Sex and Music
Paul says: When we discussed this week’s musical theme, I got a bit worried. You need to understand that all of my songs have the words ‘scooby do’ in them as a form of harmonic placebo to fill in for my Alzheimer-like rendition on any song. In other words, I do not remember the lyrics to songs. Hotel California, for example, goes something like this: Welcome to the Hotel California (that much I know) something, something, something (pause) something, something, something – and then a ‘scooby do’ for good measure.
So I am not even going to try to play the ‘how did mainstream music effect you’ game. Admittedly, I rocked out sounding like a third day torture victim singing scat but that is about as profound as it gets. The one place that does come to mind was neither mainstream (to me) nor my doing.
During the courtship and beginning of our marriage, I made an attempt to learn Spanish. Nothing formal as I had already taken years of high school and college Spanish and still could only ask enough to get me to a bathroom in Mexico whereupon I would be promptly mugged since I had made my gringoness well known. Instead, Lee would tutor me in popular Hispanic culture. Of course, we lived in Los Angeles where the streets, like the name of the city, were more often than not Spanish words that Lee would translate and I would attempt to commit to memory.
Then she busted out the music and I fell in love. Specifically Juan Luis Guerra’s album Bachata Rosa.
Juan Luis Guerra is kind of the Beatles of Colombia. This CD is filled with some of the sappiest love ballads that ever existed. As Lee played the music, translating as the lead singer sang, I was opened to a world of metaphor and imagery, the likes of which sounded at first very overdone to my Anglo ears. After a few minutes of lyrical delight, I became accustomed to the merengue infused lust music and was swept away. One of our favorite is Burbujas de Amor which has the balladeer wishing to be a fish in a fishbowl with the one he loves and blow bubbles of love (burbujas de amor). It also has him asking to be ‘wet in you’ which I am going to go out on a limb as say is a metaphor for sex.
More than just a Spanish lesson, this music became the mechanism through which Lee introduced me to her life, her culture, and her familial spirit. It was one of the most romantic times of our lives. I thank you Juan Luis Guerra for scoring our love.
Lee says: As my wonderfully forgetful husband is prone to do, he forgot the song we really liked from that album (yeah, I said album). Sure the song about fish fucking is sexy and cute but the really romantic song was ‘Estrellitas y Duendes’ (Stars and Sprites). This song is just one image after another all leading to how someone is enraptured by their partner. He talks of getting inside of his partner’s pupils and how he’ll never close his eyes again; perhaps never wanting to miss a moment of looking at her. I know that I have felt like that before. I can’t help it, he has great eyes.
One of my favorite games to play with Paul is ‘What year was this song from?’ I love it since I win it every time and he loves it because he gets to make fun of me and call me a freak for knowing such useless information. We pass the time in the car and I get to impress my kids with my inane knowledge of 70s music.
This is where the game gets even better. A song will start and I will think for a moment and recollect what grade I was in, what traumatic event occurred when this song came out or where is this song in comparison to the Disco era. Paul’s contribution to the game is asking me ‘Do you know what this song’s about?’ I’ll start laughing and shake my head and he’ll grin and in a low sexy voice say, ‘Fucking’. God I love that!
It’s like musical foreplay for us. A song can elicit such a profound affect on people. For me, just hearing this song makes me tear up and remember how I like to dive into him. It reminds me of my visceral reaction to him; regardless of what he says and forgetting to put the dishes into the dishwasher. As in the song Bachata Rosa, ‘Yo soy satellite y tu eres mi sol’. Do you know what this song’s about?