The voted worst song lyric of all time slapped me in the face yesterday as I danced under the stars in Budapest. There we were in an open-air nightclub on Margaret Island (I was clinging to consciousness, this being my first night out post chemotherapy and it was already ticking past 2 am), Zsolt was pulling his signature ‘I’m pointing my fingers’ dance move, and I was head bopping and body rocking along when the DJ mixed in Rhythm is a Dancer, by Snap! You know this song? It’s a bit of a classic, and I must have heard/danced to it a hundred times before. So this gets me excited, because finally here’s a song I recognize and I begin to make attempts at actual dancing (rather than my ‘I’m totally exhausted’ head bobbing’) when out comes the line: I’m serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer.
And all head bopping stopped. I was shocked.
Snap!, apparently, is serious as cancer when they say rhythm is a dancer. But really, are they? Well lucky for them to not (at least at the time of lyric writing) have cancer in their lives – that’s great for anyone – because if they did, I’m sure this line would never have made the final edit. Really, you have to assume (you just have to) that the creators of this song look back at this lyric choice and shake their heads with regret. But there it was last night, regret or no regret, shouting over the speaker system and reminding me about something I had really hoped to forget for the evening.
However I’m not writing this post to shame Snap!, because chances are they’ve already been shamed. Nope, I’m writing this because Rhythm is a Dancer is such a well known song – I’ve heard it many times, and yet last Friday night (aka Saturday morning), was the first time I’ve ever noticed that lyric.
Which goes to show, perspective is all about experience. BC (before cancer) I would never have been so impacted by such a dumb lyric – nope, I would have waved my arms, shook my hips and spun in a circle, and maybe, maybe, registered in the back of my head that I’d heard something strange, but certainly it wouldn’t have winded me, thrown me back, stopped me dead.
I can remember this other time when I was the idiot (cause in fairness to Snap! we all make mistakes – just too bad theirs was cut, produced, and distributed). All throughout my childhood was this expression: “that’s so gay”, i.e. that is stupid. And my unknowing mouth would pronounce this or that as gay, and my distracted brain would never, ever connect it with the bigger insult (I don’t mean calling someone ‘gay’ as in homosexual is the bigger insult, I mean using the term ‘gay’ as a bad thing is insulting to anyone who is, actually, gay. Seeing as there’s nothing stupid about homosexuality, heterosexuality or being bi – it’s a true misrepresentation of words.)
ANYHOW – it wasn’t until a summer spent in Jasper, at the too-old-to-know-better age of 20, that I remarked (for the last time) “that’s so gay” and a friend turned to me and said, “Catherine, I expected better of you.”
At which point, I woke up to the absolute rudeness.
Like last Friday night, when I woke up to the world’s worst song lyric and felt disguised, buzz-killed, and angry at the flippant remark.
Which makes me think, what else have I allowed to slip past my internal radar of decency? Plenty, I’ll bet.
Rhythm is not serious like cancer. Anyone post diagnosis knows this. Anyone with family who have battled knows this. Anyone who has helped support others through a whole lotta crap knows this too. Everyone should know this, cancer or not.
But it is a reminder to be aware, and be considerate. Even when spoken with a light heart, there are people who will feel the impact of such ignorant language.
So last Friday I learned a lesson. And I danced, which – FYI – was really the highlight of the evening. It’s been over a year since I’ve danced all night, and the experience, right until that 2am face slap, was incredible. I felt young, healthy and totally care-free. From a night out at the restaurant, to walking around the boulevards of Budapest, to finding a giant outdoor club and a spot to dance – it was a wonderful evening. I’m 100% thankful to have made it past last year’s nightmare. Just another reminder that there is another side – the after-side – of treatment, and it was worth the fight to dance again, finally, under the stars.