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Try the rule of Ten Unmitigated Sentimentality of the Toon Traveller's new parlour game...

Try the rule of Ten

Unmitigated Sentimentality of the Toon Traveller's new parlour game...

by Toon Traveller, Travel Correspondent
first published: November, 2020

approximate reading time: minutes

‘big prick, I’m a dick, l’m pullin’ babes like a magnet’ - That was a good year

Forget the Rule of Six  -   try rule of Ten 

It’s strangely appropriate to the TRUMP COVID world we’re all living in. What’s this – a little diversion on those wet wind blasted, rain lashed, hopes dashed, stop you getting smashed entertainments, that can pass an hour of laughs giggles and envy, the things that make us all human... Recovering memories, elations and embarrassments, making journeys of discovery, into a land of music we’ve never heard, it’s ears, minds, and soul open on this... 

How it works...
you start with your TENTH BIRTHDAY, and google the chart for each 10th year after, and see what was on Top of the Pops. Do you remember it? Did you like it? Still play it? Want to download it? Any special memories?  

For me and I suspect for most, there’s a period from our past where it's all too easy to think now, I wish I had, “  - - -  -  “  and my life could have been different. Hmmm for me was around 20th year, school done, college ended, job choices, or other apprenticeship done, career path stretching out, first love, sense of last chance to change, turns out that’s wrong... There's no last chance to change....

You can use BBC official chart, or if you want a different look, look at Billboard.

First UK song:-
10 years old 
BBC singles chart
If you’re going to San Francisco  -  Scott  McKenzie 

Yeah THEEE hippy dream, outsider’s view, lines of hope, 'wear some flowers in your hair' and meet ‘the gentle people there’  plodding melody, too young to understand sentiments, and philosophy, promotion of myths and hope. False hope turns out, lovely ideas, warm open philosophy, but we ended up with Bill Gates, facebook, and neo-liberalism. Said it before and say it again, I’m with the Cynic’s cynic,  Frank Zappa – "Never trust a Hippy."

But since the radio now plays inoffensive, drifty summer time sounds, summer afternoon Mint Juleps, rose aroma, butterflies, and dozey siesta afternoons, yeah it’ll do.
In Covid, Trump times, memories like this may the ONLY evidence that hope, and not information, once floated in the ether. Oddly a great counterpoint to the TRUMP / BREXIT strops and tantrums.

Billboard singles
Ode to Billy Joe – Bobby Gentry 
Never a county fan and this song small town, somewheresville, Nowhere County,  mid- west south, sums up all that was wrong with the states then and to an extent still is now under Trump.  Small town, small minds, self-righteousness, throwing something off a bridge, an illegitimate baby, dark brooding, never liked the song. Not one I enjoy now, reminds me of the classic Sidney Poitier film, In the Heat of the Night, without the liberal redemptive ending. 
In Covid Trump times oddly appropriate – with moves in US Supreme Court, small town and minds, the song is Trump’s people, Trump’s world, and his world view,


20 years old:- 
BBC singles Chart 
Way Down  - Elvis Presley 
Had hoped for The Stranglers, or the Jam, it was the summer of punk’s snarled explosion in UK, but I got Elvis, and the late Elvis at that, sounds like his last attempt to stay current, before the Drugs, Peanut butter, and booze got to him. Strange, memory’s tricks, I always thought of 76 as the summer of Punk, perhaps it was. Checked week before and after. Born a few days earlier and it was The Floaters – Float on, UK charts were disco tinge. Short lived wish to have been born a week earlier. BUT...BUT... thing is, different school year, different  friends, college, life. Gave my head a shake, realised all my choices shaped me, journeys, travels and experiences.
In Covid Trump times, strangely, 'running people down, chasing people down’ seems TRUMPian and COVIDly prophetic, COVID is running and hunting us down. 

Billboard USA no 1 
Best of my love – the Emotions 
Ears open to soul disco soul cross over, still love this, danced and boogied, local clubs and discos, loved it and the whole disco soul thing. Great year in my life and this song was part of the ears open, i needed. Still love the sound, voices, production rhythm, amazed and amazing sound so crisp.
In Covid Trump times, hanging together, and hugging and loving, and never discouraged, lovely sentiments, but feel out of time and place, a reminder of COVID’s charge on us all.

30 years old
BBC singles chart
Never Gonna Give you up  -  Rick Astley 
Absolutely huge then, but musical snobbery left me sneering and disdainful nose up.  He had and still has a great voice, Stock Aitken Waterman, think Gamble and Huff, from 70’s SAW produced EVERYONE in UK and beyond. For me, cheap white soul then, but... Saw him live for free – couple of years ago, amazed - such a great soaring souful voice. Pay to see him depends where and with whom, how much, at the old, flappy, City Hall with an 8-piece, I’d give him a go.

In Covid Trumo times. Rick Astley is a Relief.

Billboard USA no 1
La Bamba – Los Lobos
Wonderful rolling invigorating, top pop end of tex mex sounds. A great intro to a whole genre barely heard here in the UK and probably not much outside Texas and SW states. Spanish voices, Tex-Mex sounds, down by the border, a happy sunshine sound, words about not a lot, and there’s tons of repetition, but a wonderful disc, not owned, but still being chased. 
In Covid Trump times a great reposte to the ‘Build the wall’ generation, this is music from both side of the wall, i can imagine sitting in pick-up at the border fence, and rawer versions drifting on the sunset breeze from Mexico, great annoyance factor in Trumps anti-migrant world.

40 years old
BBC singles chart
Men in Black  - Will Smith

Vauge memory of song and video. Had to download it – it was ok, good sounds, bouncy words, good record, matched film, not memorable, and in a few weeks I’ll have forgotten it all over again. Not sure what the words celebrate other the films heroes.
In Covid Trump times, inappropriate, this is nightmare we need to remember NOT to repeat the mistakes.

Billboard  USA
No Money No Problem- Nototious Mr Big 
Classic  money, gold, guns, big cars, big prick rap, main sample and theme – Isley brothers ‘between the sheets’  lyrics boastful, self aggrandisement delusional lies, listening to this stuff, I’m reminded of property deals, money grasping, and sexual harassment, think of yourself only,  and you got a bragging don’t give a fuck, misogynist. 
In COVID Trump times a song in sentiment, and celebration, presciently ahead of it’s time, Donald Trump’s soul in a Rap song. 

50 years old  
BBC singles chart
Beautiful Girl - Sean Kingston   

No idea, no memory, no clue has to youtube it. 

Sam Cooke sample, with a reggae overlay, saccharine pop inoffensive and that’s problem for me, skips along, reminded me of me,  joyful middle school starting, nothing to dislike, nothing to complain about, would i listen again? Not of my own volition, but it’ll sound as good on the Freeway in New York, as in Clubland in Hoxton, or Grand Rapids high school, or Manchester pre-party music warm up.
Covid TRUMP relevance, lovers rap, resignation and hope, honesty and vulnerability, complete counter poise to the UK/US COVID lies and theTrump utter twittwering deceit. 


Biilboard singles chart, same song, same sentiment.

60 years old
BBC singles 
Look what you made me do – Taylor Swift 

Liked the song, but not enough to buy it, but listened again today... No change of heart, its opening... Dark mysterious losses, menace, a revenge song, full of betrayal, mistrust and cynicism. Resentment, anger some good moments, but the flat loose sound leaves me cold.
Covid Trump relevance, the underlying themes, sentiment  anger and mistrust fit this decade’s ethos, me for me, and trust no-one, sad endietement of our COVID times   

Billboard No 1  - 
Despacito  - Luis Fonsi
No idea, never heard the song  - YouTubed – tedious, heard the backing track a thousand times, from cars, in bars, radio One, Pirate stations, comm. - -  well you all know the lists, listening to the words, sexist ‘big prick, I’m a dick, l’m pullin’ babes like a magnet’  rap, wouldn’t be surprised if Donny T threw shapes to this
Covid Trump relevance – coulda been written about, or for Trump, his fantasies in Latin rap.

UK’s seen music’s Zeitgeist move from the summer sun of flower wearing hopeful 60’s, to the roar of dark cynicism of the, you’re on your own first quarter 21
st Century darkness. Insular isolation, revenge and discompassion. Looking at the nation’s attitudes to the disposable, the victims of society, and the planned pre-vaccine world, I’d say Scott and Taylor reflect start and station on life’s journey adequately. Perhaps they should consider a duo.


Toon Traveller
Travel Correspondent

Born - happy family, school great mates still see 7 / 8 in year, degreed, beer n fun, work was lazy but usually happy, retired. Learning from mum and dads travel exploits.
about Toon Traveller »»



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