1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #809: Waterfalls (1994)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…

 

TLC – Waterfalls (1994)

Waterfalls (TLC song) – Wikipedia

” Waterfalls” is a song by American hip hop group TLC. It was written by Marqueze Etheridge and Organized Noize along with a verse written by group member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes for TLC’s second album, CrazySexyCool (1994), with production also by Organized Noize.

 

Lyrics (via Genius)

 

We’re staying in the US today, dear reader, but leaving California so we can head to Atlanta in Georgia. Formed in 1991 TLC were originally comprised of three members who each donated a letter of their name to the band – Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Crystal Jones. The all girl group specialised in R&B, hip hop, soul and pop. We join them in 1994 with the release of their second album – CrazySexyCool – and 1001 Songs have gone with the track Waterfalls.

Waterfalls explores social issues that lead others into difficulty and even to early deaths. The opening verse looks at a despairing mother whose son is going out onto the streets and getting into all kinds of mischief, ultimately being found dead in the gutter. The second verse looks at a couple not using contraception and one day the guy looks in the mirror and realises he is ill and deteriorating. Turns out he has AIDS! The chorus sees the three singers offering the advice of not chasing waterfalls and to stick to lakes and rivers. This metaphor suggests staying in calmer waters that we can control around us to a degree rather than plunging head first into the vortex of heavy falls where we’re at the mercy of the unrelenting currents. 

This song brought back memories. I have heard it many times before and seen the accompanying music video a lot as well. I wasn’t really aware of what the song was about prior to this challenge though I do recall the music video touching on some of the scenes described in the song. I was too young at this time for in-depth analysis and some might argue that hasn’t really changed. CrazySexyCool was a big success, as was Waterfalls. TLC are one of the biggest selling girl bands in US history. They survived the tragic death of Lopes in 2002 in a car accident, and continued as a duo.

 

Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Ultravox – Vienna (1980)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

Suede – Animal Nitrate (1993)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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