I’m Blue Da-Ba-Dee-Da-Ba-BACK?!
My thoughts on this week's #1
Driving home on Sunday, I happened upon the Top 40 Chart show on Radio 1. We recently got a car that doesn’t have Bluetooth, so now I’m back listening to radio the again, like a caveperson.
Normally I stick with Heart FM, but every so often it switches itself onto a different station of its own accord, and if I press any of the buttons, it replies with terrifying white noise, so I’ve decided not to touch anything and just let the car do what it wants. (I also have the technical skills of a caveperson).
All of this to say, that’s how I ended up listening to the excitable countdown to the reveal of the number one song in the UK! I don’t think I’ve heard for about twenty years. It’s not something I religiously keep up with. Like Succession. Or the Wordle.
I expected the song to be something by Ed Sheeran, about driving recklessly in the suburbs with a picture of a shiny-haired ex-love in his pocket. But this time, the number one was something quite unexpected. In that I’d heard it before. And so have you.
Out rang the familiar tune of… ‘I’m Blue Da Ba Dee, Da Ba Di.’
This is the kind of song that if you were any age in 1998, I don’t know how you would have missed it. If you asked someone now, ‘do you remember ‘I’m blue da ba dee da ba di?’ and they said no, I would assume they were an alien and that their cover had finally been blown.
Of all the songs I expected to be sampled in a number 1, 24 years after it’s release, it wasn’t ‘I’m Blue Da Ba Dee, Da Ba Di’. The original was bizarre. Why is this man’s world so blue? Is he depressed? Is he cold? Is he colour blind?
And yet it was astronomically popular. So I’m not sure we needed a slightly different version of it. But there it was, singing out of my unpredictable radio.
I was transported back to the moment I first heard the song.
I must have been 8 or 9, and we were visiting my parents’ friends over in Devon, who had children our age. The girl took me to a Halloween party, where I learned that all her friends had BOYFRIENDS. These 9-year-olds?!
I was SHOCKED. Back in Surrey, me and my nerdy friends still spent our free time reading books about horses and making up songs about fossils. I was forced to conclude that things must be a bit more advanced in the West Country.
As ‘I’m blue da ba dee da ba di’ played in the background, the girl at the party discussed how pitiable it was that I’d never had a boyfriend or pecked anyone on the lips. One generous Year 6 offered to let me kiss her boyfriend, so that I could catch up. I excused myself and hid in the toilets until our parents came to pick us up, biding my time by building a small castle out of multi-coloured soaps.
That is where I was in my life when ‘Blue’ by Eiffel 65 was released. Now, I am thirty-two, have kissed many boys, chose one of them as my favourite, and I thought this song belonged to the past.
But now! Back comes that riff. And history repeats itself! What if eight-year-olds at parties hear this song now and think it’s the ORIGINAL?! Like how I thought Marilyn Manson wrote ‘Tainted Love?!’ And ‘Heaven’ was by DJ Sammy?!
That ‘Blinded by the Light’ was originally by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band?! Insanity!
Isn’t the world supposed to move forward?! Aren’t we supposed to have new things?
Maybe not. They say there are only seven stories: Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story. Blue fox and red vixen falling in love in the Animals of Farthing Wood…
Maybe there’s no truly original piece of art. We take inspiration from the world and express it in a different way. Things will be reinvented with your own spin. Why not Eiffel 65? Fair play David Guetta.
I actually think the concept of cover songs is great, especially if you make them better (check out Teenage Dream.) But still, it’s an odd feeling when they start re-hashing things from your youth. It’s like when I found out they remade the TV series Roswell High.
In Roswell High, Max (an alien) saves Liz (a normal girl, like you or me!) from being shot, by using his alien hand to magic the bullet out of her. They fall in love and have to try and navigate the challenges of a normal teenage relationship, even though Max was born in a spaceship and has green DNA.
It was a terrible show. And I loved it so much. I’m not watching the new one because I don’t need a new one. That was my version, and it stays in my past in its rightful place on my journey as a human. There’s nothing that could possibly be in the new one that would make it worth watching.
Unless there’s a scene in which Max is asked ‘do you remember the song Blue by Eiffel 65’ and he says, ‘no’ and then everyone finds out he’s an alien.
'I have a girlfriend, and she is so blue'
IM CURIOUS: What memory do you associate with 'I'm Blue' by Eiffel 65?! Please tell me in the comments...