We’ll Always Have Moskau
I went to a ninensei class with Ms. Americanized at the Ghetto School. This year, the Ministry of Education and Evil Torture or whatever the fuck it is changed to an updated version of the New Horizon textbooks. I haven’t had too good a look of it yet, but a lot of the changes seem superficial – for example, instead of Yumi asking for a glass of orange juice, Emi now asks for a glass of water. Yeah, I don’t get it either. But I suppose the new texts do contain a lot of new stuff.
Among that new stuff are English songs. The ninensei book starts with stuff about American baseball (complete with pictures of Ichiro and Matsui so that Japanese people will actually feel compelled to give a damn), therefore the first song is “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”. There is something oddly surreal about a class of 30 13 to 14 year old Japanese kids singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”. And, somehow, patriotic. I skimmed ahead in the book hoping to find “The Star Spangled Banner” but sadly it wasn’t there. Man, if I could get even just one school of kids to have to stand up and sing America’s national anthem, that’d be like the greatest Gaijin Smash since Commodore Perry.
Ahem. Anyway, as entertaining as it was, it wasn’t nearly as good as the time Ms. Americanized had them singing…er…rapping to Tupac. Just remembering that causes me to break into a smile no matter what time of day/state of mind.
Anyway, after a few rounds of “Take Me Out”, one boy raised his hand to ask a question.
Ms. Americanized: Yes?
Boy: Why does this textbook have songs? We didn’t sing any songs last year.
Ms. Amercanized: Well, apparently the Ministry of English and Harry Potter took a survey of students to find out what kinds of English they wanted to learn about. Songs were a popular choice, so the new textbooks were designed to incorporate more songs.
Boy: Really? Like what?
Ms. Americanized: I dunno, stuff like…(flips through the book), hey, here’s John Lennon.
Boy: Do they have Moskau?
Ms. Americanized: …Moskau?
Me: …Moskau? …No, he can’t possibly mean…
Boy: …You know! “Moskau! Please respect Retardia!”*
Me: …!! “Whoops, I need insurance card!”
Me, Boy: Oroh ho ho ho ho. Hey!
Ms. Americanized: ……WTF?!
…If you find yourself “WTF’ing” alongside Ms. Americanized, then you aren’t familiar with the 70’s disco song “Moskau” by the Russian group Dschingis Khan. Click here
to acquaint yourself with seven different kinds of beefy, spicy awesomeness.
*He didn’t actually say those words, just whatever made those sounds in Japanese gibberish. …Note that those words aren’t the actual song lyrics either.
After class, the boy came up to the front to confirm that I did, indeed, know Moskau. We broke out into another burst of glorious gibberish verse, but this time the boy got on the floor and did the Evil Santa Claus dance. …Ms. Americanized at this point, looks as if someone has just punched her in the face then told her they loved her. “Don’t you know Moskau?” the boy asks. “Yeah, I know it,” Ms. Americanized says, “what I’m wondering is how YOU know it. Didn’t that song come out in the 70’s? That’s like 20 years before you were even concieved! How do you know this song?”
The boy simply shrugs. “The internet’s a hell of a thing.”
…Truer words were never spoken.
Upon a subsequent trip to karaoke, I confirmed that yes, Moskau is in the database library. Which is another baffling aspect of karaoke, IMHO – keep that in mind when you are looking for your favorite song in vain, that you can always sing (or at least try to sing) Dschingis Khan’s Moskau. In fact, you SHOULD sing Moskau. No trip to karaoke would be complete without it. And clear away the tables and do the dancing too. Especially the Evil Santa Claus crouching roundhouse dance. I command it.