Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brand New Brand New Key

The other day I found myself listening to "Brand New Key" by Melanie in the car. While Melanie's quirky, novelty number one hit has managed to endure in the pop consciousness for the four decades since its release, from "Boogie Nights" (oh Heather Graham how you still roller skate around in my dreams) to that recent HP commercial with the baby on the highway, it became quite apparent while listening that the overall roller skate/roller skate key analogy behind the song had become completely outdated. The overall theme of a girl trying to attract the attention of a boy is timeless and the cheeky sexual innuendo of finding a key for her lock, was controversial and subtly progressive then and is just as relevant now, but I figured there had to be a better way to convey that without using roller skates as the example.

Even for a roller skating reference it is woefully ancient. Assuming there are kids out there still riding roller skates (and judging by the diminishing number of skating rinks across the country I assume there aren't too many who still do), they would probably be using roller blades (or maybe those stupid Heelys that were kind of popular a few years ago) over the old quad variety. Even if there are some anachronistic kids out there somewhere with the old quad skates, they would have to be using quad skates that are so outmoded that they still required skate keys. To this day I have never seen such skates and am still not quite sure why roller skates would even require keys when you can just put them on like regular shoes or even ice skates. The entire sum of my knowledge of roller skates with keys consists of, aside from "Brand New Key", an old episode of "Muppet Babies" where Fozzie loses his skate key and the whole gang goes on an adventure to find it.

Given how antiquated the analogy was, I tried to think of a more updated comparison. In being faithful to the original song it had to relate to a seemingly innocent children's toy or activity but could possibly also be construed to be about sex. This actually proved to be far more difficult then I had originally imagined. In fact, I couldn't even think of a single good relevant replacement. I've got a brand new...pack of Silly Bandz? Bakugan figurine? Nintendo 3DS game? Maybe something about getting new smartphones so they can sext each other? There really weren't any better options (although if they did a reboot of the song in the 90's I think it should be about POGs and slammers).

So I guess the lesson here may be not to mess with a classic. Any better suggestions out there?

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