BANG, BANG, My Baby Shot Me Down

Of Childhood Games and Relationships
By N. Mark Castro

What comes to mind when you hear this song is the movie Kill Bill — from which it gained a resurgence of popularity — and Nancy Sinatra’s version.

Fine.

Nancy’s version did make it to the top of the charts when she did a cover of the song on the same year that it came out. She was Frank’s daughter and could carry a tune.

What many of you may not know is that it was written by the late Sonny Bono for his then talented child-bride Cher back in 1966. To those of you who are unfamiliar with the ancient mystery of history, Sonny Bono was a multi-talented recording artist (the other half of the historical duo Sonny & Cher), record producer, actor, and until his untimely demise, a popular politician.

I can understand why you may not be familiar with Cher if you’ve been living with Sponge Bob in a pineapple under the sea, but don’t go around telling people that … some people would find it sacrilegious and blasphemous if you admit to your ignorance of this woman.

Consider as one of the most enduring artists in the world, Cher has won just about every musical award possible, including the Oscar Award for films, while hitting the charts for almost every decade that she’s performed, constantly reinventing herself more times than Madonna ever did. But what truly catapulted her to iconic status is that she’s somehow managed to be seared in the minds of every gay person in the planet that she’s a role model: for her endurance, talent, guts, and freedom in expressing herself.

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG

In this song, Cher performs someone who recalls playing childhood games with a boy when he would shoot her with his toy gun. They grow up together and eventually got married, but then he leaves her. She has again been shot down, but this time it’s for real and she is devastated. The haunting lyrics captured both the innocence and the loss of it through the mist of time.

Nancy’s slow-beat version and melancholic singing did give a striking version, especially with the tremolo effect of the guitar (played by the legendary Billy Strange.

But that the song has been covered by so many artists all over the world, spanning decades, is a testament to the songwriting skills of Sonny Bono and the melodic rendition of Cher. Aside from Nancy, other notable artists that imprinted their version of it were, of course, Nancy’s father Frank Sinatra, Petula Clark, Stevie Wonder, rapper Li’l Wayne, to name a few. It has taken so much cover that the song evolved from one version to the next and you can hardly trace whose version is being sampled or covered anymore. Nancy Sinatra’s version was used in the 2003 Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill and was the theme for the BBC‘s coverage of the 2005 Wimbledon tennis championships.

There are only few songs on earth that have shown us such enduring quality … and it’s highly doubtful Justin Bieber’s Baby Baby Oooh would be one of those.

About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the chief political communications strategist for PT AsiaLeads, a political and communications policy-making body based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the Executive Director at the Southeast Asia Consulting Group, an investment advisory company assisting clients roll out their presence for the ASEAN Economic Integration in partnership with government. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on September 30, 2012, in General, Music and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

ItandEat

Faces and Places

Unspun

Unspinning spin and other distractions

spiceislandsblog

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Salt and Light

Talk minor, act major.

PikselPal

any screen one goals, Yours

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

We'll Always have Casablanca

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow...but soon! And for the rest of your life.

blueVisions Indonesia

Certainty, Innovation, Excellence.

blueVisions Australia

Certainty, Innovation, Excellence.

Health & Family

A healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit

Teppy and Her Other Sides

Eat well, live well, and be merry!

loveheartseverywhere

my collection of love & hearts for you and from you, around the world

theconservativehillbilly

Confronting stupid people with the cold hard conservative fist of truth

The Sentient Mouse

From my soul to yours...

wanhandredwan

...of wander & wonders

Parenting And Stuff

Not a "how to be a great parent" blog

%d bloggers like this: