Really, this is a poll? Just because someone does not like a song does constitute it as inappropriate. I'm sure I could come up with lots of songs I don't like, but to say they are inappropriate and should not be played because I don't like them is nothing more than censorship.
This song plays on the radio and events all over the country. Is our community so sheltered that it can't handle diversity in music? If that is the case why does the local radio station play the song? Maybe you should call them up and demand they stop playing it. Or is it easier to sit back, click a button, and stay anonymous?
I remember the days when people complained the fountain was cheesy and the music was outdated. Now people are complaining because they are trying to update the music to reach the masses. Make up your minds or better yet get involved if you don't like the music.
Playing different music does not make or not make the fountain cheesy.
I am all for a wide variety of music. It just seems that the Coast Guard Festival fireworks display would include a music selection very much centered on Coast Guard / Military / Patriotic music.
The song I really struggled with during this year's fireworks display was Willie Nelson's You Were Always On My Mind. I really do not understand how that made sense.
Oh well ...
Do you really want to hear the same songs play every 4th of July, and Coast Guard Festival year after year? I think the Coast Guard Festival Committee is smart in having the fountain play the patriotic music and having the fireworks music be something more mainstream.
Do people really think after an entire week of honoring the Coast Guard, that not playing 30 minutes of the same old patriotic music is offensive to them? Do you think these brave men listen to nothing but patriotic music when they are on the boats?
The next time you walk past the station thank them for their service, then ask them what they listen to. I bet in most cases it's far worse than Fall Out Boy.
I have no idea what Fall Out Boy is ... and I am not necessarily opposed to it. I also do not think we have to have the same music again and again. What I could not understand (please re-read my message if you missed it) was that something patriotic/Coast Guard-centric would be good AND I can not for the life of me see why "You were always on my mind" was an appropriate choice. Using your logic, maybe you should walk past the station to thank them for their service and ask them how often they turn on Willie Nelson's You Are Always On My Mind?
Opps. Sorry about that ... I certainly made an error in what I wrote above. I mean to say was not: What I could not understand (please re-read my message if you missed it) was that something patriotic/Coast Guard. What I should have said was "What I was suggesting (please re-read my message if you missed it) was that something patriotic/Coast Guard would be a good focus."
By the way, there are not a limit to just a few patriotic / nautical songs that could be used ... there are LOTS of options INCLUDING contemporary selections.
All patriotic & nautical music would get very boring very quickly. Don't believe me, list 10 patriotic & nautical songs here and take a vote. See how many people agree with your selection.
If anyone thinks picking 30 minutes of music to please 200,000+ people is easy then go volunteer your time to program the fountain and fireworks. Has anyone thought about how much time these people volunteer so you can see a show.
Does everyone really think it's as easy as pick a few songs and that's it? I have dabbled with the fountain programming software and let me tell you it takes hours to program a single song. I can just imagine what it takes to synchronize the fireworks. And the fact that they had them both working together is impressive. Maybe people should try appreciating what these people do for us and ask for nothing in return.
Complaining is easy, but what have you done to better the community? Try making a difference, you may find how much more rewarding it is.
Ten nautical / patriotic songs. My point is not that it would be easy ... but that there are a lot of possibilities.
1) Brandy - Looking Glass
2) Surfin' USA- Beach Boys
3) Downeaster Alexa-Billy Joel
4) God Bless the USA -
5) Sailing - Christopher Cross
6) Sail On - Commodores
7) Caribbean Queen - Billy Ocean
8) Semper Paratus
9) God Bless America
10) Star Spangled Banner
11) Southern Cross - Crosby S/N
12) Son of a Son of a Son of a Sailor - Jimmy Buffet
13) Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
14) Thunder Island - Jay Ferguson
15) Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
16) Sloop John B - Beach Boys
17) Come Sail Away - Styx
18) Sail Away - D. Gray
19) Sail on Sailor - Beach Boys
And these are just the ones I like ... I am sure there are a LOT of other options to add to the mix. There are also a LOT of "lesser" known nautical / maritime musicians out there that have great music.
My view is don't just slap something together in honor of our Coasties. We have 100,000s of thousands of people in town that week maybe the Saturday of USCG Fest show deserves a bit of extra attention.
By the way, thanks to all of the hard work put together by the volunteers who work on this. My comments are not meant to be critical of them ... I just was floored by the musical selection. Not saying I would do better ... but it was not what I expected. It sounds like critical review is not allowed.
Good list and good suggestions. Maybe you should volunteer some time to helping out with the fountain, assuming they would be receptive to some additional help.
By the way, this list is not meant to be a complaint ... it is meant to be a possible solution.
By the way, trying being happy instead of critical . . . you may be surprised how rewarding it is :-)
You certainly do not need to be grumpy and defensive all the time. Try accepting other people's input instead of making it sound like you are the only person with a good idea. There are a lot of good ideas out there and it may pay to listen instead of simply being defensive. Not everyone with an idea to improve something it trying to be critical. Some of us just want to help make things better.
I love Grand Haven, love Coast Guard Festival, love the fountain and wish that people would not be so closed minded and automatically think things can not be improved. Be willing to listen to some critical input. If you are willing to listen you may learn something along the way.
Thanks for your service.
" Be willing to listen to some critical input. If you are willing to listen you may learn something along the way".
This one simple statement can be applied to millions of situations thruout one's life. Simple wisdom there........
Maybe one reason for the choice of the Fall Out Boys "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark" for CG Fireworks night - it's about a 3 minute tune, catchy but repetitive, downloaded about 8 times to Youtube around 6 months ago, and has had about 23,600,000 hits.
Pulling just one popular song from Christopher's list - Come Sail Away, Styx, that has been a biggie since the early 80's, has been downloaded several times to Youtube, and has had around 4,000,000 hits.
Fall Out Boys wouldn't be my #1 choice for fireworks night, but if you were attempting to tailor a program to appeal to the diverse audience Coast Guard fireworks draws, in regards to current popularity, it does make sense.
Your YouTube stats do seem to tell a story. Maybe they do simply want the most popular songs in culture to be represented in the fountain play list. I am not sure what I think of that as a programming technique.
I admit that I may just be old school when it comes to fountain stuff (by the way, I am not really that old). But it used to be you would come to see the fountain and it made up of thoughtful, nicely themed programs. In fact, if I remember correctly, the narrator would talk about the theme of the program and provide a connection for individual songs to the overall theme. Admittedly, some of the programs were a bit lame ... but there was continuity. The new programs do not seem to have a theme.
Again, not trying to be critical of people's efforts here. I just think that it may make sense to not throw out all of the old and all of our heritage to simply be hip and speak to the music with the most hits on YouTube.
As I have mentioned before, I do not really have an opinion about the song "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark." It may be that I am mentally challenged in this area, but I still can not definitively figure out what the lyrics mean ... so I have no reason to complain on that basis.
Thanks for the hard work of all of the volunteers involved.
Where I was sitting for the fireworks (south end of Bicentennial Park) I couldn't even hear the fountain with the noise of the fireworks so I didn't really understand what all this hoopla was about.....so I went on YouTube to listen to the song. Here's a link to it if anyone actually wants to read the lyrics.
While I don't find it particulary offensive in of itself, I don't really see it as relating in anyway to a Coast Guard Festival performance. There are hundreds of tasteless pop tunes being produced these days and this is simply just another one of no particular value.
Without going into a rant on the sorry condition of "pop" music these days (yes, I'm a guitar playing dinosaur from the good ole rock 'n' roll days of the 60's and 70's, no apology offered..) I certainly think that a more Coast Guard Festival related program would be possible and more appropriate than some top 40 drivel of the day, or a Willie Nelson tune. I know the people in charge of programming are capable of producing a quality program so the plan should be to start now....you've got almost a whole year to get ready to dazzle your constituency in 2014. :-)
Be careful what you ask for too....I'd love to be involved in programming the fountain and now that I'm pretty much retired I have the time...and can guarantee you that most people would not recognize most of the tunes I'd love to see set to the fountain's lights.
I agree with what you are saying about this particular song that has caused the controversy. I too went to read the lyrics and I may just be a dunce, but I still can not really figure out what is so bad about it. My point all along is NOT that I am against that song. In fact, as I was watching the fireworks, the song that puzzled me most was Willie Nelson's You Were Always On My Mind. I do not dislike the Willie Nelson song either ... in fact I kind of like it. My point is that it simply seemed out of place.
Thanks again to all who work hard to put this on for our community.
You can download the Musical Fountain programming software for free at www.ghmfsoftware.com . A new version that supports additional color pallets for the new LED lights is coming soon.
Unlike other musical fountains throughout the world, to my knowledge the Grand Haven Musical Fountain is the only one that accepts publicly submitted choreography. We have received submissions from all over the world. We welcome yours and others submissions.
Sounds like a fun project to work on during the winter months. Have you had any submissions to this point that you've considered actually using?
It'd certainly be a hoot to watch a program I put together show up some night next summer. After some 40+ summers of watching the fountain it would be a fun way to give back for all the entertainment it's provided over these past years.
Q: "Have you had any submissions to this point that you've considered actually using?"
A: Every song that pays on the fountain has been submitted by a volunteer. There are no programmers on staff.
A majority of the songs submitted DO play. The few exceptions are when the choreography needs some additional work to look good. In these cases, we contact them and give them suggestions and have them re-submit.
Several extremely good songs have come from Toby Ip in China. Another up and comer who is producing some amazing choreography is Ryan Strahorm from the Grand Rapids area. We encourage you to submit also even if it's a single song. It's quite rewarding to see something you have created play on the Fountain.
By the way Brad, I want to personally thank you for your hard work on this GEM of our community. Even though I may have some comments or questions about the Coast Guard night programming, I am very thankful for your work and the work of others on your team.
I have long followed the your software program and appreciate the effort. I will need to give it a try sometime soon.
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