Thursday, August 09, 2012

Baby Beluga... The Real (Imaginary) Story.


The recent death of the Vancouver Aquarium's 46 year old beluga whale Kavna that inspired Raffi to come up with the first of the anti-screech and scratch songs* for kids of the modern era led the musician to tweet the following:

Which led to all kinds of journalists running with a story that Kavna was the actual Baby Beluga of the song.

This, in turn, caused Raffi to try and correct the record and call sloppy herd journos to account who jumped on the bandwagon..

Of course, this just caused the cynicism factory to crank up its Wurlitzer to the point where sites like Gawker started to take a run at him.


Here, for the record from a post he put up earlier today on Rabble, is the lede of Raffi's full description of the inspiration for the very famous little imaginary whale:

My Dear Kavna,
I feel like I've lost a very dear old friend. Yet it's much more than that. Since hearing the news of your death, I have felt the loss of an extended family member -- one who had a profound impact on me. Kavna, meeting you moved me so deeply it changed my life.
You were the most adorable creature I've every seen. Your playfulness struck such a sweet cord within me I scarcely had words for it, for how graceful you were and how cheerful. To me you're not just any beluga. You're Kavna, the one who played with me and gently kissed my cheek during our first meeting in 1979 at the Vancouver Aquarium. In the years since I came back to see you several times in sheer delight: of seeing your face; admiring your body's sleek moves; your effortless way in the water; your antics before the crowds who'd throng to see you.
Oh Kavna, where do I begin to describe what wells up inside me when I cast my mind back over the 32 years since you inspired me to write "Baby Beluga." Did you like the album cover drawing? Did you like how we embossed the beluga and the bubbles? Trust you liked the song; millions can't be wrong, right? I'm glad I made it about an imaginary baby beluga, and that dolphins get a mention in verse two -- after all, you belugas are related to them. How I've enjoyed hearing audiences sing the chorus with me over the years. And such fun seeing children move their arms and hands to "waves roll in and the waves roll out."...


What is this 'screech-and-scratch' song business, I speak of?....Well, if your kids are of a certain age you will remember children's music pre-Raffi...And if you are like me, your ears are still bleeding too...
H/T to Tom Hawthorn who is clearly on Raffi's side...


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