May 4 2010

Europa and the Pirate Twins

Currently, I’m in the midst of a large book which I probably won’t finish until sometime in June. Rather than let this fabulous blog languish until then, I’ve decided to begin something new. Of all the categories I initially proposed to write about, “Music” has been the most neglected. So here then, is the first entry of Dennis’ Favorite Songs. The crowd goes… well, let’s face it… there’s no crowds here, so I will bask in the warm glow of the internet’s indifference. Ahhh… sweet anonymity.

I originally toyed with the idea of creating a Top 10 favorite songs list but the more I wrestled with it, the more I was convinced that it couldn’t be done. I like too many songs. Instead, I’m going to write about those songs that I’ve given a 5-stars rating in iTunes. What does 5-stars mean? I give 3-stars to songs that I don’t mind listening to. I give 4-stars to songs that I enjoy (would listen to more than once, in a sitting). I give 5-stars to songs that stand out, for one or more reasons. These might be particularly evocative, reminding me of some time or place in my past. They might be very upbeat, with a reliable track-record of being able to lift me from whatever funk I might be in. They might be terribly downbeat, with the ability to bring me back to center when jumping around just doesn’t seem appropriate. Whatever personal or magical reason it might be, some songs just overshadow the rest. For me, Thomas Dolby‘s 1983 hit “Europa and the Pirate Twins” is one of those songs.

I’m not a huge fan of pop music. Growing up in the Eighties, I promised myself I wouldn’t look back in the years to follow and get all nostalgic about the crap spilling out of the radio and MTV. That being said, not everything was crap. “Europa and the Pirate Twins” hit a chord with me early on. Here was a song about childhood friends growing-up, going their separate ways, and never being able to reclaim the imaginative adventures they once shared as children. To me, this was a song about the death of youth’s insouciance. I used to listen to it again and again on my Walkman as I mowed the backyard, reluctant to let go of the only life I’d known, and terrified that my imagination would wither with age. Were my fears justified? In some ways, yes. In other respects, I can’t remember a time when I was carefree. At least I still have my friends.

“We swore a vow that day: We’ll be the Pirate Twins again…”

5 out of 5