Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm gonna dance the way I feel

128. The Tammys - "Egyptian Shumba" (United Artists, 1963)

For me (and plenty of other folks, obviously), this is easily one of the most exciting vocal performances on a pop song ever. There are the famous screams themselves, which are great, but currently I'm most interested in the exact moment it all goes crazy, from somewhat precocious to completely unhinged. It's the "our mummies took our haaaa-ee-aand" line at the end of the first verse. It's like you see the crazy train coming out of the corner of your eye at the vary last second and before you know it, bam, it's on you.

Also, the line "I'm gonna dance the way I feel" is wonderful, both for the immediate meaning of "I'm gonna dance the way [that] I feel [like dancing)" and my, perhaps willfully stretchy, way of reading it, in which the key word is "dance" (as opposed to "say" or "show"). As in, not only are they dancing the way they want, they're performing their feelings through dance. And what could make me happier than that?

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