Coffee Cup Reading: Attack of the Bryan Adams EarWorm

30 Aug


So I was in Greece last week:  amazing sunsets, salty water, hot dance clubs til 5am, sweet fruit, feta, and veg that will make you wonder what the hell Canadians are eating – you get the picture, i won’t belabor it to the point of jealousy.  Among the many revelations one has on a trip like this, came a startling discovery about international trade and music: Bryan Adams is big in Greece. I know, right? How the hell did the pride of Kingston end up endearing himself to a nation a million miles from the Great Lakes? Your guess is as good as mine, I’ve always preferred his misspelled doppleganger. Although I will confess to waiting for slow songs in Grade 8, and when his Robin Hood oeuvre came on, you found the prettiest girl who would say yes and made your way to the centre of the gym. And who hasn’t been Cut Like A Knife? (probably shortly after said dance)…..

…so we were on a rooftop, drinking vodka, coke and sour cherry. The DJ was spinning cool ambient music, the kind of stuff that is perfect for a certain place like a rooftop bar, but that you never think to download after the fact. The brilliant Greek Sun had set, and we admired the Acropolis in the near distance. Perfectly chill. Then out of nowhere comes “Have you Ever Really Loved A Woman”:

Well have you? Bryan Adams wants to know, and he wants to know while he salsas to a latin beat. I mean, really really really ever loved a woman. What in the hell just happened? Why did the cool Greek DJ think that this song was a perfect capper for our perfect greek night? Nothing can explain it. Or maybe two things can explain it…..

Like many things on UnSung, there are those artists and bands that amount to nothing on a global scale or are underrated; then, by the grace of God or chord progression, they shoot up the charts with a firecracker and are shared by the world. Until they disappear from consciousness again, only to resurface years later in Greece, a place where (presumably), they were always in fashion, and you are reminded of being a teenager, and the Summer of ’69, and how three men of vastly different backgrounds somehow made sense as the musical Muskateers:

Isn’t music so great?

I returned home from Greece. Days later, time after time, whether it was in the shower, cooking, walking, working – “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” played back on the soundtrack in my brain. Inescapable. Irritating, confounding, but somehow addictive. Why does a song stick in your head? Let me drop some science on you, the doctors are on it and they are calling it an EarWorm. Adams’ declarations of love, at first so banal, now seemed profound. “to really love a woman, you let her hold you…..give her wings so she can fly…….and when you can see your unborn children in her eyes, you know you really(really really) love a woman”. Puke. But still, somehow…..sweet. I thought about it. Maybe it has to do with love in your own life; if you’ve been there, you know, and you want to be there again with the girl/boy by your side. Schmaltz is the soundtrack for lovers, but love songs only seem silly when you’re not in love or don’t want to be in love.

So thank you, Bryan Adams EarWorm. Thanks for being a Canadian ambassador to the land of honey and seaside sunsets. Thanks for letting Kevin Costner be a Prince of Thieves. Thanks for the catalogue of music that I begrudgingly get into every once in a while. And thanks for distilling the notion of love into 4 minutes and 57 seconds, so I know it the next time I see it.

2 Responses to “Coffee Cup Reading: Attack of the Bryan Adams EarWorm”


  1. August and Everything After | UnsungPresents - August 30, 2013

    […] and it took me a second to place it. Greeks have this very weird affection for some things Canadian. I always find it interesting what songs translate to other parts of our globe, and Nickelback’s […]

  2. The Unsung: Latest and Greatest | UnsungPresents - January 26, 2018

    […] by Willie Nelson and Harry Connick, Jr. This song is my current earworm. I was a huge Harry Connick fan in the early 90s – i thought he was going to be the second […]

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