be thankful for what you've got : massive attack
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Not being American, I don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but let me use the occasion to post this song anyway. This is Massive Attack's cover of the 1974 R&B hit by William DeVaughn. The song appears on their 1991 debut album Blue Lines, which is widely acknowledged to be one of the first manifestations of the trip-hop genre. I've never heard the original, but this version suits me just fine. There's nothing trip-hop about it if you came to know the genre from mid-90s Portishead or Morcheeba. In fact, vocalist Tony Bryan is sounding very Marvin Gaye-ish here, singing in falsetto almost all througout while remaining assuredly masculine. It's sincerely soulful and lavishly luscious, which is kind of weird considering there is nothing sensual about the lyrics. Then again, Marvin Gaye does the same with What's Going On. Anyway, as the title suggests, the song is about letting go of material desires when what you have in your hands should suffice. Although it's really just about DeVaughn sourgraping over a car he couldn't afford. On a more serious note, it may not be entirely true that I don't celebrate Thanksgiving. Although there are no turkeys involved, it does make me aware that perhaps I should spare more than just a moment to take stock of the good things that have happened to me in the past year, and here are five that top the list, which aren't all this-year specific:
- Staying healthy. I've never been hospitalized in my life, and I plan to keep it that way.
- A family I can always turn to, even though I don't call them often enough.
- A job that I like and where my work is appreciated. I think.
- The opportunity to travel and see places that awed me as a child. This year, they were the Taj Mahal and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- Just being here in Hong Kong, where I find something stunning everyday despite having lived here for over five years now.