back from work… stocked up for tomorrow’s date night with the sweetie.
Yum for Killian’s Red!
At lunch today, I tried burger king’s veggie burger…it’s acceptable. a dead on 5 out of ten… I know it will probably become my default BK food now, until something better comes along.
A subject I’m delving into for my own uses. Three guesses whose works I’ve staked out for dissection?
*Sounds of the Fire*
(whips, rattlesnakes, castanets)
“I am the Lizard King
I can do anything
I can make the earth stop in it’s tracks
I made the blue cars go away.
For seven years I dwelt
in the loose palace of exile,
Playing strange games
w/the girls of the island.
Now I have come again
To the land of the fair, & the strong, & the wise.
Brothers & sisters of the pale forest
O Children of Night
Who among you will run w/the hunt?
— Cries of assent —
Now Night arrives with her purple legion
Retire now to your tents & to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth.
I want to be ready.”
I want to do the music quote thing at the top of paragraphs in a short story… I think one of the tricks to deciphering the content of popular culture is to edit edit edit. It isn’t the entire work that is the key, but the lines that resonate. Sound bites. Turns of phrase as compact and potent as a meme. Jingles. Catch phrases. It isn’t the entire song that is the active ingredient, but the hook. That phrase that leaps out and embeds itself. In fact, the song doesn’t have to have any atmosphere or content, it’s the lyric that goes ’round and ’round in your head afterwards, no matter the context it was presented in that is the power.
Sometimes the most effective lines are incongruous, ambiguous, and seem to have no relationship to the rest of the song. Consider the title and the phrase within the song in Dishwalla’s “Counting Blue Cars.” See? Blue cars again. Do they have any relationship to the blue bus in “The End?” And do either connect to the blue bus featured in “Speed?” Which, is all about human evolution (isn’t it?). Try to find an answer and you’ll turn yourself into a pathological character mumbling and charting the connections between song lyrics on the walls and ceiling with tacks and colored string.
Without overinflating the importance or poetic skills of a certain poser in leather pants, I’d say that fella had a handle on the modern model. It isn’t epic poetry or opera that will entrance the modern audience, but short sharp shocks of Madison Avenue/ MTV / CNN sound bites. Morrison was a master of the form, and I will stand toe-to-toe with any Lit Crit who wants to take me on. While the pedant flusters over the overall worth of the total work, I’ll point out that at the time and place stadiums would be on their feet, poised to repeat the “Oedipal section” of “The End” in concert. Catharsis, indeed.
“Motel, money, murder, madness”
“We need great golden copulations”
“(I touched her thigh & death smiled)”
“(When the true King’s murderers
are allowed to roam free
a 1000 Magicians arise
in the land)”
“A beast caged in the heart of a city”
“When all else fails
We can whip the horse’s
eyes & make them sleep
“Penetrate the evenin’
That the city sleeps to hide”
“Now listen to this:
I’ll tell you about
Texas Radio & the Big Beat
Soft driven slow & mad
like some new language”
“Out here on the perimeter
there are no stars”
“When the still sea conspires an armor
And her sullen and aborted
Currents breed tiny monsters,
True sailing is dead.”
“The Hitchhiker stood
by the side of the road
& leveled his thumb
in the calm calculus
“We could plan a murder, or
Start a religion.”
“The Crossroads where the car hides.
Lies. Resides. A meeting-place
of Worlds. Where dreams are made.
Where anything is possible. Demons
There are the themes and phrases that occur again and again. Father. King. Kingdom. American Night. Desert. Sex. Death. Murder. Madness. Hitchhiker. The Sea.
The beauty of an ambiguous phrase is that since it offers no answer, you must create one. Primates can’t help it, it’s how they are wired. Questions are an itch that must be scratched with an answer. This is the mechanism of the spell: the participation of the listener. It isn’t the lyric that brings the madness, it merely points the way and gives a nudge.
Do not give rides to Hitchhikers in the Desert. Look what happened to Eric Red. James Dean died at a Crossroads. The Family is out there, living on a movie ranch, planning murders and starting a new religion.
On the 8th of August, after creepy-crawling past the gate of 10050 Cielo Drive, the first person the Family killed was a Parent (Steve Parent). Steve had come to visit his friend, the caretaker Bill Garretson. Garretson was fifty yards away in the guest cottage and survived the evening’s festivities because he didn’t hear anything from the main house. He was listening to “The Doors.”
Checking http://www.amiright.com/misheard/artist/toto.shtml for all the variations of what people heard in “Africa.”
OK, so I heard “Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like an empress above the Serengeti” instead of “like Olympus,” but dang it… that at least makes some poetic sense. You’ve got to wonder about someone that heard “Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like a lettuce from the Serengeti.”
Shall we wonder about “Blinded By The Light”? Let’s!
Blinded by the light
Wrapped up like a duece, another runner in the night
- Wrapped up like a deushkin in the middle of the night
- Wrapped up like a douche another roller in the night
- Repped up like a touche, you know they rolled her in the night.
- Of coarse I could do, shoe know the ruler in the night
- Cut loose like a goose in the middle of the night
- Racked up like a douche, another loner in the night
- Picked up like she do, she’s a runner in the night.
- Held up like a loofah by the foreman of the night
- Hung up like a douche bag in the shower overnite.
Hee hee. Lacking liner notes on the “Nevermind” CD, I’ve heard some interesting takes on the lyrics of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Here we are now,
Oh sure, this might seem funny, but just what was Charles Manson *really* hearing while listening to the White Album? Don’t bother with the real lyrics, that’s not what he heard. Mark David Chapman got a little weird on “Imagine” and “The Catcher in the Rye” in combination.
Notice how well “The End” fits the ending of ‘Apocalypse Now’ with it’s Golden Bough imagery.
“And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock
On a blue bus”
Dang, there’s that blue bus again. And this time connected with rock and the blues. Or is that blue rock a reference to bluestone, an ingredient frequently utilized in mojo hands for gambler’s luck or protection from evil? What was Mr. Mojo Risin’ saying? Especially since that line is not included in the versions of the lyrics for “The End” in either The Complete Lyrics or The American Night
You will find the lines after “And meet me at the back of the blue bus” online as:
(Blue bus still now…
Come on, girl)
though most go with the blue rock in the back of the blue bus. Which is the version used in ‘Apocalypse Now’ but was not the version from the debut album.
Somewhere I saw it rendered as “doin’ a blue raga.”
Since that section is absent in volumes billed as the complete lyrics, it’s presumed that the online versions have been transcribed from listening to various bootlegged or live versions. Sort of like the first Shakespeare folio.
The point I’m laboriously making is that what the official lyric *is* isn’t as important as what the listener *hears*.
Speaking of misheard lyrics, here resides another compendium of them…http://www.kissthisguy.com/