become a musical milestone in its own right is an involuntary act, pretty much the essence of the Proustian memory) will unlock episodes of our past lives which will produce elation and joy on being relived. So, a stiff upper lip and self-restraint are called for. K.O.S. would not like its beautiful bloggy-house to be flooded by readers' tears. Oh, all right, go on, bring out your hankies, let's all have a good ol' sob, shall we!
In the meantime, let's enjoy once more this epic song from a bygone era (a more innocent one, I would hazard to add) and let's sing together: Finally the tables are starting to turn/Talking about a revolution/Finally the tables are starting to turn/Talking about a revolution oh no/Talking about a revolution oh no.
Irreverent note: In nine months' time will we be able to say that Obama also contributed to the growth of the world's population (although inadvertently, mind)? And how many of those babies will be called Obama? Just a thought.