Song Lyric Sunday: Background Music

The prompt for Song Lyric Sunday from Jim Adams is Elevator Music.
The song must contain one of these words in either the title or the lyrics.
If the song does not meet these criteria, please explain why you chose it.

What is Elevator Music?

Polite definition: Bland recorded background music played in public places, meant to provide a soothing atmosphere.

Impolite definition: Music to slit your throat by. This quote from Lisey’s Story by Stephen King nicely sums up the pain.

“There was a faint click and the Prozac Orchestra returned, this time with what might once have been the theme from Shaft. Lisey listened with a mild sense of unreality, thinking that if Isaac Hayes heard it, he would probably crawl into his bathtub with a plastic bag over his head.”

This is music for the non-musical. And has the added bonus, for all its apparent blandness, of burrowing into your brain where it stays for longer than an unwanted guest at Christmas.

And there are so many tracks to choose from! But there is one that takes the biscuit. It sticks in my head for days: not so much earworm as ear serpent. And because I’m a generous soul, I’m going to share it with you.

Calcutta, music written by Heino Gaze in 1958 with lyrics by Hans Bradtke. It is known in Germany as Kalkutta liegt am Ganges (Kolkata lies on the Ganges). But I’ve picked the Lawrence Welk version in all its hideous glory.

And the English lyrics? Put on your nightie and go “la la la” just like the ladies in this video. Alternatively, you could stick your fingers in your ears and go “la la la.” I know which option I’ll be choosing.

Here is Vico Torriani singing the wretched thing in German. The lyrics appear on screen if you want to sing along.

Kill me now.

19 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Background Music

  1. A visit to my Aunt’s house on a Saturday night always included Lawrence Welk being must watch TV. It was not a fond childhood memory. FYI what shade of green are those outfits the band is wearing on the Lawrence Welk TV show?

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    • Poor you! On Sundays, my Gran would make us listen to a radio show called Sing Something Simple with the Cliff Adams Singers. Google this at your peril. And as for the colour – If I was feeling kind I’d say “olive” but I’m not so I’ll call the shade “dried dog vomit”🤢

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  2. I love this song! Up to now I had just heard the Lawrence Welk version and had never heard the version with lyrics. I think I’m in the minority in that I enjoyed watching Lawrence Welk with my grandmother.

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  3. It looks as if the Beach Boys’ song California Girls was taken from the same lyrical pattern as Calcutta. I liked Lawrence Welk. He’s not my preferred type of music but if one can’t appreciate the music from another generation then likely that one may be a little closed-minded.

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  4. Geez Ella, I haven’t had any flashbacks to my grandmother and her sisters taste in band leaders for years. Ugh. It looks like the smile on the faces were surgically altered. and the dancing? Somebody was channeling a George Romero Zombie movie for sure!

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