where’s your clap?

I’m not posting this video so that you can enjoy an awesome Ray Charles song on Sesame Street during its heyday.  That’s a side benefit.  But the fact that this is classic heyday Sesame Street does have to do with it.  Back then there was no heavily over-dubbed and autotuned kids singing (I haven’t watched any recent Sesame Street, so I’m not sure if they do it, but have you seen Glee? Ouch!).  If you observe closely you can see that the sound seems, for the most part, recorded live.  And because of that, you can see and hear the one hip kid who starts to spontaneously clap along on beats two and four.  If you’re a musician you’re well aware of this already, but clapping on beats one and three instead of two and four is a huge faux pas and deems you totally unhip.  The joke goes that white people clap on beats one and three, while black people clap on beats two and four.  While I’m the last one to support racial stereotypes, a quick listen to a Paul McCartney album (think Ram) versus any gospel choir won’t offer any discrediting evidence.

Anyways, this soulful little girl suddenly gets overcome by the music and starts clapping along, and even turns around to see if her comrades will join her.  They don’t.  But wait, in the final chorus they do start clapping.  Only it’s on beats one and three!  What’s worse, the claps aren’t even consistent and syncopated against the singing–they just follow along with the rhythm of the words.  And finally, to add insult to injury, the hip little girl, finding it too hard to be the lone sophisticated clapper, succumbs to the crowd and starts clapping along with the others on beats one and three.  As if to offer commentary on the tragedy, Ray says at the end, “Aw man, it’s terrible.”

It’s interesting to note that our heroic little girl is probably Puerto Rican while the offending squares are a multicultural front of Caucasian, African American, and Asian.  So there goes that theory.  I’d like to think that if I had been one of those lucky kids I’d be clapping along with the cool girl, but who knows.  I hope she became friends with the other cool girl who danced on the balcony in the Stevie Wonder Sesame Street video.

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Published in: on November 10, 2009 at 1:37 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. LOL!! Hilarious post Miles!!! Love it!


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