BANG BANG

Since I arrived in Turkey, I’ve listened to the calls to prayer thousands of times.

You would think I would have memorized them by now, but they haven’t punctured even my short-term memory, much less long-term. If you asked me to repeat the words, or sounds, or even hum along to the music, I wouldn’t be able to.

I guess I’ve become an adult, and my years of learning through passive absorption are over.

The beginning of one of the calls to prayer does stick out in my head though. It’s sung in the mid-afternoon, and starts with a robust Al-LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. This much I get.

I passively feel like I should at least know what is being sung; but instead, each time I hear this AL-LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, the LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH of which is exactly the same length and timbre of the beginning of “The Circle of Life” song from The Lion King, that is what I automatically start to sing. Gustily, if there’s nobody around to feel disrespected of if I’m feeling particularly exuberant.

It is now Ramadan. In Turkey, during Ramadan, my sleep is disturbed by the dreaded (for me) Ramadan drummer. Every night, he strolls through Turkey’s neighbourhoods banging a drum to wake everybody up before the sun rises so they can eat. Then, he comes to your door and asks for a tip for waking you up! Unfortunately, there is no option to take money away from him to get him to stop drumming.

This guy has sicker beats than any of the other drummers I’ve heard. Ours is a no-nonsense drummer. Loud, and regular.

Since many Turkish people are, like me, not Muslim, (or Muslim only on their official IDs) I am not alone in being annoyed by the Ramadan drummer. I recently saw a picture of a poster hung up on a building in a liberal neighbourhood of Istanbul. The poster had a picture of Lars Ulrich, drummer of Metallica, with a caption that said, “The only Ramadan drummer you should tip.”

Hear hear.

Anyway, back to the general point. While the mid-afternoon call to prayer inspires me to sing “The Circle of Life,” the regular bang-bang, bang-bangs of the Ramadan drummer inspire me to sing the song “Bang Bang.” It’s not perfect because the bang-bangs come a little too close together to sing the intervening words, but at least the initial bang-bang is roughly at the right tempo.

BANG BANG

Heshotmedown

BANG BANG

Ihittheground

BANG BANG

Thatawfulsound

BANG BANG

MY BABY SHOT ME DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWN

BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG

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