30 Day Music Challenge Day 21: Roxanne (Sting and The Police), Hey Jude (The Beatles)

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In an effort to drum up some posting after leaving this blog essentially dormant for, well, too long… here’s me taking the 30 Day Music Challenge. It’s spreading well enough that it’s still interesting, and it’s relevant enough to my interests that it’s worth pursuing. I love music, and I’ve come to associate certain songs with certain parts of my life, and it’s a fun opportunity to talk about some well-remembered songs.

Day 21 is “a song with a person’s name in the title”, and those of you who KNEW I’d pick “Roxanne” by (Sting and) The Police can now claim your betting winnings. Even as a straightforward poem it’s solid, because the persona/speaker is so conflicted and obliviously possessive it’s fascinating. (The Moulin Rouge tango takes it to a whole other level.) And it’s just funky!

I’m also picking The Beatles’ Hey Jude, partly because it’s awesome and partly to mess with you and cost you your betting winnings. Hey Jude is an iconic song, no doubt about it — but while most (including myself) tend to get caught up in the super-catchy “na na na NANANANA” bridge-to-forever, the lyrics themselves are quite meaningful. While I talk a lot about wonderful, poetic imagery in things like Sky Blue and Black, if you’ve followed this series of posts at all you’ve seen me praise simple but striking lyrics as well. This is a fairly straightforward song, as were many Beatles songs, but it’s hard not to appreciate how there’s just enough room for interpretation in what “make it better” means — for a sad song, for a stalled relationship, for being Jude.

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