What song was stuck in your head recently, and what were you doing at the time that made you think of it?
Its crazy; we’ve just finished watching Alias (my partner and I) and its been great fun. I introduced him to the show a while back because I loved it so much and wanted to share. You know… as you do. So while we were watching that (all five seasons, baby!) we talked about what we would watch next. Well, that list included Gundam Wing, The Wire, Requiem From The Darkness and a couple of other bits that I can’t remember right now.
But… because I picked Alias (I think we’re taking it in turns), he picked The Wire.
He’s not the first person to mention The Wire to me, one of my housemates used to talk about it while I was living with that wonderful group a few years back. He’d rave about it; said it was the best show ever. Since my tastes run towards anime and comedies, I wasn’t too sure I’d like it, but I figured I may as well give it a go.
Anyway… Alias is done and on Thursday, I think, we started watching The Wire. The open credits rolled up and, for the first time, I heard the theme laid over the opening montage. I quite liked it; gospel-like blues with a strong voice up front with carries the track straight the way through. Then, when it got to the chorus I realised I’d heard the song before. My partner used to sing it on guitar. I don’t think he ever performed it, but I’d normally be in the study and I’d hear his voice just singing a few lines of it. I’d always liked it and even though it was in my mind, never quite got around to finding out what it was called.
Well know I know.
Its called ‘Way Down In The Hole’ and Tom Waits wrote it. This version though, the one opening season one of The Wire was not sung by him, instead it was sung by The Five Blind Boys Of Alabama.
Its been in my head for the past four days. I’ve been singing it at work, I’ve been singing it at home, I’ve been hearing it in my dreams! Its made the way a song can just stick so firmly in your brain and not be dislodged! I’m enjoying The Wire, don’t mistake me, but its not a show I might have picked from reading the blurb at the back of the box set, nor is the song one I might have picked out to play on my media player. But I’m enjoying both and I’m dreaming of both!
The names Avon Barksdale and McNulty are stuck so firmly in my head that I’m going to have to try specifically not to spout them at work. And that song just keeps creeping into my mind while I’m not looking. If I don’t pay attention, I’m singing the opening lines;
When you walk through the garden
You gotta watch your back
Well I beg your pardon
Walk the straight and narrow track
If you walk with Jesus
He’s gonna save your soul
You gotta keep the devil
Down in the hole
All the angels sing about Jesus’ mighty sword
And they’ll shield you with their wings
And keep you close to the lord
Don’t pay heed to temptation
For his hands are so cold
You gotta help me keep the devil
Way down in the hole
Brilliant track. And now, since I’m aware that The Wire has kept the same song throughout all their series, I’m really interested, but I also understand that they get someone different to sing it each time. The second season, for instance, actually is Tom Waits and then its followed up by The Neville Brothers. I’m not sure about seasons four and five, but I guess I’ll learn about those as I go. I would Google them, but that’s something of a distraction from what I’m supposed to be doing, which is talking to you.
That is it though; Way Down In The Hole, sung by The Five Blind Boys of Alabama. It has been stuck in my head for ages and will no doubt stay there until I can replace it with something new. Even the Alias theme didn’t stick in my head for that long; maybe because it has no words and I already know it from some time ago.
Hmm. Maybe its time to go listen to some Michael Jackson.
My 80 Post Challenge is brought to you with help from Tom Slatin’s 80 Journal Writing Prompts.