Being a musician, I hear music everywhere. Sometimes that’s a blessing and other times it’s most certainly a curse. I’ve both amazed and annoyed friends and family by picking up the background music in a restaurant or store. It was so faint as to be barely noticeable but now they can’t help notice the fact that Madonna is belting out Get Into the Groove behind all the voices and chatter around them.
I also find music in odd places or, at the very least, wonderful music in places you might not expect. I wanted to share a couple of them because these songs still haunt me. Why? Because they’re songs that are incredibly beautiful and spring from surprising places. One is a lullaby from a children’s show and the other is a commercial jingle.
I used to watch a show with my kids. It was called Bear in the Big Blue House and it was done by Jim Henson Productions. The character of Bear is loving and friendly with a paternal side towards the characters who live in his big blue house. He did a duet with one of the recurring characters on his show, a shadowy character with an Irish accent. Her name, appropriately, is Shadow and she was voiced by Tara Mooney. It’s one minute and forty-four seconds of beauty and it was basically a toss away song on a kid’s show. After it’s over, you’re going to wish it was at least four minutes longer. The worst part? Don’t look for any albums by Tara Mooney because Bear in the Big Blue House was her only voice and singing gig. She’s since gone on to be a PhD researcher in sustainability and fashion who also works for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
The next one is even worse, because it’s a jingle. Yes, I mean music from an advertisement. Specifically it was a commercial for Nestle’s Alpine White chocolate bar. While YouTube comments are normally the denizen of ignorance and banality, you’ll find plenty of people who are totally mystified by this commercial. The jingle is amazing and it’s gorgeous. Combine that music with video inspired by the art of Maxfield Parrish (see below), and you’ve got something amazing. I hate ads, unless they’re really good. This one isn’t just really good, it’s damn near perfect.