Command disabled: index

Language usage: double entendres, hidden meanings, casually dropped revelations

36-22-36 – Bobby Bland

“Baby can be tied, but not beat”

Two Lovers – Mary Wells

Torn between Two Lovers – Mary Macgregor

He Hit Me and It Felt Like a Kiss – Crystals

Shake, Rattle, & Roll – Joe Turner

Memphis – Chuck Berry

“Memphis” deserves special treatment

Goodnight Irene – Leadbelly

Leadbelly sang in the original . . .

“I get you in my dreams,” not even “I'll,” he's gotten and will likely continue to get

This vivid presentation was cleaned up for the “I'll see you in my dreams” version

The next two hide their subversiveness behind already "racy" lyrics

credited to friends

In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry

Decoy racy lyric is the “If her daddy's rich …” bit. Truly subversive lyric is “Have a drink, have a drive …”

Cecilia – Simon & Garfunkel

Decoy racy lyric is “Makin' love in the afternoon with Cecilia up in my bedroom … When I come back to bed someone's taken my place.” Truly subversive lyric is the elided line “I got up to wash my face” – why did he need to do that?


You're So Vain – Carly Simon

The song is about him, so, though he may indeed be vain in other ways, his thinking the song is about himself is not evidence of his vanity, technically (whoever him is).

Killing Me Sofly – Roberta Flack

Me and Mrs. Jones – Billy Paul

Will It Go Round in Circles – Billy Preston

Like the Riddle Song

Rich Girl – Hall & Oates

He doesn't actually say, “You're a bitch, girl.” He does say, “it's a bitch,” meaning her behavior, which has gone too far. Is it too much of a stretch to mean that someone is a bitch if one has already called their behavior “a bitch”? Increasing chart position by the controversy of seeming to call someone a bitch was a strategy that had already been successfully used by Elton John and the Rolling Stones. (See also the Who's Squeezebox)

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World – Charlie Rich

My Girl Bill – Jim Stafford

Songs with bad grammar

Awkwardly use or misuse the collective pronoun

Don't Give Up on Us – David Soul

Can't Stop – After 7

Lyrics: I'm diggin on you, you diggin on me, we diggin' on we

Songs with other pronoun problems

Bad Case of Lovin' You (Doctor, Doctor) – Robert Palmer

“Doctor, doctor, give me the news / I've got bad case of lovin' you”

First line, he's addressing the doctor. Second line he's addressing the song's love interest, unless he does indeed have the hots for the doctor

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

“Mama, just killed a man / Put a gun against his head”

The protagonist perversely removes the “I” (“Mama, [I] just …”). Therefore, the listener without the lyric sheet doesn't know about the comma and thinks it's narrator's mama that killed the man. Even with the next line,

“Pulled my trigger now he's dead”

the ambiguity continues because it could be the narrator's gun that the narrator's mother is pulling the trigger of. The ambiguity is finally resolved in the next two lines:

“Mama, life had just begun, / Only now I've gone ahead and blown it all away”

Verb/tense agreement

Where Does the Good Times Go – Buck Owens

In country music's eschewing of “book learning” and general celebration of the “authentic” class, not the liberal elite, this bad grammar is probably intentional

Take the Money and Run – Steve Miller Band

“Billy Joe . . . killed a man while robbin' his castle”

“Bobby Sue . . . took the money and run”

Should be “and ran”

Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms – Various

“I heard her parents don't like me”

“They drove me away from your door” [her or their door]

“Had my life to live over”

“I'd never go there any more”

I don't know how to recast this – “If I had my life to live over, I wouldn't go there anymore.” Except, with his whole life to re-live, presumably in his new life he'd never go there; there wouldn't by a more to go with the any

Nonsense and repetition in R&B

Can You Woo Woo Woo – Jeffrey Osborne

(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My MindLeVert

No Diggity – Black Street

Yah Moh Be There – James Ingram

Male chauvanist pig songs

Travelin' Man – Ricky Nelson

Racist and sexist

Young Girl – Gary Puckett

Ageist and sexist, the self-sacrificing cradle-robber

Subcategory: sexism expressed via name forgetting

December 1963 (Oh What a Night) – Four Seasons

What's Your Name – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Craziness in songs

Real craziness

Angie Baby – Helen Reddy

False craziness -- i.e., the self-congratulatory "I'm a rebellious free spirit" kind of craziness

Crazy – Seal

Perhaps could go in Songs with bad grammar because of the un-ironically used oxymoron “a little crazy” (“You know we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy”). Recalls the Karen Black line from Can She Bake a Cherry Pie: “I'm almost not crazy anymore.”

You May Be Right – Billy Joel

Songs with the theme of "I'm no good for you cause I crave the life on the road"

Ramblin' Man – Hank Williams

Freebird – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Gentle on My Mind – John Hartford

Heard It in a Love Song – Marshall Tucker Band

This Old Cowboy – Marshall Tucker Band

Lyrical enjambment — the second line begins before the first line ends

The Kids Are Alright – The Who

“Better leave her behind with the kids are alright”

Overlapping word/phrase in brackets: “Better leave her behind with the kids [the kids] are alright”

Mr. Sellack – The Roches

“Let the other forty-million, three-hundred and seven people who want to get famous”

Overlapping word/phrase in brackets: “Let the other forty-million, three-hundred and seven people who want to get famous [get famous].”

Dear Eloise – The Hollies

“It's beneficial to you must read in between the lines”

Overlapping word/phrase in brackets: “It's beneficial to you [you] must read in between the lines”

In which a common phrase is misused

First line of Whiter Shade of Pale, Procol Harum, is, “We skipped the light fandango.”

The common expression is “Trip(ped) the light fantastic.”

Wallflowers' album title is: Bringing Down the Horse.

The common expression is “bring(ing) down the house.”

The standard Side by Side (I have it by Patsy Cline), goes “Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money.”

The common expression is “barrel of monkeys.”

Technology is getting TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL!!! (circa 1967), Sonny Bono

“Electrically they keep a baseball score”

The Beat Goes On – Sonny & Cher

Good lyrics

“Sometimes I live in the country / Sometimes I live in town / Sometimes I get a great notion / To jump into the river and drown”

Goodnight Irene – Leadbelly

“Hello, darlin' How'm I doin'? /

Well, I'm doin' alright /

'Cept I can't sleep /

And I cry all night 'til dawn”

Hello Darlin' – Conway Twitty

“She had been born with a face /

That wouldn't let her get away”

Hollywood knights – Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band

“I never kissed a bear /

I never kissed a goose /

But I can shake a chicken in the middle of the room”

Let's Have a Party – Wanda Jackson

“Just like a car /

You're pleasin' to behold /

I call you Jaguar if I may be so bold”

Jeepster – T-Rex

“Don't walk down lover's lane /

Just go right on a sayin' [pronounced “sane”] /

`I only want a buddy not a gal'”

I Only Want a Buddy – Carter Family

“I don't want a bowl of little fishies /

He can't take a goldfish for a walk”

How Much Is That Doggie in the Window – Patti Page

“Looked like sixty-five when he died /

He was a friend of mine

“Eddie, I miss you more than all the others /

This song is for you my brother”

People Who Died – Jim Carroll

“We're not the jet set /

We're the old Chevrolet set”

We're Not the Jet Set – George Jones & Tammy Wynette

“Just like a ghost you've been a-hauntin' my dreams /

So I'll propose on Halloween”

Spooky – Classics Four

“My uncle Mort, he's sawed off and short /

He measures four feet two /

But he feels like a giant [pronounced “jint” with long “i”] /

When you hand him a pint /

Of that good old mountain dew”

Mountain Dew – Various

“She never gets involved /

With blowing her cool /

She's too busy painting sky /

With her classmates in school”

Superlungs My Supergirl – Donovan

“When I get the blues I get me a rockin' chair”

“Hi yo, hi yo Silver”

Honey Hush – Joe Turner

“Other guys imitate us /

But the original's still the greatest”

“It doesn't matter where you've been /

You ain't been nowhere til you've been in . . .”

In Crowd – Dobie Gray

“Rhododendron . . . is a nice flower”

“Theory of the waltz . . . mashed potato schmaltz”

Do the Strand – Roxy Music

“Roly poly, eatin' corn and taters /

Hungry every minute of the day /

Roly poly, gnawin' on a biscuit /

Long as he can chew it it's okay /

He can eat an apple pie /

And never even bat an eye /

Roly poly, daddy's little fatty /

Bet he's gonna be a man someday”

Roly Poly – Bob Wills

“You should see my blue-eyed Sally /

She lives way down on Shinbone Alley”

Stay a Little Longer – Bob Wills

“She was doin' a dance without any shoes /

She was barefootin'”

Barefootin' – Robert Parker

Is this an example of an “internal,” (internally referenced “other work”) a la “Tennessee Waltz”

Insipid (hence: great) lyrics

“All your friends call you Lily Paloma /

But that's not the way that you are /

It's too much of a gentle misnomer /

For a shooting star”

On the Radio – Al Stewart

Noteworthy lyrics, not necessarily good

“We were so close /

There was no room /

We bled inside each other's wounds”

Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) – Melanie

Mungo Jerry's “In the Summertime” presciently anticipates the problem of drunk driving, Melanie's “bleeding inside each other's wounds” anticipates the problem of AIDS

“There's a flame from the stack /

And that smoke's a blowin' black as coal”

Six Days on the Road – Dave Dudley

the pre-pc confessions of an air polluter

Parody lyrics

I apologize for the profane and scatological but that's how it goes with parody lyrics

“Laxatives will happen /

It's only shit and run /

(Used to be a victim now you're not the only one)

I don't want to smell it /

'Cause I know what I done”

Elvis Costello's Accidents Will Happen

“We built this titty /

We built this titty /

We built this titty with silicone, /

Built this titty”

Starship's We Built This City

Parody lyrics, using inversion method

“What a night for a nightmare /

What a night for a feverish boy /

And I'll be lost in a nightmare /

Seein' how the world is being destroyed”

Daydream – Lovin' Spoonful

“I want to sleep … in city that never wakes up!”

New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

Presentation of or "analysis" of lyrics

Deck of Cards – T. Thomas Tyler

Show hands dealing a deck of cards (?)

Hold On – Wilson Phillips

Story songs

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia – Vicki Lawrence

Angie Baby – Helen Reddy

Ode to Billy Joe – Bobbie Gentry

Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley

What do these lyrics mean?

“I've got some real estate here in my bag”

America – Simon and Garfunkel

Thematic similarity in the lyrics of "Rock and Roll Waltz" Kay Starr and "Surrender" Cheap Trick

chapters/lyrics.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/30 14:11 by william Creative Commons License Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki do yourself a favour and use a real browser - get firefox!! Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0