Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wait, is that Wham!

I seriously had to ask myself this question the other day.  I was walking down to Carréfour to get some groceries and I decided to take a shortcut through a centre commerciale, comparable to a strip mall in the US, that was right along the way.  It cut a little time off my walk and it was covered, so I'll call it a win-win.  But as I'm walking I start to hear a really familiar song, but something seemed so completely off about it.  Then I realized; they're playing "Last Christmas" by Wham! and it's the 19th of September.

Now there are a couple of possibilities at work here.  Maybe it's just a local radio station that was doing some sort of promotional thing.  I was only in there about 2 minutes before I made it to where I needed to go.  Maybe I just caught the beginning of an ad, or the tail end where the music was about to trail off.  It could just be that it's a small centre, and because of that, maybe they just have a loop of music they play.  Something might have just been put in by accident, and that was that. 

I might be more inclined to think that, had this never happened before.  Another time partner, mother-in-law and I were shopping in Super-U and they started playing Amy Grant.  I didn't this was unusual at all, until I realized she was singing "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful."  I had to start singing it to myself to make sure that it was indeed the song I thought it was.  Another time I heard "Winter Wonderland" and even on television they'll start randomly playing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" in the backgrounds of shows.

French television and advertising in general does make some great music choices though, it should be said.  A lot of times, they'll put something by The Rapture or Sia in the background of a decoration show.  I'm pretty impressed with the choices they make.  I've heard The Smiths played at the perfect time, as well as even some Patty Smyth.  So overall, the problem seems to not be with the choice in music.  Maybe it's more in overall tone of the peace.

Just as a reference, listen to the music in this Kinder Maxi commercial:

What exactly, if anything does this ad imply?  Is it just the overall style of relaxing music they were going for, and it's only the Anglophone world that's creeped the hell out by a woman handing a child a candy bar while a song talks about resolving problems by sleeping together..? 

Am I reading too much into this?

I'm sure this is a problem all over the world.  In fact, I know there's a site on the internet called Engrish.com that shows examples of English that make no sense, but they specialize in unwittingly inappropriate (read:dirty) uses of English.  I would love to know other examples. 


  1. sounds, like me, you might over think the stuff...or maybe we should, and they count on us not doing so??? hmmmmm questions? :)

    have a great day

  2. I must, I apologize in advance.

    Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Pinky?

  3. I'd never heard of Carréfour before coming to China. There are 3 Carrefours in this small city on this small remote island near vietnam. Meh. I know not related to your post but wth?

  4. Yeah, yay for globalization, eh? Maybe they'll get a Wal-Mart next year...