Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Reverse music

In America, large vehicles emit a beeping noise when they go in reverse to warn anyone who may be standing in their path. In Syria, they have a bit more class - when cars or buses back up, they play a catchy little tune. The tune always bothered me a little bit because although it would get stuck in my head, I never knew what song it was. I asked a lot of Syrians if they knew what it was, but no one could give me a definitive answer.

Fast forward to now. For fun, I programmed the tune into Jeremy's cell phone and made it his ring tone.

The other day we were out and about with some of the students and Jeremy's phone rang. One of the students, a girl from France, laughed and said she couldn't believe we had "Lambada" as our ringtone.

Finally, someone who knew this song! I was able to come home, look it up on the internet, and hear the original, non-monophonic version in all its glory.

Now my only question is why on earth drivers in the Middle East chose a 1989 dance song sung by a French band inspired by the native music of Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia to be played every time they put their cars in reverse.

(There are plenty of places on the internet where you, too, can watch the video and hear the song, but I won't link to them since the band is French - let's just say that their policy on displaying one's undergarments while dancing doesn't match my own.)


Steve said...

Finally! I once found out who the song was by, but then I forgot and was never able to find anyone else who knew. You know you've lived in Syria too long when no amount of time can erase that metallic tune from your head.

Anonymous said...

i'm really surprised here that syrians don't couldn't recognize this tune!
why this song? it's maybe coz when it was first released it was so popular here , in each festival or occasion or on tv they would play it!

abufares said...

I'm happy to read a new post of yours. It's been some time!
I always like your little observations, seemingly insignificant.
At a certain time, the Lambada was a very popular song. It's my opinion that the Chinese liked the song so much they programmed it in the stupid reverse sensor. People in Syria bought it and grew attached to the Lambada themselves.
Back in the seventies, multi-tuned horns for cars were popular before they were deemed illegal. I remember that I had a 5 horned glaxon on my VW Golf. The tune of the day was La Cocaracha. That was way more annoying and much louder than the little reverse beeper. You can be thankful you weren't here during that period and suffered from hundreds of coakroaches everywhere you go.

Bridget said...

Steve, not only is it still stuck in my head, I find that I'm actually really getting into the real version. It's so darn catchy!

Anonymous, maybe it's an age thing. The people I was asking may not have been listening to the radio in 1989.

Abufares, I think the drivers in Syria didn't get the memo about multi-tuned horns being illegal. Or at least the ones who drive down Sheikh Saad at 2am didn't.

Alex said...

The "tune" that is still stuck in my head is the one you had in your "street dance" post

Bridget said...

It's funny you should mention that song, Alex - just yesterday I found myself humming it at the dinner table.

Omar said...

Oh yes.. the "Lambada" song was very popular in the late 80s – early 90s. In fact, its music video (two young people dancing Samba) was always on TV.

Another very popular song which you hear all the time in Syria or at any festival is George Michael’s “Careless Whisper.”

Glad you liked Syria!

adiamondinsunlight said...

Aha! I've wondered for years what that tune was. The lambada - will wonders never cease?

thank you for clearing this up for me!