The Lady In Red

Growing up, we didn’t have non-stop anime to keep us entertained.  Instead we had to wait for Saturday morning cartoons, and most especially, we had to wait for the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show.

Back then, we didn’t realize that most of the songs used in those cartoons were from other movies and revues that dated back to when our grandparents were young adults.  We had no idea who the songwriters were or the recording artists and movie stars who were famous for these songs.  But we knew the songs, for better or worse.

When Bugs hit our TV screens in “Windblown Hare” he sang about being the rabbit in red.

The song was from the movie, “In Caliente” from 1935 and was a popular Busby Berkeley (29 November 1895 – 14 March 1976) number.  Busby was a Hollywood movie director and choreographer known for his elaborate musical production numbers the incorporated complex geometric patterns.  Interestingly enough, Busby never had a dance lesson a day in his life, and he was afraid that someone might find out and leak the information to the studios.  All that being said, he did a fine job with this song.

That same year, American singer, actor, songwriter, and trumpeter Louis Prima (7 December 1910 – 24 August 1978) and His New Orleans Gang recorded a version of the song which became a hit for him as well.  Louis was also an interesting character who grew up in New Orleans’ French Quarter and studied violin even though he longed to learn trumpet like his older brother, Leon.

Not to be outdone, American jazz bandleader and arranger Joe Haymes (10 February 1907 – 10 July 1964) and his orchestra recorded the song as a fox trot with Clifford Weston on vocals, and scored a hit with his version as well.  He had been an arranger for Ted Weems in 1928, but when 1930 hit, he struck out on his own.  Five years later, he enjoyed a modicum of success with recording like this one keeping his name in the limelight.

In 1940, Big Band Leader Xavier Cugat (1 January 1900 – 27 October 1990) and his orchestra recorded this catchy rumba for the RCA Victor label with vocals by Don Reld. Xavier Cugat was born in Spain, and grew up in Cuba, but as soon as he could, he moved to Los Angeles and worked at the Los Angeles Times newspaper as a cartoonist as he worked hard to assemble a band.  He began to make waves as the 1940s hit (he was nicknamed “The Rumba King”) and part of his success was due to this recording.

It was later recorded by Cuban-born American musician, actor and television producer Desi Arnaz (2 March 1917 — 2 December 1986).  The song was performed by Desi on the “I Love Lucy” show.  He had cut his teeth on the music business as a member of Xavier Cugat’s orchestra, and after leaving Xavier, his music launched the conga craze that swept America.

And this is yet another example of how a well-loved song made its way into Saturday morning cartoons decades ago.  Now aren’t you happy you took the time to listen to all those videos?

Elyse Bruce

Idle No More: Dear Cindy

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Republished in West Coast Native News HERE.

Reblogged by J. Halladay HERE.

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Two weeks ago, this message was sent to my blog by Cindy. Her comments were riddled with a number of incorrect comments and negative stereotypes that I felt needed to be addressed in a calm and rational way. Here’s an unedited screenshot of what Cindy wrote:

Idle No More_Cindy's Comments

Rather than put it through on the messages, I thought I’d address the inaccurate claims made by Cindy in a blog article.

Why don’t natives get jobs just like everyone else in Canada?

One of the most widespread myths is that First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples are lazy bums who don’t work for a living. The fact of the matter is that I’ve addressed this issue in previous blog articles. Not only do First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples have jobs like everyone else in Canada, many of them run their own successful businesses.

SUGGESTED READING

Idle No More: On Again, Off Again
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/idle-no-more-on-again-off-again/

Idle No More: Myths v Facts
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/idle-no-more-myths-v-facts/

It’s not your land, your ancestors either sold it or lost it.

Signing a treaty isn’t the same as selling land, and it’s not the same as being conquered in a war and losing it. The fact of the matter is that I’ve addressed this issue in previous blog articles as well.

SUGGESTED READING

Idle No More: What’s A Treaty?
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/idle-no-more-whats-a-treaty/

Idle No More: 250 Years Ago Today
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/idle-no-more-250-years-ago-today/

Idle No More: How To Steal Treaty Land
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/idle-no-more-how-to-steal-treaty-land/

You’re lucky to be getting anything from the government.

And this, too, has been addressed in previous blog articles. The Federal government are giving First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples money that belongs to First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples.

SUGGESTED READING

Idle No More: About That FN Trust
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/idle-no-more-about-that-fn-trust/

Idle No More: What This White Man Thinks Indians Deserve
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/idle-no-more-what-this-white-man-thinks-indians-deserve/

Idle No More: On Again, Off Again
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/idle-no-more-on-again-off-again/

Idle No More: Playing By The Same Assistance Rules
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/idle-no-more-playing-by-the-same-assistance-rules/

Idle No More: Who’s On The Hook For FN Programs
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/idle-no-more-whos-on-the-hook-for-fn-programs/

Idle No More: Starve Those Indians
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/idle-no-more-starve-those-indians/

Why should I go to work to pay your way?

The question should be this: Why should money being held in trust by the Federal government for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people pay the way of anyone who isn’t a First Nations, Metis, or Inuit person?

But aside from that, what many people fail to understand is that if someone is a Status Indian who lives and/or works off reserve (this accounts for more than half of all Status Indians in Canada), then that person is filing and paying Federal and provincial taxes.

If that person is a non-Status Indian, then that person is filing and paying Federal and provincial taxes.

And if that person is Metis or Inuit, that person is also considered a regular taxpayer, so that person is filing and paying Federal and provincial taxes.

So when a non-Native alleges that non-Natives pay the way for all First Nations, Metis, and Inuit persons by paying taxes, they are gravely mistaken in that assertion. First Nations, Metis, and Inuit work and pay taxes.

Just to be clear, Natives also pay HST, PST, and GST where applicable, just like non-Natives.

SUGGESTED READING

Idle No More: Show Me The Money
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/idle-no-more-show-me-the-money/

Idle No More: Myths v Facts
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/idle-no-more-myths-v-facts/

Idle No More: On Again, Off Again
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/idle-no-more-on-again-off-again/

Idle No More: Playing By The Same Assistance Rules
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/idle-no-more-playing-by-the-same-assistance-rules/

Idle No More: Who’s On The Hook For FN Programs
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/idle-no-more-whos-on-the-hook-for-fn-programs/

I’m a single mother and I have to support your asses. I don’t get anything near $10,000 a year …

Cindy claims she isn’t getting anything near $10,000 a year. However, she also isn’t in receipt of welfare otherwise as a single parent of at least one child, she would be getting more than $10,000 a year as the figures from Statistics Canada prove.

In 2012 single employable welfare recipients in Newfoundland and Labrador received a base minimum amount of nearly $11,000 CDN per year, and slightly more than $20,000 per a single parent with one child.

In 2012 single employable welfare recipients in Prince Edward Island received a base minimum amount of nearly $10,000 CDN per year and just a few dollars shy of $18,000 CDN per year for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in Nova Scotia received a base minimum amount of close to $8,000 CDN per year and $16,000 CDN per year for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in New Brunswick received a base minimum amount of nearly $7,000 CDN per year and slightly more than $16,000 CDN per year for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in Quebec received a base minimum amount of just over $8,000 CDN per year and four dollars short of $19,000 CDN per year for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in Ontario received a base minimum amount of just over $8,000 CDN per year and just over $18,000 CDN per year for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in Manitoba received a base minimum amount of $7,000 CDN per year and $15,000 CDN per year for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in Saskatchewan received a base minimum amount of a hundred dollars shy of $9,000 CDN and under $18,500 CDN for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in Alberta received a base minimum amount of just over $7,500 CDN and almost $16,500 for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in British Columbia received a base minimum amount of almost $8,000 CDN per year and $17,500 CDN for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in the Yukon received a base minimum amount of just over $16,000 CDN and slightly more than $26,000 CDN for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in the Northwest Territories received a base minimum amount of just almost $17,500 CDN and over $26,500 for a single parent with one child.

In 2012, single employable welfare recipients in Nunavut received a base minimum amount of $10,000 CDN and $15,000 CDN for a single parent with one child.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2013 the poverty level for one person was set at just dollars below $13,000 CDN in rural areas and slightly under $20,000 CDN in metropolitan centers per year. A single parent with one child would have to be living on just under $16,000 CDN in rural areas and slightly more than $24,000 CDN in metropolitan centers per year.

Since Cindy claims she isn’t getting even $10,000 per year (below the poverty level for a single parent with one child), she should strongly consider applying for welfare in the province in which she and her child/ren live.

Additionally, since Cindy claims she isn’t getting even $10,000 per year, she isn’t paying income tax since she doesn’t have sufficient income. Of course, that information is from government sources as well as tax preparers such as H&R Block and tax programs such as TurboTax. That’s right, all Canadians need to earn enough money to pay taxes, otherwise they pay no taxes. When you live under the poverty level, you don’t pay taxes.

In fact, if she does her taxes, chances are between tax credits and personal exemption amounts (as well as equivalent-to-spouse exemption amounts), she’s getting a tax refund.

What this means is that Cindy isn’t supporting anyone else, never mind the “asses” of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples.

No one is stopping you from getting educated, getting a job, and being part of society just like anyone else.

Cindy seems to be implying that First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples are uneducated, unemployed, and set apart from non-Indigenous society, and that First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples have always been uneducated, unemployed, and set apart from non-Indigenous society. The reality of the situation is that education doesn’t always come out of another culture’s textbooks, unemployment is something that can happen to anyone, and when a group oppresses another group, the oppressor is responsible for setting people apart.

The myth of the lazy Indian has been around for generations but it’s far from the truth.

SUGGESTED READING

Idle No More: The Myth Of The Lazy Indian (Part 1)
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/idle-no-more-the-myth-of-the-lazy-indian-part-1/

Idle No More: The Myth Of The Lazy Indian (Part 2)
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/idle-no-more-the-myth-of-the-lazy-indian-part-2/

Idle No More: On Again, Off Again
https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/idle-no-more-on-again-off-again/

Final Note

So you see, Cindy – and all the Cindy’s of the world – your views are based on misinformation, disinformation, myths, and stereotypes. Perhaps if you educated yourself on the facts and realities of Indigenous peoples, you wouldn’t have the negative attitude your comment to this blog so clearly demonstrates.

Elyse Bruce

Pirates, Parrots, and Poop Decks

Many of us grew up hearing, reading, or watching tales of the exploits of pirates of days of yore. They managed to stay out of sight on the bright blue seas, waiting for a ship to pass so they could wreak havoc and strike fear in the hearts of good men, and women of virtue.

They made men walk the plank when they captured a ship, and the captain always carried a parrot on his shoulder as a trusty companion to guard their secrets. They were black-hearted rogues and scamps whose aim in life was to make travelers on the open waters fear for their lives and their treasures.

Yes, we know all about pirates and the pirate life from books like Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” and Captain Crunch television ads. And believe it or not, business is sometimes a kindred spirit with pirate ways of old.

Hostile Takeovers

When pirates boarded and took control of a ship at sea, the captain offered the captured crew the opportunity to sign on with him as a pirate. This, of course, appealed to the crew who were used to a life of insufficient pay, unrealistic work expectations, rotting rations, and more.

As a member of the pirate’s crew (even though they were new recruits), the new crew members shared equally in whatever was plundered from the captured vessels. In exchange for this, all they had to do was sell out their morals and ethics. If a crew member refused to join the pirate crew, he was welcome to take his chances in the ocean miles away from land.

Walking The Plank

Pirates were interested in plunder and treasures. They weren’t terribly interested in murder, and only killed when they found themselves in a “kill or be killed” situation.

In fact, they were highly unlikely to increase their crew size (and garner some crewmen with enviable skills) if they made the crew walk the plank every time they overtook a ship. After all, even back then, time was money, and therefore the time required to set up a plank and to neatly march crew members down the plank into the water to their deaths was a poor use of their time.

If you were going to dump some crew members, that’s what you did: You threw them overboard without any pomp or ceremony.   While it’s true that everyone in a while, they did make some crew members walk the plank, it was usually done purely for amusement’s sake and when it was known that there was time to waste on the extravaganza.

And truth be told, if pirates made a habit of making the crew walk the plank, honest crews weren’t apt to surrender easily to the pirates. They’d fight to save their lives.

But if they knew that the worst they could expect was to either join the pirate crew or be thrown overboard, they rarely put up much of a fight. After all, the ship they were defending wasn’t theirs, and they didn’t enjoy an equal share in the profits of that ship.

Pirate Code of Conduct

Contrary to what one might think, pirates ran a democracy for the most part, with a workman’s compensation plan in place for those who became debilitated in the line of work.

The Code of Conduct that was part of Black Bart Roberts’ ship included these rules:

  1. Every man had a vote in affairs of the moment;
  2. Every man had an equal title to the fresh provisions and strong liquors;
  3. Every man had an equal share in all treasures plundered;
  4. Every man had an opportunity to receive certain items above and beyond their proper share under specific circumstances (a bonus, if you will) which sometimes included a new set of clothes;
  5. Gambling for money was not allowed;
  6. Lights and candles were out by eight o’clock at night, however, the crew could remain on the open deck if they were drinking.
  7. All weapons were to be kept in good working order;
  8. Physical fights were not permitted on board (in the workplace) but instead were allowed on shore (their form of mediation);
  9. Musicians were allowed to rest on Sundays, but were otherwise expected to perform their duties, day or night, on the other six days of the week without exception; and
  10. Any man who breached the Code of Conduct would be subject to punishment which might include being marooned on the next available island (suspension without pay).

A Pirate And His Parrot

Parrots poop … a lot. According to parrot experts, they poop every 10 to 30 minutes.   What this means is that pirate captains were unlikely to be walking around with a poop factory on their shoulders.

What parrots were good for was quick money when needed as the exotic pet trade was healthy in Europe during the heyday of pirates on the Seven Seas. The upper class was willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money for parrots. This meant that parrots made for some of the best bribes when dealing with disreputable government officials looking to make money on the side from European noblemen and noblewomen desperate to own a healthy, colorful parrot.

Pirates And Their CEO’s

In the case of Black Bart Roberts (one of the most successful pirates known who captured nearly 500 ships between 1719 and 1722), he was the result of a hostile takeover of a merchant ship. His navigational skills, however, set him apart from others on the ship (a very valuable resource at the time), and within a short period of time, he was voted to be captain of the ship by the rest of the crew.

Before taking on the role of CEO of the ship, Roberts struggled with his conscience, and eventually came to the conclusion that living the honest life of a merchant seaman was a pale comparison to a pirate’s life, even if it was a short one. With that decision under his belt, he became the famous Black Bart — loved by his crew, feared by all others.

Pirates and Equal Rights

Although most pirates refused to have women and boys on board, it was the illustrious Calico Jack Rackham who was responsible for the advancement of both Anne Bonny and Mary Read who rose through the ranks as female pirates of note.   But just because there’s what appears to be equality on a pirate ship, don’t be fooled into thinking that equality exists on that pirate ship. When Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Calico Jack Rackham, and the crew were arrested, it was only the men who were hanged.

Final Note From The Poop Deck

Doing business today is no different now than back in the day of pirates. There are ethical business and unethical businesses. Sometimes there are hostile takeovers, and sometimes businesses will engage in secondary business dealings as a way to protect the interests of the primary business.

These days pirates watch for their competitors’ vulnerabilities so they can march into their boardrooms and make off with the booty someone else has gathered, whether it’s booty as in “something gained or won” or booty as in “valuable stolen goods seized after a battle.”

What each business owner and entrepreneur has to ask themselves is this: What kind of ship are you running?

Elyse Bruce

Let No Man Put Asunder

SB 1306, authored by Senator Mark Leno, took effect in January of this year and replaced the terms “husband” and “wife” with gender-neutral language.  This was done as a way to recognize all married couples in California, and to accommodate the partners of same-sex marriages.

While the logic for this move is easy to follow, it’s unfortunate that society seems to have little knowledge or understanding as to where the terms “husband and wife” or “man and wife” originated.

Back in the day — and I mean way back in the day — the word man meant a male or female human being.  The word was found in many languages including, but not limited to, Old Saxon, Old German, Old Norse, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, and other languages.  A variation of the word was also found in Sanskrit as manuh and in Avestan as manu.

It’s easy to see, however, that if a male or a female human being was referred to as a man, that it could cause considerable confusion, especially in light of the fact that female human beings were considered chattels in marriage.

And so, by the 1300s, it was determined that to differentiate between the male human being and the female human being, a wer (or were) was a man and a wif (or wife) was a woman.  To be wed meant two persons were recognized as a couple building a life together.  And wiving referred to the marriage specifically.

Interestingly enough, however, in the 1300s, the law recognized two persons as being wed, but did not necessarily mean a were and a wife in the traditional sense.  From this came the word wifman which made crystal clear that the human being in question was female.  In time, the f fell silent and she was known as a wiman and where many a wiman gathered, they were known as wimans.  It wasn’t long before the s fell silent as well, and many females were called women, pronounced as it’s currently pronounced.

Shortly thereafter, the word husband became part of the English language and it referred to the male head of a household.  The word was from the Old Norse word husbondi which meant master of the house.

The wife was understood to be the passive partner of the husband, and since most couples were composed of a were and a wife, in heterosexual marriages, the male was the husband and the female, being a chattel, was the wife (the passive partner).

Over the years, the marriage vows pronounced couples “man and wife” or “husband and wife” but this was not done to the exclusion of those who were same-sex couples.  It was announced this way to identify who the head of the household would be which, of course, did away with the awkwardness of possibly offending the couple by asking which was the husband and which was the wife.

By 1883, British society understood that the passive partner of a homosexual couple was to be called the wife, and very few people in society created a scene over this fact.  It was what it was.

Knowing this, perhaps now people will realize that the uproar over changing the language in a state law was wholly unnecessary.  The original terms were neither sexist nor discriminatory.  They were, by all historical accounts, inclusive and always have been.

In other words, state marriages have, by definition, been misinterpreted by lawmakers over the years.  A perusal of the laws as applied in 13th century England makes this clear.  The terms “husband and wife” or “man and wife” always have been inclusive, not exclusive.

Now that the language is being sanitized and neutralized, the concern will once again arise about how one will know who the head of the household is and who is the passive partner.  And all this will open up a whole new can of worms, and cause far more problems than SB 1306 was hoped to have solved.

Elyse Bruce

Firewalk Or Cakewalk

There are many ways to problem solve with a customer or a client.  Some are fear based, and some are faith based.  Still others are common sense based while some are science based.  Of all the ways to approach a problem in search of a solution, the firewalk philosophy and the cakewalk philosophy are two sides of the same coin.

What’s the firewalk philosophy?

The firewalk philosophy is that what you’re about to go through will be an initiation of sorts — one that will take a great deal of effort on your part, and faith in your mentor or guru to help you make your way through the death-defying act of firewalking.  You cannot do a firewalk without first learning the secrets from your mentor or guru, and only then, will you be ready to attempt the firewalk.  If you fail in learning the lesson of firewalking from your mentor or guru, you will suffer the painful consequences.

How to survive a firewalk

The trick to walking on burning coals or hot embers and not blistering your feet is to make sure they’re wet before you start that walk.  Some people can accomplish this naturally when the bottom of their feet perspire, while others may dip their feet in water before attempting the firewalk.  And there’s a term for this; it’s called the leidenfrost effect.

The humidity on the underside of your feet will create two barriers:  first, it will create a moisture barrier that will evaporate, thereby creating a protective gas layer as a result.  Yes, water will result in poor thermal conduction and scientifically speaking, it’s a fact that water vapor has a low heat capacity.

You’ve probably noticed that most firewalks have a visible path for walkers to follow.  That’s because the path is usually raked before people attempt the walk.

By raking the coals, the visual is more dramatic (because of all that orange and red showing through) but the reality is that cold charcoal is being raked overtop those screaming hot embers.

The other bonus to raking a path is that it packs everything down which, in turn, keeps those firewalkers from sinking into those red-hot embers.  It’s a kind of temporary landing pad with a protective barrier all its own that is almost imperceivable to spectators taking in the impressive firewalk.

The other component to this is to walk quickly, but not to run or hard-step.  The lighter a firewalker is on his or her feet, the less chance embers have of sticking to their feet or getting caught between their toes.

In other words, by combining two barriers between your feet and the hot coals and embers, walking very quickly across the coals or embers which results in minimal contact between your feet and the coals or embers, and positive reinforcement, it’s not impossible to complete a firewalk and emerge with no blisters on the bottom of your feet.

The magic associated with a firewalk

The mystics and New Age gurus will wax poetic about firewalking, but the bottom line is that any physics teacher worth his salt will tell you there’s nothing magical about the feat.

You’re probably wonder at this point why I’m talking about firewalkers and firewalking on this article.  The theatrics and science behind firewalkers and firewalking is a technique that some businesses and entrepreneurs use to draw customers and potential customers in.

Some businesses and entrepreneurs effectively convince their customers and potential customers that they can get them through the fire-and-brimstone situation they’re faced with, and deliver them safely to the other side of their problem.  In other words, they prey on the natural fears of the customer or potential customer with whom they are interacting.

Reframe the firewalk

Rather than catastrophize a customer or potential customer’s situation by way of convincing them that a firewalk is needed, reframe the same situation so it becomes a cakewalk (as in a surprisingly easy task to accomplish).

What’s the cakewalk philosophy?

The cakewalk philosophy is based in the science of baking cakes.  Cakes usually bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for about half an hour before slipping on oven mitts and taking the pan (or pans) out of the oven.  The oven mitts protect you from the hot metal baking pan (or pans).

However, while the cake is cooling, you can draw your fingers across the top of the cake without blistering your fingers … even when you’ve just pulled out of the oven where, of course, everything inside the oven is also 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In other words, everything from the pan to the inside of the oven will burn you, but when you drawn your fingers across the top of the cake — because you do it lightly and don’t break the crust and because you do it quickly — you come away from the experience unscathed and looking forward to tasting that first morsel when it’s ready to be eaten.

Final Note

Sometimes a firewalk is what’s needed, in which case it’s important to lay out the science of what you’re suggesting.  Sometimes a cakewalk is what’s needed, in which case it’s equally important to lay out the science of what you’re suggesting.

What customers and clients don’t need are fear and intimidation and mysticism guiding their final decisions in business.

Elyse Bruce

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Rockin’ The Gregorian Chant

In a writers’ group on Facebook, an author commented that any piece of music can be covered in any style of music because that’s the way music is.  While I don’t disagree that many pieces of music can be arranged in any number of genres, I also disagree that any piece of music can be covered in any style of music.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a way to take a rap song and re-arrange it to be a piece in the style of Rimsky-Korsakov or Claude Debussy — not because rap is bad or because classical music is superior.  It’s because the styles don’t mesh with each other on any level (not even tenuously).

Likewise you’d be hard-pressed to find a way to take Gregorian chant and have it covered well by a punk rock band — not because Gregorian chant is religious or because punk rock is anti-establishment.  It’s because, once again, the styles don’t mesh with each other on any level (not even tenuously).  That’s right, you’re probably not going to find Grunge Gregorian out there.  This is about as close you’ll get to that mash-up.

And there’s no way that spoken word can be re-arranged to fit a melodic musical style because spoken word, although a musical genre, is spoken word.  How about Decibal (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) Drag Racing which, believe it or not, is considered a sub-genre under Avant Garde music?  Is it possible to turn Decibal (still not a spelling mistake) Drag Racing music into any other style and have people say, “Oh yes, that’s Decibal Drag Racing music in the style of the Beatles?”

In the discussion, the characters were members of a punk band as a sub-plot to the sci-fi story synopsis.  Realistically speaking, they were actually a pop-punk band which isn’t the same thing as being a punk rock band.

The Ramones, Sid Vicious, The Clash … that’s who people think of when they read punk rock band.  They think of kids of blue-collar parents who are anti-establishment.  And we all know that true punk rock is what led to grunge music in the 90s.

But no matter what genre or genres of music you enjoy, it’s a given that not every genre can be reframed into every style of music available.

In the meantime, enjoy R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” done in the style of Gregorian Chant.

And to clear the palate, here’s the original video of that same song.

Until next Sunday, dear readers, Happy Canada’s Day (to my Canadian friends) and Happy 4th of July (to my American friends).

Elyse Bruce

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