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We were the world, we were the children May 22, 2010

Posted by markgeil in Music, Things that amuse me.
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They were big fellas, the two young men who entered the waiting room at the dentists’ office. Older high schoolers or younger college students, maybe, and I’m guessing they were baseball players. They had that baseball size, those thick arms, that unkempt appearance. Soon after they sat they huddled over a phone, watching a video on a tiny screen.

And so it was with no small measure of amusement that I heard the sound of Justin Bieber’s voice emanating from the tinny cell phone speaker. When I heard the words he sang, though, I winced a little. Just when I thought I had put the debacle that was “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” behind me, little Justin brought it all flooding back:

“There comes a time when we heed a certain call….”

It was as if these two thick baseball guys had come just for our amusement, because not only were they not afraid to play the song for the whole waiting room to hear, they offered a running commentary that just got funnier and funnier.

By the time Jennifer Nettles was warbling, one of the two shook his head and said, with appropriate Southern drawl, “Man, they all have such good voices.”

When Michael Jackson posthumously sang his part from the original version, the other announced, “That’s Michael. That’s from the old one.”

When Wyclef Jean, who is quite famously from Haiti, this being a benefit for Haiti and all, began his somewhat bizarre verse, the first thick baseball player got a bit excited: “Look, that’s that Jamaican dude!”

Then the kicker: Jackson’s appearance prompted the following exchange about the circumstances of the original “We Are the World”:

“When Michael was singing it the first time, wasn’t there something going on in the world”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“Like a World War or something?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”

And just like that, my formative years were merged with the mid-1940’s, and apparently I’m so old that it doesn’t really matter.

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