“Life could be a dream, sweetheart
Hello, hello again, sh-boom and hopin’ we’ll meet again Bom ba,
Hey nonny ding dong, alang alang alanga
Oh oh oh oh dip, a dibby dobby dip…”
Lyrics from “Sh-Boom” by The Overtones
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Doo-Wop concert at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Yes, you read it right. A Doo-Wop concert.
Not exactly the kind of music you picture when you think of the symphony.
At least, it’s not the kind of music I usually picture when I think of the symphony.
But let me tell you, it was MAGICAL.
Listening to a group of broadway singers croon the nonsensical notes of familiar fifties and sixties songs, I was transported to a time that I’ve only ever been able to visit in my imagination (Hey, I may have an old soul, but I am still a Millenial!).
That’s the magic of music.
Now let me tell you about the magic of Doo-Wop.
Well, for starters, it doesn’t have to make sense.
As the “Sh-Boom” lyrics above demonstrate, words don’t have to have meaning.
But they do have to have feeling.
And one of the feelings created by Doo-Wop music, is happiness.
At least, that’s what I feel when I listen to it.
Singing the ridiculous phrases to the cheerful tunes and upbeat tempos, I can’t help but feel lighter.
Even the sad songs sound kind of happy. No matter how blue you are feeling, they can brighten your day.
I think some of that brightness comes from the realization that there is a strong element of nonsense in the genre. Doo-Wop music is playful. It is full of teenage angst. In some ways, listening to it is like visiting a musical amusement park. It might be a little too sweet for some people’s taste, or a little too cheesy, but for me, it is that source of fun and hope that I sometimes miss when focusing on adult responsibilities.
And the reason it makes sense, is because our feelings often don’t. If music is meant to imitate life, then the nonsensical lyrics of Doo-Wop capture the ecstasy and the devastation of our happiest and saddest moments.
It was not surprising for me to learn that Doo-Wop has had a great influence on other genres of music. Just listening to that concert made me want to dance–it made me want to create–to generate my own nonsensical lyrics and choreographed moves for the world to see.
Luckily, for everyone, I have been able to limit these urges to singing in the car and dancing around my house.
But I still would love to share the magic of Doo-Wop with people. So, if you are needing an extra ray of sunshine to brighten your day, check out the following link to learn more about the Doo-Wop project.
You may feel a little goofy, but that’s the point. Take a ride on the ridiculous side! You don’t have to be old to appreciate older music. Whatever your age, Doo-Wop is a joyful ride.