Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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March 10, 2006
eternal recurrence begins at the hop

Eli at the very interesting MultiMedium blog recently testified about a breakthrough moment he experienced regarding a great old pop record:

I just realized that the entire plot of the song, "Over And Over Again" by The Dave Clark Five can be summed up as, "I went to a really crowded dance. I saw this really cute girl and asked her out, but she said she was waiting for her boyfriend."
Some addled fool then added a comment thereto of sufficient pointlessness that it belongs here, insofar as it indirectly connects with TiR's recurring fascination with the use of bordeom as an artistic strategy, art in which "nothing happens," or, as some might classify it, "minimalism":

To play tongue-in-cheek pedantic rockcrit: The key parts of the DC5 version are really "about" time.

The first verse is his remembering a past in which he was anticipating the future, i.e., what a "drag" the dance was going to be. Then time gets stuck, he gets caught in a lyrical loop and mental stutter and tells us AGAIN and AGAIN about his prophecy.

The last verse anticipates a future which never arrives ("her steady date"), and the present moment gets stuck and suspended again, this time eternally, as she through the narrator tells us AGAIN and AGAIN how she will wait, wait, wait and wait.

The background vocals borrow the 2-note ascending "moan" of Hank Ballard's lascivious "Work With Me Annie," as if to subliminally suggest that the plot is also about deferred gratification and teenage lust.

The song is like "No Exit" crossed with "Waiting for Godot," but raunchier. An unsung (no pun intended) masterpiece of midcentury modernism!

Seriously though, the wonders of Usenet teach us that the DC5's 1965 verion covered a 1958 version by Bobby Day (flipside of "Rockin' Robin"), that had a concluding verse that brought a faint hope of narrative closure to the plot:

"How my poor heart was broken, all my life where had she been? But I'll try over and over and over and over again.
I'll try over and over and over and over again.
I will try over and over and over and over again."