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#1
Old 03-11-2004, 01:57 AM
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Alligator lizards in the air

So I'm making a CD for a road trip to Los Angeles, and I put "Ventura Highway" by the band America on there, because it's got a nice little hook and we're going to be driving on the Ventura Highway. As soon as it comes on, the driver of the car starts bitching about America and how much they sucked, going so far as to call them one of the stupidest bands ever. "Just listen to the lyrics," he said.

I'd always thought of America as being completely inoffensive; I wouldn't go out of my way to listen to them, but I wouldn't run away screaming either. But after paying more attention to the lyrics, I realized that America wasn't just one of the stupidest bands ever, they were THE stupidest band ever. Because it's so insidious; you hear a pleasant little tune and think nothing of it, while the vapid lyrics work their magic and actually make you stupider just for having heard them.

Exhibit A: "Ventura Highway"
Quote:
'Cause the free wind is blowin' through
Your hair
And the days surround your daylight
There
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air

Wishin' on a falling star
Watchin' for the early train
Sorry boy, but I've been hit by
Purple rain
What in the name of all that is good and holy does "Alligator lizards in the air" refer to? I suppose it could be an enigmatic "pompatous of love" type phrase, if you didn't have the rest of the lyrics reminding you that the whole song is just random incoherent words strung together. "The days surround your daylight there?" "Been hit by purple rain?" Why are you sorry about that? Does it have something to do with your missing the train?

Exhibit B: "Horse With No Name"
Quote:
On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
Do tell. The words paint a picture in my brain. There were not only plants and birds in this desert, but also rocks, and then things. Things!
Quote:
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound
And that sound was "Duuuuuhhhhhrrr." The heat was hot, you say?
Quote:
You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
Because, presumably, he was in danger of looking up and drowning. I'm convinced now that the only reason the horse didn't have a name was because he was too dense to come up with one. He probably would've named it "Horse." Or "Thing."

Exhibit C: "Muskrat Love"
Too easy.

Exhibit D: "You Can Do Magic"
Quote:
You can do magic
You can have anything that you desire
Magic, and you know
You're the one who can put out the fire
Sure, the whole damn song is repetitive, and if a 4th grader turned it in for a poetry class he'd get a C+ at best, but that last line is the stupidest part. The whole song is about how this person made him fall in love with her/him. So he/she isn't putting out the fire, she's starting it. Dumb ass.

It may be true that Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, but this guy still should've checked to see if the wizard could set him up with a brain. I feel like I've been duped all these years, humming along mindlessly and never realizing that America was the stupidest band ever.
#2
Old 03-11-2004, 04:31 AM
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What, "alligator lizards in the air" doesn't draw you back to golden childhood memories of lizard-flinging fights?
Quick!
Grab it before it drops its tail and you lose it!
Quick!
Fling it at your friend before it bites you!
(those little fuckers could draw blood, they weren't called alligator lizards for nothin')
...Enjoy the high pitched girlish screams and run before they can throw it back on you...
#3
Old 03-11-2004, 04:50 AM
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I always thought that the lyrics to Ventura Highway were about tripping or at least written with the idea that the listener would most likely be tripping while listening to it. Their other songs..mostly just silly to me, and I like America. Listened to them all the time when I was a kid so I guess maybe it's a nastalgia thing for me.

I think many of their lyrics are just early seventies stream of consciousness kind of writing. It doesn't have to make sense as long as it sounds groovy, man.
#4
Old 03-11-2004, 08:30 AM
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It's abour drugs. Obviously. 'Cause if you see "alligator lizards in the air" you had better be on drugs, or you're stuck in a bad Godzilla flick.
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#5
Old 03-11-2004, 08:37 AM
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I have always thought Horse With No Name was an amazingly annoying song. The others don't bother me as much, but that one I always turn off.
#6
Old 03-11-2004, 08:58 AM
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Alligator lizards in the air

It's the 11th and final Plague against the Egyptians in the Bible book of Exodus.



SPOILER:
I lie! I always figured it mean dragonflies
#7
Old 03-11-2004, 10:07 AM
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Google is your friend.

Also the fact that I'm something of a herp geek and used to sell alligator lizards.

Also relevant to this thread, one of my favorite unknown bands--The Loud Family--has an album entitled "Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things."
#8
Old 03-11-2004, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurobath
I think many of their lyrics are just early seventies stream of consciousness kind of writing. It doesn't have to make sense as long as it sounds groovy, man.
Yep. In the '70s, artists like America, Steely Dan, and Bernie Taupin (via Elton John) gave the music scene the lyrical equivalents of Monet paintings. The words of many of their songs are meant to provoke impressions, and are not meant as strict narrative.

Among contemporary groups, Train and Third Eye Blind do some of that impressionistic schtick. Coldplay, too, I think.
#9
Old 03-11-2004, 11:08 AM
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To the OP: congratulations on your awakening. Yes Virginia, America was a shit band. Now you know the truth.

My g/f and I have this discussion often. She loves the band and insists that all her smart friends thought their lyrics were great. At that point I politely change the subject; better to stand mute than insult your g/f's friends.

I think Randy Newman's comment on "Horse With No Name" says it best: "It's about a kid who thinks he's taken acid."
#10
Old 03-11-2004, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonsuch
My g/f and I have this discussion often. She loves the band and insists that all her smart friends thought their lyrics were great. At that point I politely change the subject; better to stand mute than insult your g/f's friends.
You are a wise man sir.
#11
Old 03-11-2004, 11:44 AM
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Oh Sol you really made me laugh! You too Tortuga!

I'm always amazed when I hear that old classic by the Moody Blues. What a beat! What a groove! What the hell are they saying. Ride my see-saw??

Quote:
Ride, ride my see-saw,
Take this place
On this trip
Just for me.
Complete lyrics
#12
Old 03-11-2004, 12:12 PM
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You better watch out before someone accuses you of being "un-American" or worse, "anti-American!" har har...
#13
Old 03-11-2004, 03:16 PM
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The free wind was blowing through my hair, and I kicked the Horse with No Name in the ribs and edged him up over eighty, rumbling along through the desert as the amber liquid sloshed in the square bottle gripped in my sweaty fist. My accountant and personal trainer needed to vomit so he asked if we could stop soon.

I looked at him through a pair of triple-wide gold rimmed aviator sunglasses with red lenses, trying to decide whether the blood was on him or on my eyes, and hollered over my shoulder, "We can't stop here... this is ALLIGATOR LIZARD country!"

His quizzical look could have been a side effect of the acid, or of the America album in his eight track. Ah... poor bastard doesn't see the alligator lizards. Well, I'm not going to say anything. He'll see them soon enough. Where's that ether?
#14
Old 03-11-2004, 04:46 PM
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I agree with the impressionistic lyrics interpretation. It's not like the lyrics of 99% of today's popular music is any less inane. Really, tell us who you like to listen to, and I bet we can pick out lyrics that in the cold light of day, look just as stupid as anything in the America canon.
#15
Old 03-11-2004, 05:04 PM
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I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who never could figure out the lyrics to "Ventura Highway." However, I still like the song a great deal; it's a catchy little ditty. I also like "Sister Goldenhair," but not because I think it has any redeeming musical merit. It was popular my first year in college when I worked on the student newspaper and the editors were two blondes and times were pretty interesting. I hear that song and get nostalgic for one of the few good times in my life.

My opinion of America, before today, was that they were one of those lightweight bands that plagued the 1970's; they were not terrible, but neither were they good. However, upon learning they wrote "Muskrat Love" (I'm only familiar with the Tony Tennille version, which is bad enough. In fact, when one of the local radio stations was asking listeners to name bad songs for a Thanksgiving "Turkey" Special, I and several others named that ditty.) I've come to the conclusion that this is one crime not even God can forgive.

As an aside, I once heard a DJ ridicule "Horse With no Name." His suggestion was: "You're stuck in the desert with nothing else to do. Name the damn
horse."
#16
Old 03-11-2004, 07:31 PM
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Discussions like this always remind me of the brilliant Blues Traveller song, "The Hook":

It doesn't matter what I say
So long as I sing with inflection
That makes you feel that I'll convey
Some inner truth of vast reflection
But I've said nothing so far
And I can keep it up for as long as it takes

. . . .

Because the hook brings you back!
#17
Old 03-11-2004, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finagle
I agree with the impressionistic lyrics interpretation. It's not like the lyrics of 99% of today's popular music is any less inane. Really, tell us who you like to listen to, and I bet we can pick out lyrics that in the cold light of day, look just as stupid as anything in the America canon.
Steve Allen used to have a bit where he'd read the lyrics to popular songs like serious poetry. It was pretty funny.
#18
Old 03-11-2004, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganDear
You better watch out before someone accuses you of being "un-American" or worse, "anti-American!" har har...

If we can't make fun of crappy 70s bands...























(Wait for it)














...then the terrorists have already won!
#19
Old 03-11-2004, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowTail
Steve Allen used to have a bit where he'd read the lyrics to popular songs like serious poetry. It was pretty funny.
It was not funny. It was hilarious.
Ba Ba Ba
Ba Babra Ann
Ba Ba Ba
Ba Babra Ann
Take my hand
Barbara Ann
Barbara Ann
Ba Ba Ba
Ba Babra Ann....

Intoned with beatnik-serious inflections and poignant pauses.
#20
Old 03-11-2004, 10:34 PM
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If we're going to go after song lyrics, can someone please explain these:

Why can't I breathe
whenever I think about you
why can't I speak
whenever I talk about you.

???

Please. Explain it. Do it for the children.
#21
Old 03-12-2004, 12:18 AM
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I had never given much thought to America before, but the OP has made a strong case. I am especially impressed by "plants and birds and things" What the hell, they couldn't think of a single other fucking noun that might be in the desert so they defaulted to the generic THINGS? What about rocks and sky and sand and bugs and lizards ... alligator lizards ... in the air ... AAAAAAAGH! THEY'VE GOT ME DOING IT!!!!!!

Do you suppose the Taliban doesn't really hate the U.S., they've just got us confused with the musical group?
#22
Old 03-12-2004, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLS
It was not funny. It was hilarious.
Ba Ba Ba
Ba Babra Ann
Ba Ba Ba
Ba Babra Ann
Take my hand
Barbara Ann
Barbara Ann
Ba Ba Ba
Ba Babra Ann....

Intoned with beatnik-serious inflections and poignant pauses.
I'd like to see what he'd make of "Busy Child," a great song nonetheless by The Crystal Method:

I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child, get busy, get busy...
(I guess I did-...), get busy, get busy, get busy, get busy...
(I guess I did-...), get busy, get busy, get busy, get, get
(I guess I did-...), get, get, get, get, get, get, get busy.
Get, get, get, get, (I guess I did-...) get, get,
ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-get Busy Child.
I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I did-
Get Busy Child.
I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I did-
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I did- I guess I did- I guess I did- I guess I didn't know.
Get busy child.
I guess I did- I guess I did- I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I did- I guess I did- I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
Get busy.
I guess I didn't know.
Get busy.
Get busy, get, (I guess I didn't know...) get, get busy.
Get, get, get, get, get, get, get, get, get, get, get, ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-
ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-ge-get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I did- I guess I didn't know.
I guess I did- I guess I did- I guess I did- I guess I did- I guess I did- I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
Get Busy Child.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
I guess I didn't know.
#23
Old 03-12-2004, 03:10 AM
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Re: Google is your friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener
Also the fact that I'm something of a herp geek and used to sell alligator lizards.
If Google were really my friend, it'd explain what that picture has to do with anything. I see that it's of an alligator lizard, but as far as I can tell, it's just sitting there on a tree. It doesn't look particularly vaporous, or capable of flight. How could it be in the air? In the air?

I get that if you're writing a song, and you're stupid, you have to put a lot of work into getting the words to scan and rhyme. But he could've said "alligator lizards everywhere" and it would've worked just as well. A more interesting image, too, if you ask me -- all along the shoulders of the freeway, it's lizards a-poppin'. None of them flying and shit, they're all just starin' at you. Tripping or not, that's a cool song. And it took me all of 10 seconds to come up with that lyric. Shame on you, America!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond
Yep. In the '70s, artists like America, Steely Dan, and Bernie Taupin (via Elton John) gave the music scene the lyrical equivalents of Monet paintings. The words of many of their songs are meant to provoke impressions, and are not meant as strict narrative.
No you didn't just compare America to Monet! Or even Bernie Taupin, for that matter! I'm all for impressionistic lyrics, when they're done well -- for instance, Paul Simon is a genius at it; he's written tons of brilliant lines like "he ducked back down the alley with some roly-poly little bat-faced girl."

America's lyrics do provoke an impression, the impression of a guy who's creatively dead (and likely stoned out of his gourd) and can't come up with anything genuinely clever, so says nothing and tries to pass it off as being worthwhile. Not to keep harping on it, but the moment you write a lyric like "there were plants and birds and rocks and things", you cross it out furiously and throw the paper away, you don't release it. Even if every single other word that flows from your pen is pure genius, a lyric that insipid invalidates everything.

And again: Muskrat Love. I mean, the evidence is overwhelming.

The most heartbreaking part is that the songwriter actually put some effort into writing the lyrics; it's not like he wrote "Good Morning Starshine" and can just claim that he was tripping or he meant the whole thing as a goof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finagle
I agree with the impressionistic lyrics interpretation. It's not like the lyrics of 99% of today's popular music is any less inane. Really, tell us who you like to listen to, and I bet we can pick out lyrics that in the cold light of day, look just as stupid as anything in the America canon.
Bring it!

I don't listen to 99% of today's popular music; as soon as I started getting gray hairs in my beard I realized that I just don't "get" 99% of today's popular music, what with all the Flashlight 592's and Sphericals and Ambivalent Plankton Farms and whatever it is the kids are listening to these days. Get off my lawn!

Of course there are stupid songs released constantly. I like a lot of them. But the salient points are:
1) 99% of today's popular music is meant to disposable. 30 years from now, you're not going to find people putting "Milkshake" on mix-CD's or the future equivalent. The band America should've been an embarrassing footnote to musical history. They should not still be getting airtime.
2) Even dumb songs manage to get a good image in there every once in a while. "Shake it like a Polaroid picture" is a neat image, and it makes sense. "Hey mama, it's that shit that makes you groove, mama, get on the floor and move your booty mama" is a sentiment I can get behind. America is consistently stupid. You can forgive one or two stupid songs, but they were repeat offenders.
3) We're not just talking vapid here, we're talking actively, offensively stupid. The mental equivalent of celery -- you actually lose IQ points even just processing the lyrics. Even Jim Morrison, who brought us the immortal words "Hello, I love you, can I jump in your game?", still followed the law of averages and came up with a good line every once in a while.

And whoever mentioned that "Hook" song by Blues Traveller and got it stuck in my head: you're going to have a lot to answer for when the hammer comes down.
#24
Old 03-12-2004, 03:29 AM
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One lyric in particular has ruined an otherwise great Frank Sinatra song for me for years. In the song, "Chicago," it says:

"They have the time, the time of their life,
I saw a man, he danced with his wife,
in Chicago, Chicago, my home town..."

How frickin' lame! He danced with his wife! What a swingin' place!

I can't imagine how Sinatra could sing this song with enthusiasm for years, but hate "Strangers In The Night" and call it stupid.
#25
Old 03-12-2004, 03:50 AM
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When posters mentioned impressionistic lyrics, I knew I was forgetting something:
Soul Coughing, who had probably the most brilliant songs released in the 1990's and are tragically defunct while for some reason Smashmouth is still recording.

from "Blue-eyed Devil"
Quote:
Moving door to door to door.
Stoned motel room.
Nice cool on the bathroom floor.
[...]
Spoon to the lighter to the lighter to the gun
Devil lapsed out in a pool of sun
from "Disseminated"
Quote:
The Goat chewed up,
Once a tin can.
The Goat shat out,
was a Ford Sedan.
[...]
Call up bop and I'm bunting stomach,
Koko mop I stop nothing plummet,
Thud on top, I ate the chocodile.
from "Rolling"
Quote:
I know you got it but you gotta go
I'm gonna get into the batter so the mix might glow
I hate to do it, but I did it though
I'm gonna bite into the body like the risk is no
I got the souped up car and what you call tripping on the boom bap
etymological
I ride the fader and I ride it low
I'm gonna slip into the field like Han Solo
See, those are mostly incoherent words that still manage to create images, and sound interesting regardless. Note the difference between that and "plants and rocks and things."
#26
Old 03-12-2004, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener
Also relevant to this thread, one of my favorite unknown bands--The Loud Family--has an album entitled "Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things."
That reminds me of the Cowsills, who had a big hit with "The Rain, The Park & Other Things."

http://robinrecords.com/cowsills...c-therain.html

They spend the whole damn song singing about the flower girl, but she doesn't make it into the title! I hope the flower girl didn't let any of them touch her boobies.
#27
Old 03-12-2004, 07:24 AM
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OK -- if you're gonna make fun of America, can someone explain these Doors lyrics to me:



Come on, come on, come on
Now touch me Babe
And let me see
that I am not afraid
What was that promise that you made?
Why won't you tell me what She said?
What was that promise that you made?

Oh,
I'm Gonna love you
'til the heavens (something) the rain....
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#28
Old 03-12-2004, 07:55 AM
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Now, let's not knock The Doors here, alright?

(sorry, lame pun that had to be made! )
#29
Old 03-12-2004, 08:19 AM
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Far be it from me to defend the Doors, but what's so difficult to grasp about "Touch Me"?
#30
Old 03-12-2004, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
originally posted by Finagle
I agree with the impressionistic lyrics interpretation. It's not like the lyrics of 99% of today's popular music is any less inane. Really, tell us who you like to listen to, and I bet we can pick out lyrics that in the cold light of day, look just as stupid as anything in the America canon.
I think America are stupid. Among my favourite artists are Death Cab For Cutie and Jay-Z. Fell free to ridicule the lyrics of songs that I like. Good luck in finding anything as stupid as "plants and birds and rocks and things."
#31
Old 03-12-2004, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Far be it from me to defend the Doors, but what's so difficult to grasp about "Touch Me"?

I know that I'm lyric-challenged. I frequently can't make out what the lyrics are, if I had to save my life. Even when I can hear the lyrics, I can't make any sense out of them.


Who is SHE?

What Promise are they talking about?

What's going on?


At least in "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" I know that the story's supposed to be.
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#32
Old 03-12-2004, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gex gex
I think America are stupid. Among my favourite artists are Death Cab For Cutie and Jay-Z. Fell free to ridicule the lyrics of songs that I like. Good luck in finding anything as stupid as "plants and birds and rocks and things."
You mean starting with their name? "Death Cab for Cutie"? Did they get that name from a Dave Barry column?

I've just read through a bunch of Death Cab lyrics (I've never heard them), and without the music, it's so much pretentious, angsty pseudo-poetry.

I mean, WTF?

"Weights down so that you could move forwards
Pinch to snub that restless nerve
And knock the wind from one last urge
With two fingers a rock glass,
Time passed and that was that"


And I'm thinking that metaphors such as

"Your heart is a river that flows from your chest through every organ

And your brain is the dam and I am the fish who can't reach the core"


aren't going to stand the test of time.


I stand by my claim. Without the music, and without context, the lyrics of almost any artist sound like the random dribblings of some addled opium eater.
#33
Old 03-12-2004, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finagle
I stand by my claim. Without the music, and without context, the lyrics of almost any artist sound like the random dribblings of some addled opium eater.
Ah, but America's lyrics sound like that with the music and the context.
#34
Old 03-12-2004, 01:08 PM
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On Night Court (one of my favorite shows, BTW), someone made an extremely lame explanation of something or other to Bull, who replied:

Makes sense to me. Of course, so do the lyrics to "Horse With No Name".
#35
Old 03-12-2004, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
OK -- if you're gonna make fun of America, can someone explain these Doors lyrics to me:
More Stooopid Doors Lyrics:

I woke up this morning,
And I got myself a beer!
I woke up this morning,
And I got myself a beer!
The future's uncertain,
And the end is always near.


Whenever I saw one of those pretentious "Jim Morrison - American Poet" posters in the dorm as college, I amused myself imagining Steve Allen delivering the quoted bit of the Morrison oeuvre.
#36
Old 03-12-2004, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond
Yep. In the '70s, artists like America, Steely Dan, and Bernie Taupin (via Elton John) gave the music scene the lyrical equivalents of Monet paintings. The words of many of their songs are meant to provoke impressions, and are not meant as strict narrative.

Among contemporary groups, Train and Third Eye Blind do some of that impressionistic schtick. Coldplay, too, I think.
One word for you, kids:

Beck
#37
Old 03-12-2004, 05:18 PM
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You know I never really analyzed those lyrics. As a matter of fact I always thought I was just mis-hearing them and he wasn't really saying "alligator lizards in the air", it just sounded that way and must really be something that makes more sense. Every time I heard the song I would think "I should look that up and find out what he's really saying."

For the longest time I thought that Aerosmith song was "Lovin' an Alligator", when I found out it was supposed to be "Love in an Elevator" it did make more sense but I just can't get "Lovin' an Alligator" out of my head.


Oh, and chocodiles are tasty!


Hmm ... there's a definite reptilian theme here.

Um ...

Er ... yeah, so I guess the OP was right about the lyrics making you stupider.
#38
Old 03-13-2004, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
originally posted by Finagle
You mean starting with their name? "Death Cab for Cutie"? Did they get that name from a Dave Barry column?
They got their name from a song by '60s group Bonza Dog Doo-Dah Band. you should know that an obscure reference is cool. Your criticicism isn't valid here.

Quote:
I've just read through a bunch of Death Cab lyrics (I've never heard them), and without the music, it's so much pretentious, angsty pseudo-poetry.
I would't say angsty. There isn't much angst there. Despondency, perhaps. Do you call Morrisey angsty? And I don't see how pretention is a criticism. Pretension, in rock n roll, can be magnificent.

Quote:
I mean, WTF?

"Weights down so that you could move forwards
Pinch to snub that restless nerve
And knock the wind from one last urge
With two fingers a rock glass,
Time passed and that was that"
Yeah, it doesn't make direct sense. Good example of impressionist lyrics. But you notice that unlike America, there lyrics have some awareness of the qualities of language, using the sounds of the words so that when combined with music they carry emotional weight. Put this up against "Wishin' on a falling star/ Watchin' for the early train/ Sorry boy, but I've been hit by/ Purple rain," and DCFC is a clear winner. They use the sounds of the words to enhance the song. America wish they'd taken LSD.

Quote:
And I'm thinking that metaphors such as

"Your heart is a river that flows from your chest through every organ

And your brain is the dam and I am the fish who can't reach the core"


aren't going to stand the test of time.


I stand by my claim. Without the music, and without context, the lyrics of almost any artist sound like the random dribblings of some addled opium eater.
It's an... unusual metaphor. It is still light years ahead of the America quoted in this thread.

I am disappointed. I thought you could do much better. Whereas Solgrundy managed to deconstruct every couple of lines of Horse With No Name, you could only manage a few, isolated examples. Even these are fairly reasonable lyrics, and you ignored the ability Ben Gibbard has to paint a complete picture or tell a story, as seen in songs like Photobooth, Why You'd Want To Live Here or Title Track. And no mention of Jay-Z in your post. A poor effort.

I guess that's the point. If you'd started a thread saying how stupid DCFC's lyrics were, I could offer many examples proving you wrong. I've seen no examples of quality lyrics offered to counter the OP's premise, and if a band's fans are unable to do that, then the band has a serious deficiency. When the band is such uninventive dreck as America, then you know that deficiency is serious.
#39
Old 03-15-2004, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gex gex
They got their name from a song by '60s group Bonza Dog Doo-Dah Band. you should know that an obscure reference is cool. Your criticicism isn't valid here.
You're not being consistent here. You criticize America for their meaningless lyrics, but somehow DCFC is cool because they took their bandname from a 60's group with meaningless lyrics (and a bizarre name).


Quote:
Originally Posted by gex gex

I would't say angsty. There isn't much angst there. Despondency, perhaps. Do you call Morrisey angsty? And I don't see how pretention is a criticism. Pretension, in rock n roll, can be magnificent.
I'd say "angsty". And I'd say Morrisey is big on angst.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gex gex
It's an... unusual metaphor. It is still light years ahead of the America quoted in this thread.
Chacun a son gout. I think it's stupid, you think America is stupid. We're gonna just have to agree to disagree here.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gex gex
I am disappointed. I thought you could do much better. Whereas Solgrundy managed to deconstruct every couple of lines of Horse With No Name, you could only manage a few, isolated examples. Even these are fairly reasonable lyrics, and you ignored the ability Ben Gibbard has to paint a complete picture or tell a story, as seen in songs like Photobooth, Why You'd Want To Live Here or Title Track. And no mention of Jay-Z in your post. A poor effort.
Dude, I'm scanning DCFC lyrics while taking a break from coding and debugging. I'm not working for Rolling Stone. You want a thorough trashing of Death Cab for Cutie, then drag your CDs out of the closet 20 years from now and let your kids listen to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gex gex
When the band is such uninventive dreck as America, then you know that deficiency is serious.
Yet somehow, 30 years later, they still get airtime. How mysterious is that? Tell you what, if Death Cab and Jay-Z are still on the radio 20 years from now, then I'll entertain the notion that it's not just ephemeral crap.
#40
Old 03-15-2004, 01:20 PM
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Just because it's on an oldies station doesn't mean it's not dreck.
#41
Old 03-15-2004, 02:47 PM
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Man, the phrase Death Cab for Cutie was driving me absolutely batshit. Where have I heard it before? Why did I know it?! What the hell was going on?!

Then it struck me like lightning! It was on The Magical Mystery Tour. Paul was a big fan of the Bonzo Dogs...and they played at the end when the stripper was doing her thing.

That had nothing to do with America, but I just know how much gex gex loves everything to be linked back to the Beatles somehow.
#42
Old 03-15-2004, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vibrotronica
Just because it's on an oldies station doesn't mean it's not dreck.
No, but if it has survived the test of time, then it's beloved dreck. Sure, it's easy to posture and claim that you're intellectually above listening to it, but there's some reason it's still played. In the case of Horse with No Name, I'm gonna speculate that it's the very inaneness of the lyrics (along with a catchy tune) that give it its longevity. The lyrics challenge you to come up with some sort of interpretation that doesn't involve prior brain damage in the lyricist.
#43
Old 03-15-2004, 03:06 PM
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If I want to find a monumental collection of stuck-on-themselves stuffed shirts, I'll know where to go. You people make the dorm "wisdom" of decades past actually seem deep and thought-provoking.

So some pop songs aren't up to the highest standards of e e cummings's work, so what? Get over it.
#44
Old 03-16-2004, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finagle
No, but if it has survived the test of time, then it's beloved dreck. Sure, it's easy to posture and claim that you're intellectually above listening to it, but there's some reason it's still played. In the case of Horse with No Name, I'm gonna speculate that it's the very inaneness of the lyrics (along with a catchy tune) that give it its longevity. The lyrics challenge you to come up with some sort of interpretation that doesn't involve prior brain damage in the lyricist.
Ah, the old Brain Damage Challenge ...

I'll take "Those lyrics were written by someone who had a motorcycle accident compounded with serious LSD use" for a hundred, Bob!

Sorry, Jim, it's actually "Those lyrics were created by someone who hit himself on the head with a ball peen hammer every hour, on the hour, as part of an obscure religious cult."

Brain Damage Challenge -- band name, ya think?
#45
Old 03-16-2004, 08:17 AM
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I live in Los Angeles and I've driven down Ventura Highway, where in fact it is not uncommon to see alligator lizards in the air. They get lifted up in major storms then rain back down on the San Fernando Valley. It happens all the time. Paul Thomas Anderson addressed one such occurence in Magnolia except, for the purposes of the film, he decided to change the alligator lizards to frogs because he thought more people would be familiar with frogs.

Anyway, if you've ever had to clean these fuckers off your windshield you'd agree that they warrant a lyric in a pop song every once in a while.
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#46
Old 06-20-2016, 04:19 PM
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Here is what Alligator Lizards In the Air & Hit By Purple Rain Mean

Alligator Lizards:

Dewey Bunnell, the song's vocalist and writer, has said that the lyric "alligator lizards in the air" in the song is a reference to the shapes of clouds in the sky he saw in 1963 while his family was driving down the coast from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California where they had a flat tire. While his father changed the tire, he and his brother stood by the side of the road and watched the clouds and saw a road sign for "Ventura".

You can google Alligator Lizards, which are common in California and have an "S" shape.

Purple Rain:

n. A restless feeling. A non-descript feeling of boredom, restlessness and confinement. A feeling one has when wanting to escape from responsibility (chiefly emotional) by travelling. Sometimes synonymous with 'wanderlust.' The desire to travel in order to escape an emotional commitment.
"Waiting for the early train, Sorry boy, but I've been hit by purple rain." -America (Ventura Highway).

Lyrics
Chewing on a piece of grass
Walking down the road
Tell me, how long you gonna stay here, Joe?
Some people say this town don't look good in snow
You don't care, I know
Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger than moonshine
You're gonna go I know
'Cause the free wind is blowin' through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air, in the air
Did di di di dit ...
Wishin' on a falling star
Waitin' for the early train
Sorry boy, but I've been hit by purple rain
Aw, come on, Joe, you can always
Change your name
Thanks a lot, son, just the same
Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger than moonshine
You're gonna go I know
'Cause the free wind is blowin' through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air, in the air
Did di di di dit ...
#47
Old 06-20-2016, 08:18 PM
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When my husband told me those were the lyrics, I thought he was kidding.
#48
Old 06-20-2016, 08:28 PM
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As did I when I first read this thread 12 years ago.
#49
Old 06-20-2016, 08:39 PM
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Agggghhh! ZOMBIE alligator lizards in the air! Too much acid!!!
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