Monday, 10 November 2014

Version City #35 - The Gaylads sing Simon & Garfunkel

One day, six or seven years ago, when I was working for a well known high street coffee chain, I was on the till as the lunchtime queue stretched up the shop and out of the door. I took a lady's order and was about to move on to the next customer, when she said, 'Why do you put up with this all day? I wouldn't put up with it'. She wasn't complaining about the queue, she was pointing at a speaker in the ceiling. With a laugh, I apologised for the quality of the (admittedly crushingly dull) instore music, but she was deadly serious. 'It's not THIS music it's ANY music. Why is there music everywhere nowadays? I can't stand music. I don't see the point of it. Why can't we just live in silence?'

Over the years, in my capacity as a store manager, I had to deal with all manner of customer complaints and comments, but that one had me stumped and has stuck with me. Had I been on my toes, I could've responded by quoting Nietzsche, 'Without music, life would be a mistake'. Or maybe Robert Fripp, 'Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence'. Perhaps even, bizarrely, former LibDem head honcho Charles Kennedy, 'I couldn't imagine a day without music. It relaxes and stimulates me in equal measure. And I hate the sound of silence. The concept, I mean. Not the track by Simon and Garfunkel.'

(Inspired by a recent post over at Grown Up Backwards.)


Anonymous said...

I just cannot get my head around people who actually don't like ANY music at all. Having said that, I do have some kind of sympathy with your lady customer: maybe there IS too much music these days. It's so ubiquitous that I think many people take it as just another commodity to consume or dispose of in a casual fashion. Imagine living in the days when you may only have got to hear a great symphony or some such once or twice in a life time? Or when you had to buy the sheet music to recreate your own versions of your favourites from the Musical Hall. I bet people really appreciated the true value of music then. Of course, I'd hate it if we didn't have the easy access to music that we've been blessed with but there are some drawbacks. I really like the Nietszche quote but I bet he was thinking of some sort of abomination like Wagner. Each to their own.

Anonymous said...

Meant to add - how come The Gaylads start their version halfway through the song? Random editing.

Erik Bartlam said...

That woman is insane...that's all.
Sadly something is wrong with her. I don't have anything against silence and there is some dreadful background music out there but, to say you hate music...something is wrong.

Old Pa's Corner said...

How odd. I hate these moments when you think off inspired responses too late. There were a few beauties there which she probably would have responded with a blank look. The Art of Noise!

C said...

Agreed - there must be something wired differently in her brain! Music is so human, so universal, I think for everyone else an appreciation of some form of music is as natural as having our five senses, and when you think that the medical profession even uses music therapy it makes you realise how positive it is - well, for most people!

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