Thursday, August 26, 2010

Music Box Dancer

I had to laugh recently when someone posted a question to Ask Metafilter asking for the name of a 1980s hit instrumental that he or she thought was called "Ballerina." Because of course, I knew that wasn't the name, but I instantly knew the song meant was "Music Box Dancer," and now that tune is stuck in my head semi-permanently. (And perhaps in yours. Sorry 'bout that.)

I don't know a kid from the 1980s who can't hum this song, and those of us who took piano lessons most likely played it at a recital as well. But I learned more about the song from the Ask Metafilter question.

Someone pointed out that it is often played by ice-cream trucks. (I think the one in my neighborhood plays "Reuben, Reuben" but it may have a variety of tunes.) Another person pointed out that there are at least two versions -- the Frank Mills hit (video below) and one by Richard Clayderman. (Frank Mills, by the way, has nothing to do with the awesome "Hair" hit of the same name. I like the Lemonheads cover.)

Also, I had no idea there were lyrics. But I had the music box -- didn't every girl? And for just $10 at Amazon, I may have to buy one for Kelly sooner rather than later.


Deanna said...

So my dad really liked "Music Box Dancer," and really wanted me to learn it on the piano. EVERY day he would read the paper and come to the place where it said how many days were left in the year (No, I have no idea why that was in the Atlanta Constitution.) and say to me, "Today's August the 26th. Only 127 more days this year to learn 'Music Box Dancer.'" All I could do was sigh and roll my eyes. I never did learn to play "Music Box Dancer," but I did learn to play the theme from "Star Wars!"

Shannon said...

I've been re-watching my dvds of old Simpsons and this song was on one of them (in a flashback to high school Homer as a gymnast). So of course it got stuck in my head and I have spent the past week wondering what its from. Was it ever in a movie or is it just from music boxes? I remembered it but I just couldn't remember from what. So yeah weird coincidence that it was on this blog.

Kyle said...

I laughed when I saw that question too! My uncle performed in a piano bar during the height of Music Box Dancer mania, and he refused to play it for many years afterwards, despite constant hounding by my mother. Finally, one Christmas (probably in the early 90s) he played it, much to my mother's delight, but after a few bars he started playing the right and left hand in different keys and I think eventually it may have morphed into some kind of off-key rendition of Little Drummer Boy. One of my favorite Christmas memories.

mama ritchie said...

I played this song on my Casio. True story.