Friday, September 04, 2009

Walking the borderline

As I was walking home from work last night, "Walking In Memphis" came up on the iPod. For the record, it was the Cher version, not the Marc Cohn original. I know that Heidi prefers Cohn's version, but Cher's version is just so good. Th reason it's so great is because it's so unexpected (even though the remixes suck beyond words) and Cher really made it her own without disrespecting the source material. Anyway, it got me to thinking about how, years ago, when I was in school at Iowa State, Jeff and his then girlfriend Holly and I all renamed "Walking In Memphis" to "Walking on Campus" because we felt like that pretty much summed up our lives at that point.

There were grand plans, if I recall correctly, to give the song all new lyrics, but I don't think it ever happened. The one that I remember was how "saw the ghost of Elvis" became "saw the steps of Beardshear." Beyond that, nothing. But listening last night, I was amazed that we never changed "They've got catfish on the table" to "Porcupine meatballs on the table" - porcupine meatballs being a favorite of the ISU food service at the time.

Oddly enough, I have also rediscovered The Chapin Sisters' cover of Madonna's "Borderline". Actually, I am amazed at how many times this song has been covered. (Confidential to Casey Stratton: Have you ever thought of covering this song live?) Listening to that song made me think of how my brother Ryan rewrote that song a la Weird Al when were kids, changing it to "Front Line." He had the whole song changed with it sung from the point of view of a soldier in a war. Sadly, the only part I remember is "you just keep on spilling my guts all over the front line." What can I say? We were kids. And we thought we were brilliant.

It's no secret that "Borderline" is one my favorite, if not THE favorite, Madonna song. I think it's just a perfect glimpse of the brilliance that was to come out of her. Not to get started on my "Celebration" video rant again, but if that video contained even one drop of the brilliance in the "Borderline" video, I would have been so much happier.

And that little outro is probably my favorite 6 seconds that Madonna ever recorded.

See, I'm not all sour on Madonna! Just lazy Madonna.

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