Thursday, 26 June 2008

the most self-indulgent post ever (literally)

When you have a slightly unusual name, there's nothing more fun than finding out there's songs or books bearing your name. When I was little, it was no problem being called 'Vanina'; oddly enough, it only became slightly annoying in my teens -- having my name changed to 'vagina' on school projects when I was sixteen was more distressing because it took kids so long to figure out, than that it was particularly offensive to me. Of course, there's better things in life than having people make fun of your name, but I've always liked being calling Vanina, mainly because of my darling Wouter Levenbach (fanwebsite), better known as Dave, a Dutch-French chanteur.

Y'see, Wouter and his bright blue eyes, manic smile and woolly scarf had a pretty big hit in the 1970s with 'Vanina', a song to the tune of Del Shannon's 'Runaway'. Patrick Loiseau wrote the lyrics, and Dave went on and on about how he'd have to wander the earth alone if I (and all the other Vaninas of the world, like Vanina Ickx and this Bulgarian (?) songstress) forgot about him, resulting in a chorus that stretches out the last syllable of my name for about half a minute. Great song-writing? I think so, yes.

All joking aside, I really enjoy Dave's records and if you're in the mood for some uplifting 70s/80s pop music, pick up any of his best of compilations. He always comes across as a genuine, nice guy and he's got a good set of pipes. Get ready for some dodgy lip-syncing!

The history of the song:

Apparently it's a big favourite for French webcammers to sing along to in YouTube videos (1, 2, 3, 4), but here are some of the more original 'Vanina'-videos on YouTube:


A very original home-made animation set to the song:

'Vanina', 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'-stylee:

Thanks, YouTube, you don't disappoint.

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