There is a disturbing movement sweeping the air waves. You may have just heard it in the background one day, the cheerful, melodic moan of a faceless, happy chorus singing “oh-oh-oh-oh-oh”.
I missed the first occurrence: Philip Phillips delivering his blockbuster “Home”
with a long, triumphant chorus of “oh’s”. But I did catch it when American Family Insurance adopted his tune, sung by what seemed the entire Morman Tabernacle Choir to drill the melody into my insurance-saturated brain.
Fine. Phillips and AFI hit it off.
But now the oh-ohs are a virus, spreading across the music stage, and frankly, few performers get it right. Nevertheless, they include their attempt at oh-oh, because the recording studio asked for it.
Or it could be that the writers’ union has gone on strike. No more chorus lyrics!
And if it’s selling music, it must be selling burgers, phones and cars, too. Just ask McDonalds, T-Mobil and Nissan. They all have their own oh-oh theme right now.
Looking for the source of this mono-syllabic drone, one could guess that it was the Atlanta Braves fan club that mass marketed oh-oh with their jubilant “Tomahawk Chop” song.
Any pitcher-batter contest was unnervingly accompanied by the 6-tone refrain, delivered by 40,000 spectators motioning like one-armed bandits in a therapy session.
Still, it could also be a tip of the hat to the feline chorus that gave us the MeowMix anthem. This little ditty has soothed and inspired us for over 30 years. Let’s hum a few bars.
Digging deeper into the past, it could be the hearty and beloved rowing songs that floated up from below the salty decks of huge Roman galleys charging toward some hapless fishing dinghy in the ancient Mediterranean. “All together now, lads! Oh-oh-oh……. crunch.”
Still, oh-oh’s roots could hark back even earlier to the carefree days of the Egyptians, toiling together, sliding 20-ton obelisks across films of hot bull fat with the help of a team of 200 melodious Ethiopians, in full harness.
“Now that is a Sphinx! Let’s give a hearty rendition of Oh!”
My hunch is that oh-oh will eventually go away, when the human ear finally grows flaps, or the alphabet is re-written, eliminating “o”.
Mean time, I am playing nothing but Bobby Ridell and Beach Boys. They were into “oo”.
Thanks for reading along! Feel free to comment.
I hope you don’t have trouble sleeping as oh-oh runs around in your head all night!