Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cruizin with the Oldies Station on a Sunday Night -- Lyrics, Lyrics, and More Lyrics
We've got some relatives coming to visit on Monday, so it was necessary for me to make a late-night shopping run to the grocery store and the drug store tonight. I decided to crank up the oldies station and check out the song selection for the evening. A tale of four songs tells you all you would want to know about rock and roll lyrics.

Song 1: Shake Your Booty - KC and the Sunshine Band. Talk about a great song from the 1970's, right at the start of the disco era. The song just wouldn't be the same if the lyrics were:

"Shake shake shake
Shake shake shake
Shake your butt
Shake your butt"

The song was on as I was passing through the McDonald's drive thru. I was able to tell the cashier, "Yeah, old KC sure doesn't have all that hair anymore, does he?"

Song 2: Take the Money and Run - Steve Miller Band. Talk about shitty lyrics - my vote for the WORST rock lyrics of all time. Nothing like making an innane story just to reach for badly rhyming words:

"This here's a story about Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue
Two young lovers with nothin' better to do
Than sit around the house, get high, and watch the tube
And here is what happened when they decided to cut loose
They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That's where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run"

"Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
He ain't gonna let those two escape justice
He makes his livin' off of the people's taxes
Bobbie Sue, whoa, whoa, she slipped away
Billy Joe caught up to her the very next day
They got the money, hey
You know they got away
They headed down south and they're still running today
Singin' go on take the money and run "

El Paso/hassle/castle? Texas/facts is/taxes? Do you really think Billy Joe and Bobby Sue are really singing "Go on, take the moneyand run?"

Song 3: Crocodile Rock - Elton John. Now ... Mr. Miller could learn something about writing lyrics from Bernie Taupin:

"I remember when rock was young
Me and suzie had so much fun
Holding hands and skimming stones
Had an old gold chevy and a place of my own
But the biggest kick I ever got
Was doing a thing called the crocodile rock
While the other kids were rocking round the clock
We were hopping and bopping to the crocodile rock"

"Well crocodile rocking is something shocking
When your feet just cant keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh lawdy mama those friday nights
When suzie wore her dresses tight
And the crocodile rocking was out of sight"

Effortless and fun lyrics written by a master ...

Song 4: Blinded by the Light - Manfred Mann. Bruce Springsteen wrote the esoteric lyrics to this classic:

"Madman drummers bummers,
Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older,
I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasin', sneezin' and wheezin,
The calliope crashed to the ground"

And if Steve Miller wants to see how real first class rhyming is done:

"And go-cart Mozart was checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe outside
And little Early-Pearly came by in his curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride"

And of course, the Manfred Mann version of this song originally had everyone thinking that someone had the stones to say "douche" in a song, right? Even when we knew the word was "deuce," we still sang it like ... ah, you know ...


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