Familiarity, Contempt, and All That Jazz

 

I would normally post something like this on PIT 14 or the “What Are You Listening To?” group, but this tune seems suddenly to be everywhere. KJAZ in Long Beach, CA, plays it but, more than that, it is popping up on phone hold queues everywhere.

It’s catchy enough, but I fear I will become as annoyed with it as I am with the Pachelbel Canon in D, another instance of an old tune that was catapulted into ubiquity.

If by some chance you haven’t heard Ramsey Lewis’s Les Fleur, before, enjoy it while you can.

Is there a tune you once loved that has become over-familiar and that you wish you could avoid either forever or for long enough that the absence of it makes your heart grow fond again?

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There are 29 comments.

  1. Bishop Wash Member

    TBA: It’s catchy enough, but I fear I will become as annoyed with it as I am with the Pachelbel Canon in D, another instance of an old tune that was catapulted into ubiquity.

    That’s because everything is Canon in D.

    • #1
    • August 15, 2019, at 8:54 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Bishop Wash Member

    I hadn’t heard it yet. Thanks for sharing. 

    • #2
    • August 15, 2019, at 9:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    I’m not tired of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” I had never heard “Les Fleur” to my knowledge. After a few seconds, I never wanted to hear it again. Hate those bright new instruments, such as the pianoforte.

    • #3
    • August 15, 2019, at 9:41 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. namlliT noD Member

    Very nice.

    But why on earth would a 1968 Ramsey Lewis song suddenly get popular 51 years later?

    Oh, I see… Minnie Riperton did a version of this in 1970. And Jordan Peele used that for the closing credits of his recent film “Us”. There ya go.

    Minnie Riperton is known for her vocal chops, her work with the band Rotary Connection, her hit song “Loving You”, and for being the mother of Maya Rudolph of Saturday Night Live.

    Here’s her version:

    I really like the lyrics in the chorus.

    Will somebody wear me to the fair?
    Will a lady pin me in her hair?
    Will a child find me by a stream?
    Kiss my petals and weave me through a dream.

    For all of these simple things and much more a flower was born
    It blooms to spread love and joy faith and hope to people forlorn

    Inside every man lives the seed of a flower
    If he looks within he finds beauty and power

    Ring all the bells sing and tell the people that be everywhere that the flower has come
    Light up the sky with your prayers of gladness and rejoice for the darkness is gone
    Throw off your fears let your heart beat freely at the sign that a new time is born

     

    • #4
    • August 15, 2019, at 10:45 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. thelonious Member

    Most songs on classic rock radio have reached a saturation point with me. Since Bohemian Rhapsody came out Queen has been obnoxiously over played on the oldies stations.

    • #5
    • August 16, 2019, at 4:04 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Stina Member

    I love Pachelbel in D and Fur Elise. Pachelbel sounds better than the wedding march, so I’ll take it.

    Fur Elise is typically the other one. I love that song. I found the serious issue with Fur Elise is that only the first movement has been thoroughly overplayed. I stumbled my way through learning the entirety of that piece. I’m still working on the third movement, 20 years later.

     

    • #6
    • August 16, 2019, at 7:08 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Snirtler Member

    What gets me out of lurking mode is having an excuse to post funny videos (audio, in this case). Here’s my favorite comedian John Finnemore on Pachelbel bemoaning the one piece that people would ever remember him for.

    https://youtu.be/aSK3pZiyV28

    • #7
    • August 16, 2019, at 7:08 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Quietpi Member

    Stina (View Comment):
    Pachelbel sounds better than the wedding march, so I’ll take it.

    There’s one thing I enjoy – well, that’s not the right word… get a certain perverse pleasure – out of hearing the wedding march played at, well, a wedding. Under my breath, to be sure: “People! Do you have any idea where that tune came from? The marriage of a beautiful young maiden and… a jackass!” (Mendelssohn’s incidental music for Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.) 

    And it seems that, for some reason, so often nowadays, with wedding vows written by the happy couple, there appears the phrase, “… as long as love shall last.” Well, that usually expires about the time that Party 1 gets tired of picking up Party 2’s smelly socks, the jackass!

    It also brings to mind the largest tip my barbershop quartet ever got. We happened upon a wedding rehearsal dinner in a big restaurant. We ended up singing, “Today.” We left them all blubbering in their dessert, and the father of the bride tipped us handsomely. People! Do you pay any attention to the lyrics? The guy’s a cad!

    So I’m happy to report that Mendelssohn did not show up at Mrs. Quietpi’s and my wedding. And I credit our 49 years of wedded bliss to the fact that I always pick up my own smelly socks.

    Okay, almost always.

    • #8
    • August 18, 2019, at 7:55 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. Quietpi Member

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Hate those bright new instruments, such as the pianoforte.

    Oh, come on! Lighten up, @arahant! I’ll grant you this, and this only: No Brandenburg Concerto should ever be played with piano instead of harpsichord. It just isn’t right.

    • #9
    • August 18, 2019, at 8:02 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Amy Schley Moderator

    When I worked at Dillards, almost twenty years ago now, the eight or so hours of the in store soundtrack had a section that was four different arrangements of the Canon back to back. One was traditional, one was brass, one had vocals, don’t remember the fourth. One hour every day listening to the same repetitive composition ….

    I refused to have it at my wedding. I down vote it every time Pandora tries to sneak it onto my music channels. I shut off the radio when the classical station plays it. A friend’s wedding is the only occasion when I won’t walk out of the room in protest. 

    hate that song. 

    • #10
    • August 18, 2019, at 9:31 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA Post author

    My understanding is that it was reintroduced into a non-resistant population during the 1980 film, Ordinary People and that the contagion spread through other media vectors until much of North America was suffering from the symptoms @amyschley describes. 

    My belief is that if we had just begun innoculation early, it woud probably not have mutated into a viral wedding march. 

    • #11
    • August 18, 2019, at 10:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. TBA Coolidge
    TBA Post author

    thelonious (View Comment):

    Most songs on classic rock radio have reached a saturation point with me. Since Bohemian Rhapsody came out Queen has been obnoxiously over played on the oldies stations.

     

     

     

     

    • #12
    • August 18, 2019, at 10:58 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. namlliT noD Member

    “Smoke on the Rising Stairway to Free Bird”

     

    • #13
    • August 18, 2019, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA Post author

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    “Smoke on the Rising Stairway to Free Bird”

     

    I can sort of hear it in my mind; Dun Dun Dunnnd she’s buying a free as a bird now. So thanks for that. 

    • #14
    • August 18, 2019, at 11:05 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. TBA Coolidge
    TBA Post author

    I think part of the problem is that a piece that is preeminent in a genre becomes predominant and then preemptive. This is particularly true when there is a genre you only listen to rarely. So if there is to be jazz it is Brubeck’s Take Five, Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy, Mangioni’s Feels So Good, or whatever it is that Kenny G. did that gets played too much. If dub step it’s, Bangarang;* metal, Enter Sandman… you get the idea. 

    Also, if you tell a disc jockey that you can never get enough of ‘X’, he’s gonna run tests to verify. 

    • #15
    • August 18, 2019, at 1:50 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. Percival Thatcher

    TBA (View Comment):
    whatever it is that Kenny G. did that gets played too much.

    Most of it.

    • #16
    • August 18, 2019, at 1:55 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Sandy Member

    Heard a bass and piano playing Cole Porter this afternoon. It would take me a long time to tire of that. I never tire of Dido’s Lament from Purcell’s opera, or Erbarme dich from the St. Matthews passion, and lots more. I thought I liked Ramsey Lewis, but listening to 10 seconds of Les Fleurs has changed my mind. By the way, is the title supposed to be ironic?

     

     

     

    • #17
    • August 18, 2019, at 6:50 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Quietpi Member

    I played in and directed my college pep band, which played at every home basketball game. The P.A. system was typical of the time (it had tube things that glowed in the dark), and they had a record player wired into the system. My guess is that it was a 45 RPM. The sound techs would of course switch on the equipment early so the system would warm up and stabilize before the game. The problem is that they only had one record. They would play it right up to the first whistle, and again between periods, etc.

    One. lousy. record.

    Over. And over. And over… and over… To this day when I think of basketball, the tune returns to haunt me.

    “Don’t you know that I hoid it on the grapevine. Not much longer would you be mine. Oh, I hoid it on the grapevine.”

    Now they would stop the record when the pep band was playing. The trick was to catch the break while the record player reset. But when we reached the end of a song, if we weren’t really quick in starting the next song, it would return. There were some positive things that came out of all this. We became desperate to expand our repertoire, to defeat that infernal beast, and it led us to doing more big band stuff.

    Eventually our salvation showed up in the form of a clarinetist. Now normally I rate the clarinet just a notch above the accordion. But this guy was a walking fake book. And he could no more hold his clarinet and not play it than a fish can not swim. He never stopped, except to take the downbeat of whatever the band was playing next. He never looked at the part, he just ad libbed, and it sounded great. And when we released the last chord, off he went on a new lick, without missing a beat. Oh, what a relief it was! The grapevine was pruned!

    And now I can’t stop it! Out damn grapevine! Out I say!

    Please! Somebody play Pachelbel’s Canon! I so need another ear worm!

    • #18
    • August 18, 2019, at 7:38 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. TBA Coolidge
    TBA Post author

    Sandy (View Comment):

    Heard a bass and piano playing Cole Porter this afternoon. It would take me a long time to tire of that. I never tire of Dido’s Lament from Purcell’s opera, or Erbarme dich from the St. Matthews passion, and lots more. I thought I liked Ramsey Lewis, but listening to 10 seconds of Les Fleurs has changed my mind. By the way, is the title supposed to be ironic?

    Title is definitely ironic – I like jazz best of all. 

    • #19
    • August 18, 2019, at 8:11 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA Post author

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    I played in and directed my college pep band, which played at every home basketball game. The P.A. system was typical of the time (it had tube things that glowed in the dark), and they had a record player wired into the system. My guess is that it was a 45 RPM. The sound techs would of course switch on the equipment early so the system would warm up and stabilize before the game. The problem is that they only had one record. They would play it right up to the first whistle, and again between periods, etc.

    One. lousy. record.

    Over. And over. And over… and over… To this day when I think of basketball, the tune returns to haunt me.

    “Don’t you know that I hoid it on the grapevine. Not much longer would you be mine. Oh, I hoid it on the grapevine.”

    Now they would stop the record when the pep band was playing. The trick was to catch the break while the record player reset. But when we reached the end of a song, if we weren’t really quick in starting the next song, it would return. There were some positive things that came out of all this. We became desperate to expand our repertoire, to defeat that infernal beast, and it led us to doing more big band stuff.

    Eventually our salvation showed up in the form of a clarinetist. Now normally I rate the clarinet just a notch above the accordion. But this guy was a walking fake book. And he could no more hold his clarinet and not play it than a fish can not swim. He never stopped, except to take the downbeat of whatever the band was playing next. He never looked at the part, he just ad libbed, and it sounded great. And when we released the last chord, off he went on a new lick, without missing a beat. Oh, what a relief it was! The grapevine was pruned!

    And now I can’t stop it! Out damn grapevine! Out I say!

    Please! Somebody play Pachelbel’s Canon! I so need another ear worm!

    I feel for you regarding; most people only got sick of that song-that-I-will-not-name-because-you’ve-suffered-enough once the California Raisins adopted it (use in commercials is another thing that can make a song unbearable – Pachelbel’s Canon was used by Taco Bell if I remember rightly). 

    • #20
    • August 18, 2019, at 8:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Caryn Member

    My favorite take on Pachelbel:

    • #21
    • August 18, 2019, at 10:08 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. kylez Member

    I’ve gotten tired of hearing several Queen songs, and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, which I first heard by Jeff Buckley. That version or Rufus Wainwright’s in Shrek are the basis for its frequent performance on talent shows etc.

    • #22
    • August 19, 2019, at 1:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Blue State Blues Member

    United Airlines has been using Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for many years now. They have ruined it for me forever.

    • #23
    • August 19, 2019, at 2:03 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Franco Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    thelonious (View Comment):

    Most songs on classic rock radio have reached a saturation point with me. Since Bohemian Rhapsody came out Queen has been obnoxiously over played on the oldies stations.

     

     

     

     

    And NOT ANY song from The Steve Miller Band!

    • #24
    • August 19, 2019, at 6:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Judge Mental Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    And NOT ANY song from The Steve Miller Band!

    But… but… some people call me Maurice.

    • #25
    • August 19, 2019, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. Robert E. Lee Member

    I wonder what old Pachelbel would’ve thought of this.

     

    • #26
    • August 19, 2019, at 5:02 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. TBA Coolidge
    TBA Post author

    Robert E. Lee (View Comment):

    I wonder what old Pachelbel would’ve thought of this.

     

    Pronounced it infernal and destroyed it I imagine. 

    But he would secretly write parts for it in his dreams. 

    • #27
    • August 19, 2019, at 5:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. Autistic License Member

    https://youtu.be/yflWG-e38OU https://youtu.be/yflWG-e38OU

    Pachelbel’s Loose Canon

     

    • #28
    • August 20, 2019, at 6:16 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. Robert E. Lee Member

    Autistic License (View Comment):

    https://youtu.be/yflWG-e38OU https://youtu.be/yflWG-e38OU

    Pachelbel’s Loose Canon

     

    I love it!

    • #29
    • August 20, 2019, at 3:05 PM PDT
    • 1 like