Pomp And Sunscreen

To each their own...

To each their own…

Welcome to another exciting Monday edition of…. what, you don’t think it’s Monday?  An extra day off?  What are you, fucking special or something?  OK, just trust me… today actually is Monday, and you’re getting another long lost earworm whether you like it or not straight from the Victrola shrine we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive.  Our commencement deejay extraordinaire Scratchy noted that it’s graduation season, so she put her two star pupil Sponkies to work digging up something appropriate for the occasion.  This tassel will definitely be worth the hassle…

dusty vinyl

The 90’s were kind of a fucked up musical hot mess where almost anything that wasn’t too poppy could find its way into your radio station’s rotation.  Perhaps the most bizarre example of a “song” to emerge from the decade Kurt Cobain’s flannel shirt christened came in its final year when for a brief moment in the Spring of 1999, everyone was rocking out to a fucking graduation speech.  Popular music as we knew it had just been stabbed through the gonads with a microphone stand…

And you thought that didn't happen until William Hung released two more albums than you ever did...

And you thought that didn’t happen until William Hung released two more albums than you ever will…

In a long, complicated story that you can read about in the Wiki article if your hobby is forensic musicology, a 1997 “commencement address” that first appeared as an article in the Chicago Tribune was eventually put to music by producer Baz Luhrmann and managed to become a worldwide hit.  OK, it only reached #45 in the US, so it’s not like we gobbled it up like “Uptown Skunk”… but for a short time around graduation season in 1999, this spoken word curiosity was almost inescapable if you were within earshot of a radio.  The song’s title, which comes from the opening piece of “advice” given, is “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)…

There are multiple versions of this song, some which include some actual singing mixed in with the recited speech (spoken by Aussie voice actor Lee Perry), and a few that mention the original “Class of 1997″… but the above is what I remember hearing on the radio during my unloading days at Mecca (And even a few times on Mecca Radio itself, a year or so after it had long been forgotten by everyone else).

The song I will always associate “Sunscreen” with is the hideous 1998 Shawn Mullins hit “Rockaby”Lullaby” since it’s from the same era and Mullins talks through the majority of that piece of shit as well.  Given the option, I’d gladly sit through one thousand consecutive replays of “Sunscreen” if it meant I didn’t have to fucking hear “Lullaby” ever again in my life…

This ain't Nashville with a tan, you hippie freak...

This ain’t Nashville with a tan, you hippie freak…

If I managed not to bore you to tears with week, I hope you’ll come back next Monday for more lost classics that won’t lecture you on how to act…

 

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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21 Responses to Pomp And Sunscreen

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Or you can just throw on a bikini top for those sensitive areas fhat you want to protect. Wow.

  2. Holly says:

    See, i prefer Lullaby to Sunscreen….meaning, I hate both at least one will lull you to sleep.

  3. I remember that… it was n° 1 in uk …unbelievable…. I bought two sun blockers that time, it was hip to wear sunblocker stripes in green&pink while skiing. A friend came and asked what I bought… I told her that’s sunblocker for your nose&lips&forehead… she said oh cool and tried it on her nose, forehead&cheeks… then we walked through our shopping mall and she wondered why all people laughed at her… I said not one word… I was such a mean b… that time… I feel shame now even after so much years… although it was eggs-tremely funny :o)

  4. Merbear74 says:

    Back in the good old 80’s, we used baby oil and iodine to scorch our moobs…

  5. draliman says:

    Whaaat? Whaaat? I looked it up, ready to scoff at Americans letting it get to number 45 in the US and discovered to my horror it hit number 1 in the UK. Nooooo…

    • Yeah, half the world went crazy over this “song” for some reason. The first time I heard it played on the radio, I thought it was some kind of a joke the station was playing on us. Maybe it was…

  6. I don’t remember any of this. Not a bit. And I don’t even have the excuse of not being in the country. In this case, I think I just wasn’t in my right mind, what with getting married, moving, moving again. Moving one more time. Working full time. Working more time than full. Garry, working ALL the time, day and night. I don’t even remember what I was working AT or where. Whatever was going on musically? Blew right past me. Maybe that’s just as well.

    • I don’t know if this was a phenomenon outside of Top 40 radio at the time, and that time was very brief at that. So if you weren’t listening to what was hot and happening in 1999, you almost definitely didn’t hear this…

  7. Forensic musicology will have me laughing all week. Lou Reed is the only one who ever made this work with “hey babe, take a walk on the WILD side”. doo doo do 😁 lullaby grates. Lee Perry is awesome. Shane and a mate attended voice acting classes for a few years. It would be a great way to earn a living and you wouldnt have to look your best all the time. LOL

    • I had heard the radio edit of “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” bunch of times before I finally heard the uncensored version of that song. OMG! Just my kind of daring, brash, we’ll sing about what we want kind of music!

      I have the perfect face for voice acting, only my voice is uglier than sin…

  8. Piglove says:

    Oh evil – that first picture is scary. And let me tell you, we were on vacation last week but thought about you so many times. Snorts with piggy laughter. You’ll have to wait to find out why. So hilarious! XOXO – Bacon

  9. Trisha says:

    What? That was an actual song? I always thought it was a really long commercial and changed the station whenever it came on. I’m glad you picked this one for this week because it reminds me that I need to put sunscreen on my shopping list.

    • I’m sure I thought the same thing the first time I heard it as well… how this wound up on the radio is a real headscratcher. Now who is going to apply that sunscreen to all of the squirrels…??

  10. Ally Bean says:

    This was for real, huh? It’s weird. I was way too busy in the 1990s to be aware of most of it, so this passed me by. Very weird.

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