On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge 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 every day (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… legendary!
Tarkan – Şımarık (1997)
” Şımarık” ( pronounced , “Spoilt”), also known as ” Kiss Kiss”, is a 1997 song by Turkish singer Tarkan. It was written by Sezen Aksu, with music credited as composed by Tarkan. However, Tarkan later admitted in a 2006 interview that this had been done without Aksu’s consent, who was the true copyright owner.
We’re leaving the US today, dear reader, and making our way across the Atlantic to Europe. Once we reach the mainland we continue our journey all the way over to Turkey. Tarkan began his career in 1992 and specialised in a variety of genres including pop, dance and Turkish music of course. We join him in 1997 with the release of his third album – Ölürüm Sana – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Şımarık.
Şımarık translates as “kiss kiss” and I looked at multiple translations of this and they seemed to follow a similar theme. Tarkan’s narrator is a guy who is bewitched by a very beautiful woman who is driving him crazy with desire. He watches her links arms with other men and it is unbearable. It sounds like she is fully aware of the hold she has over him and although he probably should walk away it is not an easy thing to do. I did note in some of the translations that there were references to snakes and holes which left me a little hot under the collar I have to say.
I wasn’t familiar with Tarkan or Şımarık but I understand that upon the release the track proved very popular and not just in Turkey. I have read that Tarkan is something of an Elvis Presley like figure in Turkey which is some achievement. Şımarık remains his biggest hit and had led to new versions by the likes of Stella Soleil and Holly Valance. As for Tarkan, well, he continues to wow his adoring fans to this day.
Favourite songs so far: