Friday, December 18, 2015

"That's the song I sing"

The difference between the Coca Cola jingle "Buy the World a Coke" and its spin-off "uncommercial" version "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" is apparent in the first line. Where the "uncommercial" version uses the word "build" (as in "I'd like to build the world a home"), the commercial version uses the word "buy".

I was a child when the first "Hilltop" Coke ad debuted -- nine years old in July 1971. Shortly after that, the New Seekers came out with the "uncommercial" version. I noted the difference.

This is how my nine-year-old mind worked: if one were to "buy the world" something, who would the seller be? Mars? Venus? But if one were to "build the world" something like a home, that would too much for one person, and you would never get it done, like the guy who spent his life building Vancouver's seawall (James Cunningham), and died trying. (The original version of the seawall was completed in September 1971, two months after the Coke ad hit the airwaves. The Stanley Park portion was completed in 1980.)

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