26 October 2008

Gloria Lives in Antarctica!

[Daddy here]
It's a strange affliction, particularly for a mountain boy from a landlocked state. You see, I've always harboured a secret passion for sea shanties.

I collect them. It's only a modest collection; relatively speaking, there really aren't that many. I'm not sure my wife even knows. She probably wouldn't mind, at least so long as I don't force her to listen.

Me, I like to sing them. Loudly. Usually when I'm alone in the house.

Occasionally I sing them for the kids, but I leave out the bawdy verses. These being sailor's songs, that severely limits the number of available verses. In fact, it kills most of my repertoire.

Trinh & I were pretending to be pirates during the bath tonight, so I started belting out "South Australia." She joined in, which pleased me immensely. [Tangent: she also knows most of the words to John Kanakanaka, which I'm sure will do irreparable harm to her reputation in 7th grade.]

However, it took me a few moments to realize (I was singing loudly, you see) that she wasn't singing "South Australia", but instead was singing the refrain of "Gloria."

No, not the Van Morrison version. No, she was singing the "Gloria" song popularized by Laura Branigan in the '80s. Yes, she knows that one, too.

Thing is, I think she's onto something. Here's a mystery that should keep a musicologist awake for a few nights: could a mainstream hit from 1983 (that's actually a cover of an Italian song) be loosely patterned after a sea shanty from the 1880s? Behold:

"...in South Austral-i-a I was born [heave away, haul away]"
"...singing Glor-i-a [Gloria! Gloria!]"

See what I mean? It's there, I'm telling you. Granted I'd never have noticed were it not for Trinh's singing tonight, but I was astounded at how easily the two songs mash-up.

Anyway, back to the bath: Trinh has a stuffed duck that she imagines to be a penguin. It's named "Gloria" after the character in Happy Feet. We talk about Gloria a lot

When I stopped to take a breath, Trinhity looked up and said, "Daddy, that's silly. Gloria doesn't live in South Australia -- she lives in Antarctica!"

No comments: