We didn’t watch the Grammys, so I only have one Grammy thought that doesn’t involve spending four hours discussing the asshole move of beating up your girlfriend–which is a whole heaping pile of bullshit in itself–the day before one of the most important events of her professional career, thus rendering her unable to participate.
Anyway, here it is. I have always thought that “Bo Diddley” was the strangest, most wonderful song ever, ever, ever. I’m not saying it’s my favorite song. Just that when I hear it, I feel like I’m hearing something profound I’m not smart enough to make sense of. Like someone in my room is playing “Mockingbird,” “he’s going to buy me a diamond ring, and if that diamond ring…” and someone from the other room starts singing “….don’t shine he’s going take it to a private eye” and you think it’s just some variation on the same song. But somehow, even thought it’s Bo Diddley singing, he’s the subject of the song, the person who can use a black cat bone to sow such discord in the singer’s house that the singer loses his woman. And that’s in the stanza that makes the most sense.
What about the middle one, when the beloved ends up with a Sunday coat made from a nanny goat and a hat made from or by a bear cat?
The whole thing holds together like some magic-infused dream.
And then, at the end, when he says “Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley, have you heard? My pretty baby said that she was a bird.”
It’s corny. I am embarrassed to even type it like it’s something profound. But it feels profound to me, like it’s some great mysterious truth and the way he sings it gives me such a case of the heebie jeebies that every time I hear it I get goosebumps, like I’m pressed up against something important and it’s moving against me to that beat.