I am only familiar with Chubby Checker in passing; I don't own any of his albums or songs, and nothing about "The Twist" ever really captured my attention in particular other than the fact that it is indeed pretty catchy. Considering that this album is full of references to the man, I'm probably the worst person to be writing about it. Still, I shall press on regardless of my own ignorance. Isn't that the way to live?
The song displays a contrast between the narrator's life as he is "living check to check," with the freewheeling party spirit of a recording of Checker performing "The Twist." It brings to my mind those times when certain stresses of life seem best dealt with by way of escapism. After all, if I'm not mistaken, isn't early rock n' roll a kind of escapism, a rebellion against the mundane, the everyday, the conformity, and, most dreaded of all, the practicality? It brings to mind a song by another popular rocker of old, Chuck Berry's "School Day." In that song, the narrator sings of how after a boring day of school all you've wanted to do is dance, and so you head to the juke joint. The narrator of Hussalonia's "Chubby Checker" seems to have been listening to "The Twist" by the eponymous singer with such escapism in mind (as he would like to "do the Twist with you"), but it just isn't working for him at that particular moment. Checker "must've really loved that dance, [but the narrator's] just so worried about making the rent." This is a sad story indeed; the power of rock has failed to overcome the blues of struggling to get by. I'm not stranger to looking to a song for some kind of relief or escape from something bothering me, and sometimes it works and the blues get blown away, and other times it just doesn't work for you at all. This song captures those moments for me most excellently. The music doesn't remind me of Chubby Checker's style at all, as the album description warned, but for the song's short length it has the beautiful vocals I've come to expect from Hussalonia and a tune that seems to ring out into a wind tunnel in my mind. I think that this may be one of my favorite tracks on this album. I may not be a Chubby Checker fan myself, but I think this song (and the album as a whole) gives a very nice expression of appreciation for him. Perhaps somewhere down the line I'll pick up an album by him; maybe it will lift my spirits, if the time is right.