# # Tom & Jerry and The Bellamy Brothers (song of the week)

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

Tom & Jerry and The Bellamy Brothers (song of the week)

I feel like I am in a time warp.

A little more than 12 months ago, I was starting out as the creative director for a perfect-bound, glossy-paper magazine; a salaried professional.

Sure, the magazine was ridiculously small but we produced a product that made people think we were a lot larger than we were. The quality of the paper, the pictures, the subject matter, the clean layout; surely it was upward for both myself and the magazine.

Heh heh … right.

This morning I got up and, after my traditional two hour wake up of coffee, internet, shower, and breakfast, I slipped into my white pants, white shirt, black belt, black shoes, black coat, black cap, and headed out to my coated with a blanket of white, black truck: time to go to work.

With these trappings I could be part of a performance art ensemble, or perhaps an attendant at a sanatorium – wouldn’t that be turning things on their head? – but I am now a baker, a part-time, nearly minimum-wage trainee at a national grocery store chain. It’s a job I could’ve snagged straight out of school. High school.

Now, I’ve always been a slacker, lagging sullenly behind most everyone else my age not from lack of brains but application, far more interested in the life of my mind than the workaday world but now, when my peers are well into their careers, it is particularly painful and embarrassing to suddenly find myself thrust back down to the bottom of the barrel after having so recently attained a level of professional success and satisfaction that sat well not only with the rest of the world’s expectations but also myself.

Too good to last? Nah – just simple luck of the draw. If I learned anything from this it is that I can only rely upon one constant in this life, and that’s me. Thus, if I hope to get anywhere like that again, I shall have to look to me and no one else and, even if the going is tough, the climb back up slow, I’ll have no one else to blame if I fail.

So, outside of the wound to my pride, this shift isn’t all bad. The job is a steady supplement to the freelance clientele I’m growing and thus helps to pay the bills. I like my coworkers well enough and enjoy the smell and the feel of most of the doughs: sour, french, seven-grain, potato, and more. The work is brisk and constant enough to make the day go quickly and, after a year of sitting behind the computer, doing light physical labor is just what the doctor ordered, if continually heaving 50 pound sacks of flour and wrestling obstinate wads of sodden dough the size of my chest out of a three-foot deep mixing bowl can be considered “light.”

Further, and despite the reliability of the seething mass of insatiable humanity we call “customers,” things do change and I seem to learn something new every day. For example, I now know that my naked fist grasps approximately 10 ounces of freshly made and gloriously viscous Tom & Jerry batter per grab but that, in order to get it into the individual containers without making too much of a mess, I’m better off sticking (quite literally) with around 8 ounces at first and then going back for more. This is the kind of thing you can only learn while hunkered over a mixing bowl the size of a diver’s helmet filled with spiced meringue, a towering stack of transparent, 10 ounce tubs at your side.

But there are certain things – things like time clocks and safety posters and petty, blanket infringements upon your personal liberties – that those who’ve never had the pleasure of working for a corporation, government entity, or like organization can imagine.

One of the things I’d forgotten about, for example, is the music. Canned music. I’ve spent the last ten years or so almost always having something of a choice as to what, if anything, I listened to whether at work or play. Not so anymore.

Luckily, canned music has changed. With groups like Led Zeppelin and The Who selling out to commercial interests, the kind of music you might hear in a grocery store these days has become somewhat more palatable – if also all the more ridiculous.

I’ll never forget the first time I realized I was hearing The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” coming over the grocery store’s speakers instead of the more traditional and expected Perry Como-type fare, rendered even more bland by some faceless, flaccid orchestra.

I stood in shock, stock still in the canned goods aisle, staring as an elderly woman in a yellow pantsuit and pendulous, puke-green earrings rocked out to this music in her own, frail way – that or she was suffering from a mild form of Parkinson’s, I may never know the truth – but the fact hit me like the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks: the hills are no longer alive with Muzak.

This fact, a minor consolation, was in my mind as I took the job: the music may be out of my control but it is not gonna kill me.

And at first it was okay. Among the cliche of 70’s and 80’s rock hits I heard The Ramones again, and I heard The Cars. Hell, I own some of this music. Certainly, most of what I was hearing was crap but at least it wasn’t nauseating crap – and the rotation was good. During a 6 hour shift, with the exception of the in-store commercials (“Nothing could be more simple!”), I don’t hear any song more than once. It is not at all unlike a radio station I might grudgingly put up with if I had no other alternative.

But I forgot about Christmas.

Three years in a mall record store destroyed the concept of Christmas music for me but with that experience well over 15 years in my past, I have healed some: I only raise my fist when someone puts on Christmas music, now – I haven’t hit anyone without warning for doing so in years.

As to my present situation, I’ll give them this – most of the songs they are playing I don’t recognize, not these particular versions, anyway; under-played classics and nothing heinous like Mannheim Steamroller, John Tesh, or Celene Dion. The rotation remains pretty good, too. I hear most of the same songs every day but I don’t hear them more than once a day, and they always change up the order.

With one glaring exception.

Whoever is in charge of this system is in love with The Bellamy Brothers’ hit single “Let Your Love Flow” and they want to let their love of this song flow out over every employee and customer of every store in our chain on the West coast – that or they are an evil, sadistic bastard who wants to drive us all insane because we have heard this goddamn song once every 90 minutes, every day since the switch to the Christmas program.

I’ve never particularly disliked this song before now. Certainly it isn’t the type of music that I would gravitate towards but it has never before filled me with a nameless dread as something like “Muskrat Love” always has. I was aware of the song’s existence but in a very casual sort of way. Being forced to hear it over and over has changed that for me, however, and the repetition is not only effecting people like myself but also people who once enjoyed the song.

The first couple of times we heard it, my supervisor sang along, the tune bringing an obvious lift to her spirits. Now, when we catch its strains over the thrum of our kitchen machinery for the third or fourth time of the day, she will turn to me, her eyebrows huddled and angry caterpillars over her flashing eyes: “What the fuck is it with this stupid song?!”

The effect of the aural assault is insidious and extends well beyond the confines of my workspace. I find myself whistling the chorus hours after leaving work or having the lyrics tripped by visual stimuli – say, when I start my shower in the morning and see the water flow … like a mountain stream.

Could it be part of some psychological experiment? Is there evidence that “Let Your Love Flow” causes greater productivity and/or decreased resistance to impulse shopping among laboratory rats, or is the reason less noble? Perhaps the person responsible for programming our music is a big fan or even relative of someone in the group and is attempting to boost Bellamy Brothers awareness through grocery store music. If I begin to hear “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)” on a regular basis I will know this latter is true.

One of my coworkers thinks they are playing the song because it contains the word “season” and is about loving those around you – just like the Christmas season -but I’m not buying it.

“Let Your Love Flow” is not a Christmas song. It isn’t an anti-Christmas song, either but, when one (or all) of the employees begins a bug-eyed rampage of fire-axe wielding, gore smeared death among our defenseless, Christmas customers, the lyrics to “Let Your Love Flow” falling like demented tears from our preternaturally whitened lips, perhaps it will attain said status.

And so think of this song, this week, as you prepare for and celebrate the holidays. Hum it to yourself in the shower, whistle it on your way to the car, shout it out at the top of your lungs on your neighbor’s doorstep at 2am, Christmas morning – that should bring us all a little closer.

Song of the Week: Let Your Love Flow

Let Your Love Flow
The Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow

There’s a reason for the sunshine skies
There’s a reason why I’m feeling so high
Must be the season when those love lights shine all around us

So let that feeling grab you deep inside
And send you reeling where your love can’t hide
And then go stealing through the moonlit night with your lover

Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with the smallest of dreams
And let your love show and you’ll know what I mean it’s the season
Let your love fly like a bird on a wing
And let your love bind you to all living things
And let your love shine and you’ll know what I mean that’s the reason

There’s a reason for the warm sweet nights
And there’s a reason for the candle lights
Must be the season when those love lights shine all around us

So let that wonder take you into space
And lay you under it’s loving embrace
Just feel the thunder as it warms your face you can’t hold back
© The Bellamy Brothers

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3 Responses to “Tom & Jerry and The Bellamy Brothers (song of the week)”

  1. Arcstrike says:

    The Butcher, the Baker, The Candlestick maker…

  2. Matney says:

    Haha. I don’t even think I have ever noticed that music was playing in the store. They actually play The Cars? I love the Cars. lol. That is soo cute that you noticed an old lady dancing. How cute! (wow I sound girly)

  3. cae says:

    that’s because you are girly …

    I really like the Cars first two albums – eponymous and “Candy-O.” The rest I can take or leave (with the exception of Panorama which I prefer to leave).

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