Friday, April 18, 2014

Time for a new jersey

Oh, Lorde
Don't feel too bad if you don't recognize the name Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, or if you think she's the high school girl who wound up babysitting for Abercrombie and Hildegarde a couple of weeks ago when your brother-in-law and his wife, who were supposed to watch the kids while you went to the Rotary Club dance and installation of new officers for 2014, cancelled at the last minute because of reasons which will be fully aired at the next family birthday party.  I mean, she may very well have been the backup babysitter if you lived in New Zealand, because that's where EMLY-O'C comes from.  You know her as Lorde, a pop singer who has a real fascination for royalty and aristocracy, which led her to write a song called "Royals" when she was 16.  She took that name to highlight her love of all things royal, and frankly, given the way many Americans drool over foreign royalty, it would not be a surprise to see more kids from Kentucky or Oregon named "Wills" or "Duchess Kate" or "Boy George" soon.

16-year-olds will write about what they are obsessing about, which is why I wrote a series of poems (as yet unpublished) at that age with titles such as "Girls," "Beer," and "When I Get My License I Am Going To Hit The Road Like Kerouac."  I also dabbled in the limerick form that summer, with most of my efforts starting off "There once was a lady named Hewitt..."

The picture that
launched a career
But young Ella was serious about her songs, and added an 'e' to her assumed stage name to make it Lorde, a more feminine form. One day, flipping through a National Geographic magazine, she happened upon a 1976 picture of onetime Kansas City Royals baseball great George Brett, surrounded by autograph seekers while wearing his home "ROYALS" jersey.  She was gobstruck with the picture and sat right down and wrote that song, which apparently was a big hit record last year.  

I listened to the song, and it's not so bad lyrically; it's about not getting caught up in material success and so forth.  Wikipedia says it's about how bad it is to be "aspirational," and I guess that is bad, if all you can think of is the next pile of money you intend to jump into.  Musically, I think the song could have used a fiddle or two and a steel guitar, but then, I think that about every song.

News broke out of Las Vegas the other night that, at long last, Ms Lorde and Mr Brett had met, and she had the chance to tell him how the picture inspired her muse.  All very good, and I am thankful that she did not see a similar picture of a member of the Tampa Bay Rays togged out in his home jersey, or she would have written a song called "Rays," saluting all famous Rays, such as Ray Charles, Ray Liotta, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Ray Stevens, Ray Romano, Ray Manzarek, Ray Milland, Ray Bolger, Ray Walston, Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini, Ray Kroc, Ray Nitschke, and Ray Stern. 

No comments: