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Just Turn Around Now: In Plain Sight

I enjoy being able to truly listen to a song that I have heard a billion times, and to hear it for what it is, if it is a great song. It's not something I can always do though, more like a magic-eye puzzle where the picture pops in and out depending on how I angle my head.

Anyway, I enjoy doing this and I also really enjoy, when I can, doing this with other people. Like pop music group therapy. Perhaps this is my mission in life.


This is a song that is highly associated with cheesiness, but I don't think it's in itself a cheesy song.

The song: Gloria Gaynor, "I Will Survive"; 1978

This song was not set up to be a hit, but became one due to the sheer force of its nature. Originally released as the B-side to a cover of a Righteous Brothers song (hello 1978), it was more popular with DJs than the A-side -- a factoid that I cannot help but love. Unusually for a disco song at the time, Gloria Gaynor had no backup singers and her voice was left at its natural register, not pitched up.

These things I learned from reading the Wikipedia article about "I Will Survive". What I know for myself is that this song is a universal anthem of self-respect, an underrated theme in pop music and culture. I also know that this song is one of a very few that is recognizable to the great majority of the population within about 5 seconds of it starting. I think it is, truly, a great song.

And I love this video with the dancer on her skates who just spins and spins. Is that what self-respect is, disco pants and a spotlight on an empty floor? Seems like it could be, to me.