The Canadian TV series “Letterkenny” is kind of known for its use of music in its episodes, particularly when the “Skid” character Stewart is spinning tunes at an epic event at the “Ag Hall.”
So was my “Name that Tune” response triggered when Stewart was playing DJ and denying music requests? No! How about during end credits music? Maybe a slow-mo sequence where an attractive girl is getting out of a truck or just walking toward the camera? Nope! I’ll give you a hint – it was an event at the “Ag Hall” that did it! It was the most unexpected event imaginable – and it was when agricultural board member and auctioneer Jim Dickens was doing his auctioning thing. And it hit my cranium like a ton of bricks – and triggered all sorts of memories!
If anyone subscribes to the appropriate streaming service to watch this show, here’s exactly where you can find it – Season 2, episode 2, about 5 minutes/51 seconds in.
Let’s rewind to 1986, when I was just shy of my 14th birthday. My folks were on a vacay at a Club Med resort on the Caribbean island of Martinique, which is a French protectorate. When they came home, they not only had tons of photos to develop (including ones of poinsettias growing in the wild), maybe the last touches of gastrointestinal distress but most importantly – a 45 single on vinyl. That song was called “Haut Le Mains” in French – or “Hands Up” in English, originally recorded by the duo Ottowan in 1981 (one of the singers was from Guadeloupe, another Caribbean French protectorate). Later, when I was taking high school French, I would bring this record to school so my French teacher could play it in the class (and I could get some extra credit). If you have the Spotify streaming service, you can find the song there – or if you want the full visual experience with the “Solid Gold” inspired wardrobe and dance moves, look for it on YouTube.
Around the time of my parents’ trip to the Caribbean, a very important world event occurred – the Challenger explosion. I remember having a audio visual cart wheeled into my eighth grade homeroom class so we could watch the coverage on TV. My folks didn’t hear about the disaster until a few days later. We had no Internet, and well, they were on a Caribbean island!
Fast forward to 2022 when I hear Jim Dickens (whom is always called Jim Dickskin by the other characters despite his repeated attempts to correct them) uttering the words “Gimme Your Heart, Gimme Gimme, Your Heart Gimme Gimme…”
Sure, maybe it’s coincidence and has nothing to do with this boppy song my folks brought home from Martinique in addition to a case of rum (just kidding about that last part my parents do not drink). But upon further investigation, I learned that there was a cover version of the song recorded by the Canadian group Sway that reached #7 on the RPM charts. I listened to it, and it’s pretty “techno.” I guess it was commissioned to be used as a promotional song for Club Med.
My parents were visiting earlier today, and I mentioned that song. My mom said, “Oh the Club Med song!” She even remembered the artist, which totally means I inherited my “trivia brains” from her.
Now I can’t help but wonder if the auctioneering bits that Jim Dickens does are scripted – or if he ad libs them. If he’s referencing the song that I think he is, I’m pretty sure it’s the techno Canadian cover by Sway!