Bad enough there's talk of allowing nattering nabobs to chatter on their cellphones on airplanes. Now comes word the good folks at the Houston airport (Bush International) are setting up karaoke booths for travelers.
Okay, that's a little grouchy. It might be kinda festive to have someone step up and belt out a few choruses of a nice song or two as you wait for your luggage to arrive. Oh, wait, that's Pearson. Anyway, if the folks who pick up the microphones can sing, it could be fun.
Caroline Schneider, assistant airport manager for customer service, explains that officials the last couple years have had high school bands and choirs from churches sing or play at the airport and that karaoke was the next step.
"During the holidays, we have a lot of our novice travelers," she said. "We thought while they are waiting, they can just sing a song."
Okay, but let's hope the machines aren't too close to the bar.
TOP TRAVEL SONGS
Just for fun (or not), what would be the top songs folks would want to sing at Bush International Airport, anyway? "(Goin' back to) Houston" from Dean Martin would seem obvious. Democrats jubilant over the incoming president might prefer "Chicago (my kind of town)" from Frank Sinatra.
Either way, I kinda doubt there'll be much from the Dixie Chicks.
On a related note (what a segueway), I have to confess that when I'm bored and driving on a long trip I sometimes think about travel and music; two of my favourite things in life. On one recent late-day return from Kingston to Toronto I started to think about top geographical references in popular music.
A few came to mind right away: "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," "New York, New York," "The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond" (if that's the correct title), "Kansas City," "Free Man in Paris," "Back in the USSR," "Lady of Spain," "Wichita Lineman," "Walk Like an Egyptian," (yeah, that's a stretch), "The Viennese Waltz," "Blue Hawaii," "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina," "Moon over Miami," "Girl from Ipanem," "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" and even "Christmas in Killarney."
Spain gets a lot of coverage: "Holiday in Spain" by Counting Crows and "Never Been to Spain" by Three Dog Night being a couple examples It makes sense; it's much easier to rhyme something with Spain than, say, Portugal or Bratislava.
I tried to come up with 10 Beatles titles with geographic references, but fell short. There's USSR, and they covered the song Kansas City. One of their early covers, available only I think on the anthology disc or maybe the Beatles at the BBC collection, was "Memphis, Tennessee," but it wasn't an original. There's also "Blue Jay Way" (written about a house in L.A.), "Penny Lane," "Strawberry Fields," "Norwegian Wood" and "The Long and Winding Road," although that doesn't mention a particular road so probably deserves a loud disqualification horn. You could maybe stretch things to include "Across the Universe," but that's pretty vague.
Paul McCartney wrote "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" and "London Town," as well as "Mull of Kintyre." George Harrison penned a tribute to his home in Hawaii called Hana. John Lennon had an early solo effort called Sometime in New York City (even I never bought that one).
And what about Canada? There's got to be some great Newfoundland and Quebec songs I don't know about. Blue Rodeo has done "Montreal" and "English Bay," while co-lead singer Jim Cuddy wrote one called "Whistler." The Guess Who, of course, had "Goin' Back to Saskatoon," while Stompin' Tom Connors has had a few, most notably "Sudbury Saturday Night." And I love The Tragically Hip's "Bobcaygeon."
I started to think about U.S. states, and there's tons of offerings: "California Girls," "California Man," "Goin to California," as well as a bunch about Georgia - "Rainy Night in Georgia," "Georgia on my Mind," and "Midnight Train to Georgia" to name a few. There's also "Sweet Home Alabama" of course, which Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote in answer to Toronto's Neil Young penning "Southern Man," with its scathing indictment of southern racism. (I've seen Young quoted as saying he'd rather sing Sweet Home than his own song, and isn't that awfully Canadian and self-deprecating of him?). Not to mention "Yellow Rose of Texas," "All my Exes Live in Texas," "Kentucky Woman," "Blue Moon of Kentucky," "Arizona," and a bunch more. And there are cities galore, In noodling around for research on this, I stumbled upon a web site (naturally) created by someone with WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.
Check out www.funtrivia.com/quizzes/music/something_in_common/geography_in_songs.html for a hoot and a half. You can check out songs only about California, songs with U.S. states in the title and songs about planetary objects ("Venus," "Venus and Mars," "Bad Moon Rising," "Walking on the Moon," and even songs about rivers ("Way Down Upon the Suwanee River" and "Ferry Cross the Mersey," a personal fave). Of course, some songs are both planetary and about famous streams, such as "Moon River."
There are tons of bands with geographic connotations: "Chilliwack," "Boston," "Chicago," etc..., etc.... A And wasn't there a band called "Toronto" once upon a time?
I'm missing lots here, folks, so anyone who's bored with the goings-on in Ottawa (not me, not yet) feel free to chip in your three cents worth, and drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
And feel free to chip in for my vacation fund. By all accounts, I need serious help.