"Cut the Cake" / Average White Band
Tomorrow is my birthday (though you'll probably be reading this on Friday, in which case it's today). Oh, believe me, I've had enough of them that it's no big deal, and as per usual, absolutely nobody in my family has made any plans to celebrate the occasion. But to be honest, my nose is a teensy bit out of joint.
So I'm going to throw myself a little party here. In years past, my birthday song of choice has been the traditional "Yer Birthday" by the Beatles. This year, however, I thought I'd put a little F-U-N-K into the proceedings.
Hunh??? What are those white boys doing on Soul Train?
I have to confess, until about a month ago I didn't know this song's name. I generally confused it with the Average White Band's other big number, "Pick Up the Pieces," and I couldn't have told you who performed either one. If pressed to guess, I might have said Funkadelic or Parliament -- but Average White Band? I had heard the name, but I assumed it was a Southern rock outfit.
Who cared? It wasn't my kind of music, I firmly believed. Forget the fact that anytime one of these songs would pop up in the background, I'd soon be chair-dancing and humming along.
I can't even recall why I started to listen to this song last week -- but for the first time, I actually paid attention and acknowledged how brilliant it is. Out of curiosity, I started to Google around and learned that the Average White Band was, in fact, not only white as promised, but Scottish. With guys named Hamish and Malcolm and Robbie in the band, even (at least, in that first incarnation of the band, the one that originated the hits). But in the era when they hit the charts -- 1975 to 1980 -- the last thing I wanted to know about was funk and disco. I was living in the UK, just when they were making it big in the States, and came back to New York only to become obsessed with New Wave music. These guys were SO off my radar.
Well, better late than never. In lieu of having a real birthday cake, I'll just sing along with these guys. (And yes, I do know there's a subtext to all that "cake" and "piece" and "lick up the cream" -- it IS a funk song, after all.) This track is like having a party in a box -- just open it up and the good times WILL begin.