Monday, November 21, 2011
It came back to me last evening: the first song I ever paid attention to.
I couldn't have been more than three when my brother put a towel on his head to denote the long locks of that particular eighties crooner.
More than the song, I remember my brother's giddy song-and-dance performance. In any case, I recalled it just yesterday, but it came in flickers.
Something about dancing; he wanted to dance; and something about a baby.
The melody was faint and slightly off-kilter, but it worked its way towards me. I was patient; it would arrive eventually. Memories such as those never entirely fade away, and it was in there, I was certain.
And then Bernie Nolan started to sing at me.
"I'm in the moooood for dancing," she veritably warbled, with a whole-body spin and a disco grin.
What on earth? "Get out of here," I hissed at her. "I'm trying to think of something."
One trouble was that now I could only think of The Nolan Sisters chirping "I'm In the Mood For Dancing."
The other trouble was that she didn't get out, and she instead got louder and louder and more insistent.
My fellow. I had to focus on my fellow. He wanted to dance. That was something to start with.
Wait just one moment, now: was that Ireland's very own Daniel O' Donnell jiving next to Bernie Nolan? It was, and he was straining to be louder than her.
"I just wanna dance with you," he swished.
Bernie's face was like thunder on account of the intrusion- I knew how she felt- but it made her only the louder.
"No, no," I pleaded with the pair of them. "Neither of you are what I was looking for. You're singing about dancing, but it's not the right one. Go away, please."
Daniel tossed his microphone back and forth from one hand to the other, hoping, I presumed, to win me over, but I was getting agitated.
"Hang on," shrieked Bernie, "is that Whitney Houston in the corner?"
We all looked, and sure enough, Whitney came skating into the room belting out "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
To my surprise, she hushed for a moment, smirked at me.
"What was it you were looking for?"
I sighed, doubtful she could or would assist me.
"I was trying to think of a song I used to know. Something about... about... something beginning with D, anyway."
My voice trickled away. I knew I was beaten.
"Diva?" suggested Whitney.
"Donegal," offered Daniel. "My own homeland."
"She means Denise, the other Nolan sister," said Bernie, shaking her head at the pair of them. Donegal, indeed."
"Forget it," I said. "Forget the lot of you. You're mean and you're trying to trick me."
Then, lo and behold, there was my brother on the scene, younger than he'd been lately, complete with fluffy towel on his head.
He sang, then, and Bernie, Daniel and Whitney mercifully melted away. I slapped my forehead.
"I got it wrong," I moaned. "I could have spared myself the trouble of listening to those three."
My brother kept dancing.
"You could have," he nodded and bopped. "If you'd only known."
See, Eddy Grant, back in 1982, didn't actually want to dance at all. That was the whole point of his tune, that he simply didn't want to dance with his baby no more. Still, it's good I remembered it.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 1:42 PM