I am a singer. (If this is news to you, then I am clearly a complete stranger to you. Nice to meet you.) While sight reading is one of my stronger talents, I positively loathe reading a new chart in front of an audience. But, from time to time, a DeeVah's gotta do what a DeeVah's gotta do. Last night was one of those times...sorta. It was actually just at a rehearsal. (But, I had a microphone...which means people could HEAR me!)
The song was an Alicia Keys tune entitled, "If I Ain't Got You", with which I was only vaguely familiar. (In my world of music, I call it 'karaoke knowing' a song. You know....when you just kind of hum along and bob your head until you get to the part that everyone knows, and then you sing that at the top of your lungs while making your best rockstar face.) In fact, I didn't recognize the song at all until the chorus...and, even then, I realized I only actually knew the first line, "Some people want it all, but I don't want nothin' at all..." <Insert rockstar face here> From there on, I was flailing...eyes glued to the notes while trying to grab the lyrics in my peripheral vision...and I was hating it. I'm the DeeVah. I should know this song! And, let's face it...attempting to chart out the actual notes & rhythms that Alicia actually sings is likely to yield about 70% accuracy, at best. (Needless to say, what I was singing wasn't even that accurate.) My main focus was on the notes, but I didn't know the lyrics, either...so, I just read what was written and tried not to judge Ms. Keys for writing the most ridiculous lyrics I had ever seen. According to my chart, the chorus read thusly:
Some people want it all
But I don't want nothin' at all
If it ain't you baby
If I ain't got you baby
Some people want dummy wings
Some just want everything
But everything means nothing
If I ain't got you.
Wait. Some people want dummy wings? What the huh?? What are dummy wings? And, why would someone want them? I was bewildered, but too busy trying to learn the blasted song to worry about how utterly stupid that sounded, so I just cringed my way through it. Until midway through the 2nd chorus on our 2nd run-through...when it dawned on me...it should have read "diamond rings". Some people want diamond rings. Yes. That's more like it.
And then I laughed. For the rest of the song, I laughed.
You see, the chart was arranged and transcribed by someone named Jesper Riis, whom I believe is Danish. And I suspect that Mr. Riis does not speak English very well. It appears to me that he just listened to Alicia sing the song, and then wrote down what he heard her say...or, what he thought she said. And, he thought she said "dummy wings". Dummy. Wings.
On my drive to work this morning, as I was singing along with Ms. Keys on my iPhone, I smiled when I got to that line and giggled at the idea that I could possibly have sung those words, had I not realized the mistake. Then I began to question what Mr. Riis may have thought that line meant when he wrote it. How would that concept translate in the context of the song? Why would some people want dummy wings in relation to things like fortune, fame, roses, and other desirable possessions? What, exactly, are they? And, if I had a pair of dummy wings, what would I do with them?
The answer was almost immediate: They are wings...for dummies. And, I would give them to some dummy in my life and tell them to fly away from me.
Wouldn't that be a valuable thing to have? A pair of dummy wings that you could just slap onto the back of some idiot who makes your life less-than-fabulous and then shove them off of a high ledge or cliff. Whether or not they had enough sense to flap them and actually fly away rather than crash into a worthless heap of stupidity would be completely up to them. Either way, they'd be out of your life. You'd could even wave and smile as they flew away while you celebrated the fact that you were free of the dummy for good.
I think I'm going to need more than one pair.
And, I'm glad Mr. Riis didn't write "dummy boomerangs".