I was strolling at a shopping mall in a blue-collar part of Hong Kong and needed to go to the bathroom, which is usually the quietest place in the entire mall. I have a decent ear for recognizing music, and, whether I like it or not, my brain registers tunes wherever I go. This isn’t always a good thing, as too often I have cringed when I hear a song that I’m not too fond of.
So here I was, minding my own / doing my business, when I hear a piano version of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from Webber’s famous musical Evita. It led me to think: really? who in this entire mall besides me and maybe a few others would recognize, let alone appreciate, a famous song from a musical theatre show that came out in 1978?
Granted, Webber’s music is very famous, especially his work from “The Phantom Of The Opera”, but no one in this part of the city in this part of the world would think of any meaning to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”, which essentially means that the song was wasted.
It is a meaningful song, depicting the feelings of Eva Peron. But of course, this was irrelevant for mall music.
Chances are that someone in the management liked Evita himself, or, worse yet, liked only that song but didn’t even listen to or seen the musical.
Of course, I doubt that Andrew Lloyd Webber could care less about the fact that people are playing watered-down renditions of his hit songs in shopping malls. It’s just waste art, that’s all.