[I’ve acquired] an earworm known as Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose,” which burrowed comfortably into the open spot and refuses to leave. Generally speaking, Mr. Loggins’ movie themes are always welcome in my head — I’m all right, nobody worry about me, I’m just on the highway to the Danger Zone — but “Footloose” is a particular favorite of mine. Somehow my family had two cassettes of the soundtrack, and to this day, the title track is one of those songs whose words I have never actually known, which does not stop me from belting it out in the car and just sort of spitting out a mix of potentially correct lyrics and complete gibberish, like the opening lines: “Been workin’ so hard. I’m ponch to my cart. Eeee yuuuur fer wuurrrr don’t tell me what a guy.” Or my other favorite verse: ”You’re flang is so cool, obeying every rule. Inna workawn ooooh your heart, you’re flarn in the yarn in the soul car…” And I know I could look up the correct lyrics, but I don’t want to, because I’m already driving the soul car and totally ponching my cart.
This made me smile. The fug girls are ostensibly discussing an odd jumpsuit shorts concoction someone saw fit to go out in, but it turned into a riff on singing along to songs when you don’t really know the words. I do this all the time – belt out the words I do know and either hum or just make stuff up to fill in the gaps.
In these google powered days, the lyrics are always available for those who bother to look them up, but not knowing all the words is part of the fun. Once you’ve got the song all pinned down, it loses some of its oomph because you’ve taken away the mystery. I like peering at a song’s meaning through the haze of partially understood lyrics – it gives my imagination room to play.