Posted in Of Musicals

My Life Has Come Full Circle

I just discovered a song I was made to dance to at a school function fifteen years ago. My life has come full circle.

But, let’s start from zero, before we go to 360.

I went to a private, expensive and yet, unassuming school. Because I like to keep personal details private, all I can say is, the school is in the suburbs in a certain part of India. Which, in year 2000, meant no internet. No possibility of having much choice, or for that matter, reach in cultural matters.

Thus, I will never know who it was that supplied the school with a cassette of Kraftwerk’s “The Robots”.

If you don’t take an interest in synthpop, here’s the backstory. Kraftwerk are, perhaps, the pioneering synthpop act. They are a German band who became internationally famous in the 1970s, and gave rise to about 20 million synthpop artists ever since.

I knew about them, I knew what they sound like, but because they are so influential, I decided to get hold of their albums instead of listening just to their singles. Because, I really find it hard to do both while listening to music, but that’s a different story. However, I am yet to find a copy here, even online. Until, I accidentally stumbled upon “The Robots” today on YouTube.

But, that is today. Fifteen years ago, all non-dancers were obligated to dance “the Robot dance” for the annual school function. I had to get black ballet flats and black leggings specifically for the occasion. And rehearse everyday for months and months. Being cripplingly shy, I never had the courage to ask the teacher and the high school students in charge if I could have a look at the cover sleeve of the cassette.

All I really remember is trying to convince myself that I could do this mimetic robot dancing. And that the song had a curiously Chinese-sounding lick after the choral, robotically sung “We are the Robots” line. It was silly, but it was fun silly. We were better off than all the other theme dance troupes. But, knowing what I do now, I can’t fathom for the life of me how we ended up dancing to Kraftwerk, in suburban India, in year 2000.

It’s all true. The world is a small place and we’re all, in bizarre ways, connected to each other.

About a year ago, I also discovered the march we had to perform our morning school drill to. It was also a German composition, composed during the First World War. But, Kraftwerk. I doubt whether something like that is part of the school extra-curriculum even in Germany.

I went to the coolest school in the world, didn’t I?


Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

6 thoughts on “My Life Has Come Full Circle

  1. When I was in school I was forced to attend these sock hop dances. All the kids would get in the gym, take off our shoes, and then dance around in our socks to songs by NSYNC and Britney Spears 😀 Ah, good times! lol Sadly, we did not have any cool robot songs.

    1. Ha ha, it would be an outrage if we openly danced to Britney Spears in school! We did have people singing Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Carpenters and other artists we could get “clean”, inspirational songs of, but NSync, Backstreet Boys, Britney, Christina were strictly to be listened and danced to without the teachers catching you! I remember I was once caught by a teacher while dancing to Shakira’s “Whenever, Wherever” among a group of friends. Thankfully, she was kind enough to forgive my belly dancing!

  2. Late reading this (was off camping for a few days) but enjoyed this. Not a particular fan of Kraftwerk but one must acknowledge the importance of their sound. I was also painfully shy during school and still am in some ways but must admit to reading this now having flashbacks to school dances and the song that always closed it out-Shout (You Know You Make Me Wanna) that was an Isley Brothers song and on the Animal House soundtrack and later on done by my favorite a cappella group the Mint Juleps.

    1. Enjoy whatever I’ve heard of Isley Brothers and Mint Juleps sound familiar!
      Ah, just googled them and remembered, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”. Love the Saint Etienne cover of that song as well.

      1. Cool! Major props to you for knowing about them! I wrote about them last year. Do check out Higher and Higher (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) by them. I try to get all my blogs to the artists in question but my efforts failed when I wrote it. So I made a FB page for them and after a few months I was ready to shut it down with only 6 page likes. Somehow that same week, and months later one of the group found my blog, and the page and I’m now up to almost 175 likes! And best of all, I chat with a few of them now and again. Super nice women. They sang backup to tons of artists like Fine Young Cannibals back in the day as well

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