There’s been a lot of calamity here on Planet Earth of late. Channel surfing is an exercise in slaloming through the carnage of twenty-four hour news networks.
I stopped on The Learning Channel to, you know, learn something other than how soon we’ll all be jobless, money will be worth nothing and everyone will be using jellybeans for currency.
Instead, I got talking heads and CGI graphics frightening the bejesus out of me about the Mayan calendar and 2012 – that’s the year that the Mayans return from the dead to snack on people like it’s one of those zombie flicks that seem to arrive every couple weeks.
(OK, that’s not really what these experts were prognosticating, but, as someone once said on Sarah Palin’s behalf, learnin’ is hard – ten minutes into the show, I started daydreaming about cookies)
Summoning all my strength, I was ready to engage the remote for something less dire that I could ignore. Fortunately, I was a split second too slow and I was soon sucked into a commercial for Coca-Cola.
Essentially, the clip acknowledged the trouble times with the assurance that as long as there was Coke, everything would be fine.
It left me feeling strangely Zen.
(and that might be the most frightening thing of all)
There was a dearth of songs in my collection with titles involving Coke or even cola or soda, but there were several that came to mind with lyrical mentions of the beverage…
The Clash – Straight To Hell
When I thought of songs with Coca-Cola in the lyrics, this one was the first one that I heard – Joe Strummer singing, “Lemme tell ya ’bout your blood bamboo kid. It ain’t Coca-Cola it’s rice.”
The music is hypnotic and off-kilter. The song’s lyrics are hypnotic and scathing – particularly those about a Vietnam-era soldier abandoning a child he fathered during that war. I always thought it was one of The Clash’s finest moments and most fully-realized songs.
Nan Vernon – Motorcycle
Nan was a member of The Spiritual Cowboys, the band Dave Stewart put together when Eurythmics went on hiatus in the late ’80s. She released one solo album, Manta Ray, in 1996 and details since are scant (it seems that she’s been a touring musician).
It’s too bad as Manta Ray was a promising debut and if Motorcycle and Nan’s wish for someone to be her “Coca-Cola cowboy” doesn’t make you want to hit the open road, maybe you’d prefer a Fresca.
The Kinks – Lola
The Clash used Coke as a symbol of imperialism in Straight To Hell and it’s a symptom of materialism trumping spirituality in Supertramp’s Child Of Vision. In the Kinks’ classic Lola, it would seem to be a red flag that if the champagne you’re drinking tastes like Coca-Cola, you might end up dancing with a transvestite.
So, clearly drinking Coke is a venture fraught with potential peril.