Last weekend Luke was skipping rope in the driveway (FOR EXERCISE. LIKE FIERCE HEAVYWEIGHT BOXERS DO. <----- inserted for the purpose of relationship harmony) and I made a comment about the Malcolm McLaren song Double Dutch from the early 80s. I had it on a compilation cassette* called 1983 Thru The Roof and I loved it.
Guess what? I still love it, nearly (gulp) 30 years later. I love the soaring gospel, 'Hey, ebo, ebo, ebonettes'. I love the male bass, 'ah bah bah-oombah bahs'. I love the clapping. I love the sound of the ropes swinging.
And I like the video clip (apart from the bits with the creepy Malcolm McLaren in them). It's daggy (the high-waisted shorts!), but those skipping girls are amazing. They're mesmerising.
I remember skipping double dutch at school. Do they still do Jump Rope for Heart in schools? Yes, they do.
I saw some girls skipping rope on the footpath when I visited Harlem during my 2010 trip to NYC. I badly wanted to take their photo, but I was already painfully aware of being a white tourist, on my way to rubberneck at an African-American gospel church service (which turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip).
You know else I love? That I can google the album 1983 Thru the Roof and it HAS ITS OWN WIKI ENTRY. Seriously. It's got the whole track listing. Bop Girl by Pat Wilson was another favourite track.
I don't think I knew that the Bop Girl video was Nicole Kidman's first appearance on screen and it was directed by Gillian Armstrong, both of whom went on to much greater things than Pat Wilson herself.
The album also features Culture Club's biggest hit, Karma Chameleon. I was quite the Culture Club fan. Ah, memories. I'm gonna go and google all the other 80s compilation albums I used to own...
(*I'm 40, remember?)