Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pata Pata

What did we do before search engines? I mean, seriously? We had to sit there Not Knowing the information we were wondering about, or start calling friends and relatives on the off-chance that one of them could resolve a question or settle a bet.

Take tonight. I saw a car ad which played a song I remember from the 60s. I was pretty small then, well before the age of finding out the names of artists or song titles, so I literally had no clue what to look for. Not even the lyrics could help, because they weren't in English or in any other language that I have a hope in creation of recognizing. For all I knew at that age (think preschool/kindergarten), they were just random syllables strung together.

What did I do? I typed the car ad's slogan into the search engine bar on my web browser window. BOOM. Done. A pageful of answers sprang up. The song is "Pata Pata" by Miriam Makeba. She is a South African performer and the lyrics are in the Xhosa language.

CLICK HERE to watch a vintage TV performance of "Pata Pata" on YouTube.

In any event, my point is that within a minute of seeing the car ad and wondering what song they were using, I had one browser tab playing said song on a Youtube video, another tab from Wikipedia giving a history of the artist, and a tab with the lyrics in it. So, I repeat, what in HECK did we ever do before the internet and search engines came along?

I wouldn't want to go back to those days, that's for sure.

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