Summer madness

Will Smith. Yes. He really looks like this. Everything else is airbrushing.Phil: Yesterday the Nolan and I sat in a pub garden chatting in the sunshine. Today we would be inside where it’s warm and not wet. You may mourn the end of summer, but I don’t for one simple reason:

Will Smith.

Any time the sun comes out in Great Britain, every DJ on the radio breaks into his or her summer records box. Top of the list is always “Summertime” by Will “Fresh Prince” Smith.

Imagine the scene. The clouds part. Sunbeams stream forth and bathe the ground with delicious warmth. Somewhere in the distance a radio is playing. The moment the first photons bounce off the slowly drying grass we hear “Drums Please….”

Followed by a howl of pain and the channel being changed. It’s no use. Even Radio 4 is playing the bloody record.

It’s not just the ubiquity. The lyrics annoy the hell out of me. As a writer, all I can see is holes in the timeline. The third verse (with my “issues” marked in red )runs as follows:

it’s late in the day and I ain’t been on the court yet
hustle to the mall to get me a short set
yeah I got on sneaks but I need a new pair
cause basketball courts in the summer got girls there
(that should be ‘cos shouldn’t it. Please try harder)
the temperature’s about 88
hop in the water plug just for old times sake
break to ya crib change your clothes once more
cause you’re invited to a barbeque that’s starting at 4
(4 ? I thought it was “Late in the day” before you went to the mall and jumped in the plug then changed your clothes. Doesn’t sound late to me.)
sitting with your friends cause y’all remincise
(‘cos again. Pay attention Smith)
about the days growing up and the first person you kiss
and as I think back makes me wonder how
the smell from a grill could spark up nostalgia
all the kids playing out front
little boys messin round with the girls playing double-dutch
while the DJ’s spinning a tune as the old folks dance at your family reunion
(your family BBQ has a DJ ? How posh is that ? What’s wrong with the radio. Oh yes, it’s playing Summetime)
then six o’clock rolls around
you just finished wiping your car down
(Didn’t stay long at the BBQ did you ? Takes me an hour to wash the car properly. More if I wax it AND clean the inside. Sounds like someone jumped the queue, nicked a couple of burgers and wolfed them down. Probably got ketchup all over his shirt front.)
it’s time to cruise so you head to the summertime hangout
it looks like a car show
(You’re hanging around a car park ? How sweet. Do you also loiter outside off licences trying to persuade grown-ups to buy you cider ?)
everybody come lookin real fine
fresh from the barber shop or fly from the beauty salon
(When did you do that ? I reckon looking fly from the beauty salon is going to take at least a couple of hours. When I get my hair cut it’s twenty minutes and the only style I request is “shorter”. Why do you want to look fly anyway ? I saw that film with Jeff Goldblum and can’t see many people wanting a bit of that look.)
every moment frontin and maxin
chillin in the car they spent all day waxin
(No they didn’t. Not if they have been to the barbers, JD Sports and a BBQ. They probably dropped it off at one of those dodgy hand car wash places)
leanin to the side but you can’t speed through
Two miles an hour so everybody sees you
there’s an air of love and of happiness
and this is the Fresh Prince’s new defintion of summer madness

I know what you’re thinking. It’s the third verse so you can’t expect greatness. Even the national anthem has descended into stuff about crushing rebellious Scots by this point (technically verse 4 but since the anthem doesn’t, unlike Summertime, have a chorus, we are about the same point in the song).  I don’t care. Will Smith has earned more in PRS fees for this one song than the GDP of Peru so he could reasonably have been expected to put in a full days work on the writing.

Despite this, we get the same tune every time it stops raining, not the far superior song of the same name from Porgy and Bess. Now THAT is the Phil Parker’s definition of summer madness

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1 Comment

Filed under Phil, Writing

One response to “Summer madness

  1. Phil. I think you are getting old before your time. But have to agree, as soon as a rap song comes on the radio or TV I change channels because they come up with stupid, irritating rhyming at the end of the lines even, as you have so acutally observed, if the words make no sense. The song is also ‘sung’ in a silly, childish way.
    Trouble is the rappers make shedloads
    So I suppose
    I’m in the wrong job
    And I feel like a knob
    Another pint of beer
    Will stop the fear
    Of failing
    Cos’ I’m only railing
    Into the dark
    Where I see a dog bark
    And the green trail of slime
    Can mean it’s time
    To go to bed.

    I must go down to the sea agin
    The lonely sea and sky
    I left my shoes and socks there
    I wonder if they’re dry?

    The boy stood on the burning deck
    When all but he had fled
    ….twit

    Bon weekend

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