How to Skip the Light Fandango

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Yes, you have heard the phrase, Skip the Light Fandango, but did you really know what it meant? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Does it hurt or, eww, cause painful discharges? Is it something I got during that rather fuzzy night in Vegas? Now, that is a possibility. But for those who are daring and curious, one need never to fear to Skip the Light Fandango. In fact, it’s one of the select few things making life so much more worthwhile. Here’s why and here’s how to take full advantage, brought to you by someone who knows.

One should never need chemical or alcoholic motivations to skip the light fandango. After all, as the hoards have asked over time, just what does it mean to skip the light fandango? It likely and simply means to trip the light fantastic, or merely dance to the music, to enjoy the moment for what it is. Ay, like so many things that mean more to the heart than to the head, to skip the light fandango means more in emotional content despite defying logic and reason. So, while we cannot help but to wonder about the delight felt by a child stomping in puddles, we can try to revisit our childish delights when we unabashedly could skip the light fandango before the entire world. Imagine, if you can, dancing like nobody is watching.

We might define the meaning of to ‘skip the light fandango’ by saying one has grown old not when they can no longer skip the light fandango, but forgot what it was like to do so. Seeing a little girl skip her jump rope as she skips across the playground truly skips the light fandango, as do the boys kicking a can or playing ball. Jumping into a pile of raked-up autumn leaves after admiring their wondrous colors is a bold effort to skipping the light fandango, much akin to the release from the old, tired rope dangling from the tree over everyone’s favorite swimming hole. Seeing the Grandfolks dance at their granddaughter’s wedding and then to see them get lost in a moment all their own as they look into one another’s eyes and embrace all the years since their wedding day is to see them skip the light fandango in all its glory.

So many have wondered what Procul Harum intended to convey with their sixties ballad, ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’, but instead we should skip the light fandango, trip the light fantastic, and simply enjoy it for what it is. There’s no reason to assume it’s about a drug trip, since this has become such a boring cliché when referring to the music of the sixties. Sure, we know that many an artist skipped the light fandango shortly after dropping a hit of acid or pulling a good hit from the bong, but the two experiences are not mutually as one. Children, in their play and delight with much simplicity demonstrate that skipping the light fandango needs no chemical dependency. To step away from the children’s example, look back to our elders dancing cheek-to-cheek, seeing and hearing and knowing nothing but one another. Gramps sees the girl he married in the woman he’s known for all these decades, skipping the light fandango through the reminiscence.

Perhaps it is merely best to skip the light fandango when enjoying the hits of generations past, taking the advice of those knowing how to do this so well while admitting their songs didn’t really mean that much at all. Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and a string of others of those days have been asked to explain the miasmic significance behind their songs. These and others artists have freely smiled wide and reported they meant nothing at all. What they did not say was that they were intended only to help the listener to skip the light fandango without getting bogged down in the translations. This humble author offers a modest suggestion that some nice music to enjoy the freedom of skipping the light fandango would be Mike Oldfield’s ‘Ommadawn’. It’s just trippy enough to nearly warrant a warning label indicating you shouldn’t listen to it when operating heavy machinery, but there are no discernible poetic lines to taunt the analytical mind until you reach the song, ‘On Horseback’. Then, it doesn’t drag the listener through some hidden meaning; it tells a delightful tale of how glorious it would be skip the light fandango with the majestic animal that a horse can be.

Who skips the light fandango with the utmost serenity? The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos. Well, perhaps it’s the listening public, who has no idea what they’re singing, but skipping the light fandango in comfort, knowing God smiles upon them.

Ah, but one can freely revel in the earthy delights with merriment and drink, and certainly skip the light fandango. Many believe that Procul Harum was describing one merry with drink who danced with a pale courtesan or odalisque. The lyrics apparently describe one who isn’t just having a wonderful time, but a dizzying one, too. So yes, the partying college co-eds and proverbial twenty-somethings definitely know how to skip the light fandango. If you’re not sure, just check the success of sales of ‘Girls Gone Wild’. That, my friend, is skipping the light fandango.

New Orleans and Mardi Gras know the secret of skipping the light fandango, as do all the Darwin Award nominees. Most of the people featured on the various reality TV channels have a good idea on how to skip the light fandango; they just don’t know how to keep going without falling into one another. Graduates of virtually every sort of class give way to skipping the light fandango for a time before embarking on their serious journey forward. The successes of all the stand-up comedians out there, regardless of their material and format, show us that we revel in the chance to skip the light fandango for more reasons than we could count.

The generations of fans of Monty Python certainly know how to skip the light fandango.

Doing ‘The Wave’ at a ball game, especially when it’s done well, is skipping the light fandango. Playing air guitar in front of other people who are competing in some sort of air guitar competition is skipping the light fandango. Wearing a Klingon costume to a Star Trek convention, complete with a good understanding of the Klingon language, is skipping the light fandango. When the rocket scientists of NASA high-five and chest-bump one another after their multi-million dollar project lands on Mars or some asteroid, they can be said to be skipping the light fandango. These things were not pleasant to indicate, but fair is fair and that’s good enough. Skipping the light fandango is done on many levels.

To skip the light fandango is to let loose, let one’s hair down and be done with the opinions of the stuffy. It’s showing some cleavage, laughing off a slip when walking to the podium, taking the risk of blowing a big bubble gum bubble and getting it caught up in one’s hair, doing a cartwheel in the parking lot after getting a promotion and a raise, and having a tea party with Kindergarten girls. Skipping the light fandango is making funny faces to make a baby laugh, going on the road with a tribute band, having chickens cackling and cats fighting as favorite ring tones, and wearing a ball cap that says, ‘Who Farted?’ Skipping the light fandango involves laughing with old friends about childhood antics, admitting to closest friends some of the things that won’t be in your memoirs, and playing Frisbee with the dog.

So, the next time someone asks you if you had a good time, you can reply that, yes we did, you bet, or does Eric Clapton play a mean guitar. But enjoy their expression when you reply, “We skipped the light fandango.”


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