The Disco Haiku

from by VO5

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about

“The Disco Haiku” by John Feith starts with a water drop, the sound of a frog from Basho’s famous haiku. Starting with the first five notes from the Bee Gees’ “Too Much Heaven,” the trumpet intro (performed by Steve Tyska, the band’s resident physician) then turns to a seven–note phrase then back to five. Five–seven–five “musical haiku” note sequences fill the song, including the main melody and verses.

Other traditional haiku techniques such as zooming into small details are used, for example, in the line “polyester suit no tie/sweat begins to flow.” With a smile, the chorus parodies disco’s excessive wish to please and be remembered in a similar way that the song “Dance Originality” makes light of the ever–escalating sexualization of pop American music and dance.

This ode to both haiku poetry and disco includes musical phrases from the “Love Boat” and “I Only Have Eyes for You” in its chorus and a touch of the Police’s “Synchronicity 1” in its verses. The instrumental middle–section adds a bit from the American–made Chinese cliché musical phrase (popularized by “Kung Fu Fighting,” “China Girl” and “Turning Japanese”) while keeping the 5–7–5 prop. The song does not take itself too seriously and, like a haiku, wastes no time, ending at the three-minute mark.

lyrics

6. t h e d i s c o h a i k u
penetrates your heart and soul
in your mind for good

sequined bodies glide
rollerskating fantasy
dancefloor lights aglow

timeless is the beat
neverending harmony
echoes on thin air

transcendental glam
polyester suit, no tie
sweat begins to flow

mirror ball alive
spinning and reflecting you
twinkle shining star

dancing heart is free
sensual humanity
beyond he or she

never want to leave
disco loving family
this is what we are

credits

from Dance Originality, released October 15, 2015
composed by John Feith

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