Please don’t let me be misunderstood (again)

Remembering Barcelona, the wedding dress, its thief and his lover, I think of the Esmeralda disco version of Please don’t let me be misunderstood.

I was disappointed when the famous director Tarantino used the song in one of his films because it did not fit my memories of the piece. Music possesses tremendous power. I hear a song from my youth and feel like my cells are rejuvenated!

Not surprisingly, the base beat of dance music including old flamenco runs through One Dress, One Day, a playlist or soundtrack.  Radios in shops or restaurants during the day plus disco-bars  at night still added to the atmosphere of Barcelona in 1990. One-hit wonders or novelty songs could climb the charts then disappear, Yet for a short time songs could unite audiences then more than now.  Iphones, headphones, subscriptions to satellites through televisions have changed the popular music scene.

The Eurodisco hit never loses its flavour. You can hear the pounding of feet and hearts. The older version by the Animals was sung on the Ed Sullivan show! So many artists performed this song. Nina Simone lent her distinctive sound interpreting the song more as a protest about racial tension.  Few people would recognize it as the same composition in the late 70s with its traditional Spanish beat.

Besides the Flamenco flavour, nostalgia, even a bit of kitsch, the lyrics suit Francisco (aka Calif) who stole the gown. Somehow the double-crossing con was not an angel but did possess charm. I have made him an endearing character. Through these lyrics, that street-savvy con artist and thief could be speaking to Inma about his love or lust.

Baby, do you understand me now
Sometimes I feel a little mad
Well don’t you know that no-one alive
Can always be an angel
When things go wrong I seem to be bad

I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

If you want a surprise or blast from the past: https://www.bing.com/search?q=please+don%27t+let+me+be+misunderstood+lyrics&form=EDGEAR&qs=AS&cvid=be4bca088dfd4869b8503c83eea376f4&cc=CA&setlang=en-US

The lyrics merit another reading.

Baby, do you understand me now
Sometimes I feel a little mad
Well don’t you know that no-one alive
Can always be an angel
When things go wrong I seem to be bad

I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Baby, sometimes I’m so carefree
With a joy that’s hard to hide
And sometimes it seems that
All I have to do is worry
And then you’re bound to see my other side

I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

If I seem edgy, I want you to know
That I never mean to take it out on you
Life has it’s problems and I get my share
And that’s one thing I never mean to do

Cause I love you
Oh, oh, oh, baby, don’t you know I’m human
Have thoughts like any other one
Sometimes I find myself alone and regretting
Some foolish thing, some little simple thing I’ve done

I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Yes, I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Yes, I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Yes, I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.

Songwriters: BENNIE BENJAMIN,GLORIA CALDWELL,SOL MARCUS
© WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC FRANCE
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind

https://www.amazon.ca/Santa-Esmeralda-Dont-let-misunderstood/dp/B00005UNZJ

 

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ABBA & Inma

“Waterloo” EUROVISION, 1974

Everyone knew ABBA from that famous appearance on the Eurovision show in 1974. Inma knew the whole rags-to-riches story.

“Any TV talent show would be terrific exposure. It could get her to the Eurovision song contest so she could represent Spain. Not shy, Inma knew she would give it her all. One lucky break and she could make it big, like Julio Iglesias or ABBA. Everyone knew how they got their start singing on Eurovision.”

Inma still loved ABBA because most of the group’s songs were catchy with repetitive lyrics and plenty of oohs and ahs that she could ad lib, even echo as if a back-up singer. English was her second language, too.  It was encouraging to think that other people got famous singing in their second language. Inma would do it, too. She really needed a stage name. ABBA stood for Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid. Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad.

Her name and initials, Inmaculada  Concepción López de Pérez, were useless. ICLP CLIP, Inconlope or Icolopa? Sound like antelope!  Inma wanted something with star quality but easy to recall, like Blancanieves. First she thought of Noëlla or Blanche de Noël.  These were the only French words that she believed came close to her baptismal name Inmaculada Concepción. Inma sounded common; Concha, worse, and Connie, too American.

Inma sometimes wore form-fitting jumpsuits like ABBA once did. The eighties had been more about shoulder pads and legwarmers. She had grown up in that decade so by 1990 she tried to modernize her stage appearance.  A Dietrich, masculine look never failed. By now, Madonna had replaced ABBA as a model, but the customers at the Centenar bar still belted out ABBA hits like “Mamma mia”, “Fernando” and “Dancing Queen”.  She could perform, get them warmed up to Karaoke then serve more alcohol. There was an art to it:  start slowly, build to a crescendo then get everyone up, spinning and emoting.  The louder, the thirstier and the better her sales.