What Mariah taught me

Ooo, ohhh, yehhh. Ah ah heeey hey. Shoodah doo doo doo, yeyyyy yeh.

I couldn’t get enough of it! When she broke into the “shoodahdoo oh” intro, I was on fire. The finger clicking would start, my eyes would close slightly, I’d get my warbly voice on and find a wall to stand close to or lean on, a la the video for We Belong Together.

I loved Mariah. I was convinced I had a vocal range extremely similar to hers. Play me the first few notes of any Mariah song, I can probably tell you which song it is and sing quite a lot of it for you.

I had a Mariah moment on the way to work yesterday. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I was listening to all of her greatest hits. And the lines were all there in my head.

“Many nights, we’ve prayed…. I’m thinking of you, in my sleepless solitude tonight…. There’s a hero, if you look inside your heart…. Sorry, I never told you, all I wanted to say…”

And do you know what I thought? I thought Damn you Mariah. I needed that brain space last year in my exams. No wonder I couldn’t remember everything. 80% of my brain was filled with your song lyrics.

But she has taught me a lot of good life lessons. She’s taught me about how every situation can be made beautiful with a good song and a video full of close ups. Yes, you might be pining for a boy you go to school with or you may have fallen out with your best friend but this is perfect material for songs and music videos.

I was quite dramatic when I was younger. I wrote songs (three or four) about dramatic things that had happened to me and imagined myself being filmed for music videos. Given that I had a vocal range similar to Mariah’s, it was likely that I would be discovered soon and I wanted to be ready.

Her songs taught me a lot about how to handle real life situations actually. From Always Be My Baby, I learned that if you love someone enough, that fact alone will win the day, despite them dumping you and running off. From the video, I learned that it is possible to get to and lounge about on a tyre swing in the middle of a lake whilst remaining dry.

From Heartbreaker, I learned that even if someone keeps breaking your heart and you keep going back to them, it’s ok as long as you write a song about it and then go to the cinema with a pink crochet bikini top on and beat up a girl with a dog in a bag.

From Fantasy, I learned that if you’re going to have a secret crush on someone who ‘walks by every night’ (is he some sort of male prostitute?), at least go to the fairground and sing about it whilst skating. I did not roller skate around the fairground singing about my crush. I think that’s probably why I didn’t win him.

My All perfectly articulated (planted?) all the feelings I thought I had about this one boy in drama group who I was obsessed with. I’d listen to it in the evenings and stare out of my bedroom window all wistfully, thinking of earlier-mentioned boy and convincing myself that he could somehow tell I was thinking about him.

You see? Mariah helped me with loads of life situations.

As soon as I hear the beginning of any of her songs, I’m back. I’m 14 years old, I’m in my lilac bedroom with the wall mirrors, I’m doing a little bit of choreography, I’m warbling, I’m staring pensively into space.

And I’m genuinely wondering why I haven’t been discovered yet.
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(Me on the left as a 16 year old, to help you picture the scene)

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