I had a song selected for today. Then I saw episode eight of “The Handmaid’s Tale” last night.
The episode, ambiguous, powerful and emotional, full of shifting insights, was highlighted with a Nina Simone song. Man, I love her music. It was a perfect choice to mark the scene’s denouement.
The other choice, the original song, is “School’s Out,” by Alice Cooper.
There’s a striking dichotomy between the two songs, and the thinking behind them. The Simone song was about choices and the road being taken. The Alice Cooper song is a spiteful, joyous celebration of celebrate children’s ‘freedom from school’. I wanted to play “School’s Out” not because I go to school, but with school out, we don’t need to slow down for the school zone. Almost every major road in this small town goes through a school zone, forcing traffic into a tedious crawl. It’s a small, but annoying price, for safety, right? But hooray, speed! We can go five, sometimes ten miles per hour faster. Woo-hoo!
After some thought about it while brewing coffee this morning, I went with “School’s Out” because I didn’t want to debase the use of the Simone song in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” That powerful and shocking cautionary story shouldn’t be dragged down into the meanderings of a mindless blog like this.
Besides, Alice Cooper was part of my first concert I ever attended. The other two acts that day at Three Rivers Stadium were Uriah Heep and Humble Pie. Excellent concert. Memorable.
Here it is, from nineteen seventy-two, “School’s Out.” Crank it up and sing along, if you know the words. Just fake it, if you don’t. Nobody cares.