Because life is a series of edits

Lawnmower Shuffle (classic mix)

In Musicians on March 26, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Part of our “deal” in living in our house is the privilege of mowing the yard, which I did Sunday afternoon. I have many fond memories of lawnmowing from my youth, when mowing the yard on the farm was the equivalent of four solid hours of riding my Dad’s John Deere riding mower, never without with my imitation Sony Walkman blaring the hits.

I always felt I did some of my best thinking on the lawnmower, but the best part of mowing (both then and especially now) is the instant progress one makes in doing it. The size of our lawn here in St. Louis doesn’t demand a riding mower by any means, but it did take a good 45 minutes or so with a used push mower we got off Craig’s List to do the job.

I’ve evolved from listening to music on cassettes, but not from the joy of listening to music while walking the weeds (er, grass). In alphabetical order by song title, and with the task of tending God’s creation in mind, here’s my official iPod Lawnmower Shuffle (classic mix) from yesterday:

  • Beautiful Day – U2
  • Blowin’ In The Wind – Bob Dylan
  • (The) Color Green – Rich Mullins
  • I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow – The Soggy Bottom Boys
  • I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash
  • MMMBop – Hanson
  • Never Is Enough – Barenaked Ladies
  • Our House – Madness
  • Pink Houses – John Mellencamp
  • Pray For Rain – PFR
  • Roam – The B-52’s
  • Suburbia – Pet Shop Boys
  • Summer Nights – Van Halen
  • Summer Of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  • Sunny Day – Mary Cutrufello
  • Walk Of Life – Dire Straits

Good times, good times.

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  1. MMMBop by Hanson??? That was just a joke to see if we’re paying attention; right?

  2. Sadly, Nick, it was not a joke. We actually forked over a whole $1.09 for this one song on one night Craig completely lost his head. I’m still shaking mine.

  3. Nice mix Craig. These songs take me back. I was just reminising about Pet Shop Boys last night!

  4. i can’t believe that i have a friend who actually likes mmmbop. i’m not sure we can hang out annymore.

  5. Okay, okay, okay. Let me try to address Nick’s concern with my inclusion of the song in the lawnmowing list, as well as try to salvage any remaining friendship I might have with Travis regarding “MMMBop”.

    First off, it’s fun – little more than that. Try as I might, I have never been able to understand what the song is about, nor have I cared all that much to even look up the lyrics (as if they would be meaningful, considering the hook line is “MMMBop”). The song is catchy but little more. Point taken.

    However, the 1997 song is significant in a couple of ways. Historically speaking, it’s a bridge from the grunge music of the early 90’s to the boy band phenomenon of the late 90’s (preceded in 1994 by Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Cracked Rear View” album, which I’m sure I’m sure I’ll get crap about as well). Some may not care about this, but as an amateur music-history buff, it’s important to know who to blame for what came next.

    Not only was Hanson’s Middle of Nowhere album hugely different from what was being played at the time, the means of how it was all put together is an interesting story in itself. The album was produced by The Dust Brothers, who had worked on several so-called “groundbreaking” debut albums for The Beastie Boys, Beck, etc., and the fact that they took on Hanson was a strange decision at the time, one that became yet another example (again, for better or for worse) of how music can be manufactured as performed (though from a production standpoint, wow).

    While we don’t own the album, Megan’s documentation of my download insanity with “MMMBop” is true, but I only spent the dollar on iTunes because I thought our girls might like the song as part of the soundtrack for our fall break to Nashville last year. I don’t own any Hanson posters, nor am I a huge fan of boy bands – I just think the novelty of the song and its time is kind of interesting.

  6. Nice try, Craig.

    Historically speaking, Erasmus was an important bridge from medieval theology to Reformation theology. That doesn’t mean I want to do my devotions from Erasmus’ writing.

    Secondly, just because Hanson was “hugely different from what was being played at the time,” that doesn’t mean it was worthwhile. As C.S. Lewis said, “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” The boy-band pop of the first years of this milennium certainly took us down the “wrong road”.

    And finally, I’m not buying that as you tried to maneuver around downspouts and flower patches you were pondering the evolution of American pop music signified by the squeaky harmonies of Isaac and Taylor.

    p.s. I say all this in good fun, my friend. There are certain songs/artists that I have a predilection for that you could give me just as much grief for.

  7. Hanson as Erasmus? A rebuke from Lewis? Man, it’s a rough room.

    Nick, can I go back to your original accusation and just say I threw in “MMMBop” as a joke just to see if you were paying attention?

  8. i knew it was a joke. good one. you slay me with.

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