September 22, 2008

Buddy Holly: Unlocking the Mystery

If you're like me, you've had the occasional epiphany ... and then wondered whether you were only then coming to realize something that everyone else already knows. In grad school somebody called these "cliched epiphanies," which is, in a word, apt. I propose "duhpiphany" as the word for this. But somebody has beaten me to it.

I just googled it and found some references, but they don't get at quite what I mean by the term. My definition is better. By definition. If you will. As it were. Etc.

(One person I work with says "et cetera, et cetera" all the time. I think you only need one of them, or preferably none. Drives me nuts. Another says "and et cetera." Wow. If you ever hear that I've died as a result of spontaneous combustion and or (don't click this link ... it's not for the faint of heart) Scanners-style brain explosion, assume that the last words I heard were those.)

But I digress ... you came to hear about my realization about Buddy Holly. First of all, I like Buddy Holly, but I've never been quite comfortable with what I took to be his earnestness. But then it hit me ... that high voice of his sounds pretty darned sarcastic, doesn't it? Sneering, even? I sat and listened to some of his biggest hits with my ears tuned to Sarcasm, and wow! Check this one out, right about :22, and see if I'm wrong.

And once you start down that road, the whole Holly oeuvre takes on another layer of meaning. I've always found this song to be kind of threatening in a "my love is bigger than a Cadillac" kind of way ... except when the Dead do it. Et cetera, et cetera, and et cetera.



Anonymous said...

I think you've hit on the Holly mystique - there is something menacing in his songs.

JB said...

Thanks for the affirmation! Great to hear from you.

AlongTheBridge said...

I too came up with the word "duhpiphany" about a week ago, and yours was the 2nd hit from google when I rushed to figure out if someone beat me to it. Funny, the word itself is a bit self-referential.