7 April 2016, No. 145, The Gap Band, ‘I Don’t Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops!)’

I always want The Gap Band to sing: “How you gonna do it if you really don’t wanna dance / by standing on the wall,” but those Kool and the Gang lyrics didn’t come out until a couple years after No. 145 on the list, “I Don’t Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops!).” Same key as “Get Down On It” too, but eight beats per minute slower. We’ll get to “Get Down On It” early in the 300s, but it seems I really want to talk about that song today. “Oops, Up” is a great tune, but that line in “Get Down On It”—“by standing on the wall”—has always bugged me a little. One can lean on a wall, but a wall is not a thing one can stand on. It occurred to me just now that maybe they were trying to verb the word bystander. As in, “No one’s dancing; look at all those people bystanding on the wall.” But then if we agree that one can bystand, is on really the preposition we want for bystanding in proximity of a wall? When I sing along, I sing, “How you gonna do it if you really don’t want to dance / standing by the wall,” with an eighth-note rest before standing, where by is supposed to go. Because I’m a jerk like that. And now that we’ve gotten real nerdy about the lyrics of a Kool and the Gang song merely brought to mind by today’s actual song, go and have a listen to the Gap Band tune and let the DJ in your mind mix in whatever song you think mashes up well.