Calling Ideas for April 17, 2012
The Third week of April is:
National Bubblegum WeekOy, the things I put myself through. Okay, bubblegum doesn't seem really relevant to square dancing (I suppose, with a stretch, we could do "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight" 4-B 6113, although it's not exactly bubblegum), but what about bubblegum music? This was a style of music popular back in the late 60's:
Bubblegum music came about for a number of reasons. Young AM radio listeners like myself were turned off by protest folk and rock music and psychedelic music that was influenced by substances we'd never tried (nine-year-olds didn't sell and use drugs in those days). Our experiences revolved around TV and minor explorations with the opposite sex. Bubblegum music filled that limited area of interest by combining simple children's music borrowed from schoolyard games and nursery rhymes and silly, barely concealed lyrics about sex.
So, the classic era of Bubblegum music was from 1967-1970. It wasn't hard to pick out a Bubblegum song back then. It was danceable and upbeat with high production values, the lyrics were disposable and repetitive, few instrumental solos and short overall in length. It was the antithesis of war protest folk songs in spirit and intent. Make everyone feel good by taking them back to their childhood instead of reminding us that we are grownups with grownup matters to attend to.
I (along with probably most square dancers) was too old in the late 60's to find bubblegum music appealing. In fact, just reading a list of over 600 bubblegum songs made me feel a little nauseated. You may or may not be happy to know that out of those more than 600 songs, I only found two that I recognized as having square dance singing call versions. They are: Venus (Shocking Blue) and Mony, Mony (Tommy James and the Shondells). Now there may be others that I didn't recognize, and if you want to scan the list and find more, that's fine; let me know.
Bottom Line: You can celebrate National Bubblegum Week with a tribute to bubblegum music, but you can't base a whole dance on it. Hallelujah!