Blogging 104: Let’s Stay Together…

Let me say that since,
Since we’ve been together,
Loving you forever,
Is all I need,
Let me be the one you come running to,
I’ll never be untrue,
Oh baby let’s, let’s stay together,
Loving you whether, whether,
Times are good or bad, happy or sad…

I have a mini hi-fi, which, for those of you younglings who have never seen a hi-fi with a tape deck, is one of those compact thingis that can fit in your handbag, minus speakers of course (unless you’re one of those misguided chicks who carries a Friday Funga sized bag).  Being the complete technophobe I am, I have a 1-disc changer…hang on, can you call it a changer when it only plays the one disc?…I was saying, I have a 1-disc changer, which means that the last CD I played today will probably be the first CD I play tomorrow, and since I wrote the shag me now post, Tina Turner has been stuck in the player on repeat, in part because I haven’t had too much time to play much of anything this past week, but mostly because every time I think of taking it out, I get it into my head to play it again, just one more time.

Slight detour, this explains why I’ve felt the need to wear skirts to work this week, you can’t channel Tina without the legs and heels, no?  I’ve been strutting around the city make-believing like I’m in a music video, and all because I’m too lazy to change the damn CD?  Who knew?  And there you have it, yet another useless tip on wardrobe choices for the discerning woman looking to get her groovy walk on.  Further detour, my dear City Council of Nairobi, can you please do something about the cracked pavements in the CBD?  It’s hard for a girl strut confidently when she’s forced to weave drunkenly to avoid the numerous, and I am not using this term lightly, pitfalls scattered all over the place.  I’m just saying, I nearly broke my ankle on Wednesday.  Detour over, back to the song…

Today’s track is Tina Turner’s cover of Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’, the song I always thought would be my wedding song (the one they play for the first dance), at least I did until my ex played it at his wedding and now I can’t use it, bloody song stealing bastard, but that’s a story for another day.  My earliest recollection of this song is from around 1986, it was on some random collection of many videos (this was back in the days of VHS), no doubt dubbed by the would-be pirate neighbour I’m guessing, although truth be told I don’t remember where the tape came from, I just remember watching it.  My elder siblings were caught up in the then hit music of Levert (Casanova) and Mac Band (Roses are red), such like funky tunes, but being the uncoordinated blob/basketball with an afro I was, this song was more my style, slow, but not too slow, therefore easier to dance, and sing, along to.  To this day I can still recall the dress she had on and how she swayed oh so seductively as she sung…if you’ve watched Tina you just smiled, the woman can sway like no other…all I wanted at that point was to get up on that stage and sway with her.  What?  I was 9 years old, I was bloody impressionable, and I couldn’t dance all that well so swaying was pretty much the only option open to me.  Don’t worry, I grew up and found rhythm.  No really, I did, she says, looking away all innocent like…

I’m, I’m so in love with you,
Whatever you want to do,
It’s all right with me…
Let me be the one you come running to,
I’ll never be untrue,
Oh baby let’s, let’s stay together,
Loving you whether, whether,
Times are good or bad, happy or sad…

Folks, it would appear that blogging has a shelf life, after year one things start to slow down, and if you’re lucky enough to make it to year two then you’ve earned the right to post once a quarter.  Why is that?  What is it about blogging that makes it so unsustainable?  Is it because most bloggers, myself included, are not writers, at least not in the professional sense, and therefore disinclined to spend their valuable time in service of this most demanding hobby?  And if that’s the case then you’d assume that the buggers who write for a living, they with ‘the real talent’, would be the ones with long running blogs, no?  No.  Seems even they call it quits, eventually.  Don’t fret my pet, I’m not going anywhere just yet, but that’s only because I’m not a very serious person.  And I still have no cat.  Or man/housemate.  No doubt when I get something else to distract me, I shall start giving you the run-around, but until then I’m afraid you’re stuck with me (insert evil laugh, nay, cackle, here…).

I came to this party quite late, seemingly well after the hey-days of…who were the famous bloggers back in the day?  Hell, I got online long after ‘sue da poco’ made being an educated ho a novelty.  Now, the good thing about being last to the party is that I keep discovering new blogs all the time, which means I constantly have new reading material, which you know I love.  The problem is, most of the ‘new’ blogs I unearth are in fact old blogs, dead or dying off, which then means that once I’ve caught up, there’s nothing more to read, and that’s not good.  Imagine stumbling across the blog equivalent of Asterix, or Chimamanda if that’s more your style, and then a few minutes later you realise that there are only 10 pages in the damn book…  It’s bloody heartbreaking is what it is.  I know, this blogging racket isn’t a paying job, but perhaps for some of these long lost buggers, perhaps it should be, no?

If I wasn’t a blogger, this would be a whiny post about how these selfish buggers just stop writing when they feel like without giving a second thought to their mafans, but I am a blogger so I know better.  I get that you cant keep doing this shit indefinitely, that more often than not blogging is just the first step on a journey of self discovery, a journey that usually continues away from the keyboard, out in the real world, but that doesn’t make it any easier to come to terms with the final instalment of the series, does it?  Fortunately, especially for late comers like me, the beauty of blogging is that you can never tell what impact you have and what legacy you leave behind; whose fingers you inspire to type up thoughts of their own, if only because they’re tired of waiting for you to resolve your bar angst; whose mornings you’ll make with embarrassing tales of new camera phones and ostriches; whose battered hearts you’ll soothe with the unexpected advice to put on a yellow sun dress, paired with a thick belt; whose love of fiction you will reignite with a short story so brilliantly written; whose civic pride you’ll trigger with calls for a loose hour of nudity to fight the terrorist neighbours…

Which brings me back to the soundtrack for today.

By now you’ve realised I have a certain disdain for covers, especially when I love the original, but this has to be one of the most brilliant covers of an Al Green track I have ever heard.  Hell, its so good The Rev covered Ms Turner’s cover of his own damn song.  Now I didn’t hear the original until more than a decade later, but by then it was too late.  Its not that I don’t like the original, my love for The Rev is only exceeded by my love for Freddie Jackson, and even then, only just.  Thing is, despite the fact that I know in my mind that the two songs are in fact one and the same, to my ear they’re not, to my ear, and I presume my soul, these two songs are night and day, the only thing they have in common is the lyrics.  I can’t explain it, but Tina takes me back to a quiet childhood and gets me swaying, while The Rev takes me back to a couple of years ago and a long boozy dinner with an old friend.  The mind is a strange thing, no?

The point to my rambling is this.  You know how they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery?  Its not.  The greatest form of flattery is taking something magnificent and making it your fabulous own, simultaneously paying homage to those that came before and leaving something behind, for those that will come after.

Why, oh tell me, why do people break up,
Then turn around and make up,
I just can’t see…
You’ll never do that to me, would you babe,
‘Cause being around you is all I see,
So baby let’s, we outta stay together,
Loving you whether, whether,
Times are good or bad, happy or sad…