sort form Submissions:
Freezepop – Sprite Lyrics 2 years ago
This song is a cover of an old commercial jingle by Raymond Scott. You can find it on an album called Manhattan Research Inc., a 2000 collection of his unreleased electronic music from the 50s and 60s.

Scott is probably most famous for the swing music from all the 1940s Warner Bros. cartoons, but he made music in wildly diverse styles. The stuff on Manhattan Research Inc. is all electronic, mostly very bleepy, and poppy but experimental at the same time in a way that would be hard to describe but since anyone reading this is a Freezepop fan, you'll get it. It includes music that was intended for release but never completed (like a project with Jim Henson), commercial jingles, soundtracks to industrial films, incidental music for TV and movie soundtracks (some of which still regularly show up on shows like Watchmen and Lovecraft Country), and stuff that's clearly just him screwing around with a new synth he invented and built to see what it can do (but sometimes those are the coolest tracks).

The Psychedelic Furs – President Gas Lyrics 3 years ago
@[sage113409:34639] True, numbers don't lie. And so many numbers did change dramatically under Reagan, and they're all nicely documented and easy to look up. The federal deficit, the personal bankruptcy rate, the number of administration officials indicted while in office, the percentage of personal income spent on health care.

Unfortunately, they all changed in the wrong direction. And numbers don't lie.

I can take conservatives like Buckley who argue that spending America into near-bankruptcy was the only way to force the Soviets to actually spend themselves into bankruptcy, freeing half the world from tyranny, because at least they're arguing from the actual facts.

People like you who choose to believe in obvious lies, or just avoid ever looking at the facts, just so they don't have to change their team, you're not at all conservative. You don't have any ideology at all, because you don't need one. Which is exactly what President Gas is hoping for.

The Psychedelic Furs – Into You Like a Train Lyrics 3 years ago
@[FolsomFred:34638] Also, the rage came back after the artistic (if not commercial) failure of Midnight to Midnight. If you haven't listened to say, "House" since it came out, give it another try. Sure, the anger of Book of Days is more that of a bitter old man than of a nihilistic young art student, but it's just as angry, and nothing at all like the self-restrained mediocrity of Midnight and Mirror Moves.

Of course I still listen to the first two albums a lot more often… but not being as great as Talk Talk Talk is hardly a shattering criticism; most things in the universe aren't as great as Talk Talk Talk.

The Psychedelic Furs – Into You Like a Train Lyrics 3 years ago
@[FolsomFred:34637] "If you believe that anyone like me within a song is outside it all,
Then you are all so wrong."

The song slows down just to let him make this point. Sure, he wishes he was beyond the hypocritical notion of love and romance, that he could just have fun and have it mean nothing more than that. He doesn't want to tape you down and shack you up with him. And yet, he knows that he's no better than anyone else, and when it comes down to it, he's as likely to fall in stupid love as anyone else.

And One – Pimmelmann Lyrics 3 years ago
I didn't handle the missing words well at all:

In the last line, "Will er sich nach der Seife ... oh", the missing word has to rhyme with "entzücken", so you immediately think "bücken", which means "bending". On top of that, the position in the sentence structure is different in German than in English. So what this actually means is more like:

Your grandson will be delighted by him
When he's [bending over] for the soap

And bending over for the soap has the same connotation in German that it does in English.

Also, the "Bevor Ich" line is better as "Before I put my [penis] inside" than "Before I give my [penis]", but that one doesn't change the meaning much.

And One – Pimmelmann Lyrics 3 years ago
You've probably heard that this is a very dirty song, but it's dirty in a very silly way. Very few jokes survive translation, but especially sp when the specific words and tone are the joke.

To demonstrate, just take the title. "Pimmel" is one of many words for "penis"—one of the more friendly ones, and it also connotes pissing rather than sex. If a "Schwanz" is a "dick", a "Pimmel" is a "wiener" or a "todger". "Pimmelmann" means "Penisman", with the same superhero association as in English, but it also makes it sound a lot more childish, because kiddie names for penis are mostly things like "Pipimann". But it's not like calling a song "Wiener Man" (like that kiddie campfire song that Joel & the Bots loved to sing on MST3K), because a "Pimmel" isn't a sausage or a man's first name or whatever that can also be used as slang for penis, it just means penis.

So now, maybe you can appreciate why it's funny, but I'll bet you didn't laugh once while learning, or afterward.

And One – Pimmelmann Lyrics 3 years ago
I fly over mountains and valleys
If you fly naked, you have to
I see you sitting there by the lake
And swirl in your bladder tea

I am a hero - a Superman
Who can do a lot more besides swirling
I help ladies over the dam
Before I give them my ---------

The kids really like me
The cops are looking for me even more
But if you can't find me
Call out loud to Penisman

I am the Penisman (Penisman)
If you can't find me
Call out loud to Penisman

What I get out of my pocket
Are mostly rubbers (or Gummis) and alcohol
I like to help young and old
No matter who the hymen pops

The Penisman will never go
His buddy will stand for years
He will still delight your grandson
Does he want the soap ... oh

Project Pitchfork – Renascence Lyrics 3 years ago
So many of Pitchfork's messages would be too sugary for a duet between Blümchen and Paul McCartney if they weren't cloaked in all that darkness, and none more than this one.

Choosing love, no matter what, is the only way to be happy. That's already a pretty sappy message. But why contrast Adam with a Stone Age tribesman instead of some other modern guy?

First, it makes the point that all the things we treasure about our advanced civilization don't matter. Not just the fancy cars, even things like not punishing rape victims with exile. Bad stuff still happens unfairly, so the most important choices in our lives are still the same as they ever were, and the right answer is still the same.

But it also makes the point that there is actually an advantage to living in the 20th century instead of 5000 years ago. For Ajam, choosing love would have meant probably death; for Adam, it just means trading his fancy lifestyle for a more austere one.

So that's what civilization is for: the freedom to choose love.

And that's what lyrics are for: a way to sneak ideas like that into our heads without us realizing how desperately sappy they are and cynically rejecting them.

Project Pitchfork – Alpha Omega Lyrics 3 years ago
Oddly, when I first heard this song, I thought it was dark rather than hopeful. The boiling frog (or crayfish) is always a warning when anyone else uses it as a metaphor, so I assumed he was doing the same thing.

Once you start thinking that way, the opening bit sounds an awful lot like a cult leader. In fact, it sounds like Charlie recruiting Squeaky Fromme. A lost and depressed kid at a bus stop, a person appears on the scene and gives love and self esteem and understanding, she throws away everything from her hopeless path and continues her life in trust—trust in Charlie, and in the Family she soon helped him recruit.

And the same could be with humanity. In fact, that's what demagogues are all about. They give desperate people something that feels like faith, and they become converts, trusting their leader absolutely.

But I'm pretty sure that's not what the song is about. Because once you actually get to the chorus, cult leaders and demagogues don't work by imperceptibly slippery slopes, they work by apocalyptic proclamations and dramatic actions.

Project Pitchfork – Alpha Omega Lyrics 3 years ago
The title comes from a famous biblical phrase in Revelation 1:9. This is the same verse that inspired Cathiolic mystic Teilhard de Chardin, who named his theory after the "Omega Point", and the message is basically an atheist improvement on Teilhard, so I don't think that's an accident.

The only thing a person needs to reach their potential is someone who believes in them, so the only thing humanity needs is someone who believes in humanity. Peter puts in more of a new-age pop-psych way than Teilhard would have, but it's the same idea.

To Teilhard, this someone who has faith in humanity is God. And what we eventually evolve into is God, the very same God who back in the present was, back in the present, influencing us to evolve by having faith in us.

To Peter, it's just present-day humans whose faith in humanity matters directly. You don't need to be perfect to make a difference by believing in a child, so why should anyone think we need to be perfected before we can make a difference by believing in humanity? Maybe we can only make small, finite differences, but they can and do add up, and that's all we need.

The crayfish bit is the boiling frog fable beloved by philosophers, but turned on its head. (No idea why he also changed the frog to a crayfish.) Usually it's a warning about the danger of not noticing gradual changes for the worse, but Peter's reminding us that we also fail to notice gradual changes for the better. And if you keep that in mind, you start to notice the little ways you really are improving the world, which is all you need to keep that self-fulfilling faith in humanity.

As it turns out, if you actually do gradually boil a frog, it definitely will notice. Most species will try to jump out of the water at only around 25°C. If you prevent it from jumping out, it will keep trying harder the hotter it gets. Long before you get to boiling, or meat-cooking temperature, it will reach critical thermal maximum and start flailing around chaotically, probably killing itself from overexertion. But the boiling frog still works as a metaphor even if it's useless as science.

Project Pitchfork – Timekiller Lyrics 3 years ago
I suspect there are a couple different meanings, somewhat complementary but mostly separate. Peter has always said that he writes the music first, and then tries to turn it into lyrics, and occasionally he's surprised at where they go. And I think that's what happened here.

Start with the music. It closely approximates a perfect dance club anthem (and to hear the song it approximates, just listen to the And One version), but it's full of bits of timing that are just wrong. That's why it's called "Timekiller".

So, how do you translate that to words? Creativity drives you crazy, and being "unstuck in time" is the most obvious symptom. The only thing that drives you crazier than writer's block is unblocking and writing compulsively. And either way, when you sit down at your workstation and then look at the clock 20 minutes later, and it'll either be the still same time as when you started, or suddenly 4am. You know there's a state in between, where most people live, but you can never get there. It's a short step to seveneyedfox's interpretation, and the video takes that step. It's about a Kafka-esque writer (with hints of Dostoevsky and William S. Burroughs as well) rather than a songwriter, but that doesn't really change anything. Nor do the hints of speed and absinthe—they may be an addition for the video, but they fit just fine.

But the chorus isn't from the maddened writer's point of view; it's from the point of view of his madness, taunting him. Or, if you instead take those words to be from the narrator's point of view, then he's not singing about his creative demons anymore, he's singing to a lover who only needs him as a time killer rather than for something deeper. And this is where the rest of the song comes from, which leads straight to SubGothius's interpretation.

Some of the lyrics only make sense from the "trapped lover" point of view rather than the "maddened writer" one, but I think the latter is there in the song, not just invented for the video.

Project Pitchfork – Timekiller Lyrics 3 years ago
@[SubGothius:34635] I think the "frivolous" is the key. It's not just the sex that sucked him in. He wanted someone who desperately needs him to share the insights they both bring back from struggling on the edge of madness, and he thought that's what he found. But it turns out that's not who she is. Yes, she does desperately need him, but only to kill time. He's no good at that, he doesn't want to be any good at that, and if only she'd recognize that about him, she'd leave him alone and he'd be free. But she's not capable of seeing that, so he's trapped forever.

And One – Panzermensch Lyrics 3 years ago
"Seid bereit (immer bereit)" is the chant of the Pioneers, the old East German youth group. So the song is comparing the Panzermenschen and their stompy dance to East German Boy Scouts.

Whenever a Pioneer troop raises the flag, is addressed as part of a parade or assembly, etc. the troop leader says "Seid bereit", and the kids shout back in unison "Immer bereit!" and do a weird salute thing.

It's short for the Pioneers' motto "Für Frieden und Sozialismus seid bereit": which means "for peace and socialism, be ready". The leader is saying "Be ready" (like the Scouts' "Be prepared"), and the kids respond "Always ready!"

Pop Will Eat Itself – X, Y, & Zee Lyrics 4 years ago
"X, Y, and Zee" is a 1972 British movie that's mostly famous for the Liz Taylor/Susannah York/Michael Caine threesome.

It's also the alternate name for the movie's theme song, also titled "Going in Circles", which became more famous when it was covered by Three Dog Night.

I don't think the PWEI song has anything to do with either; I think they just liked the title, which conjures up impressions of threes, and of the end of everything, and of non-Britishness ("zee" rather than "zed").

Pop Will Eat Itself – PWEI Zation Lyrics 4 years ago
The song is mostly about all the good stuff you'd catch on commercial TV during the low-rent hours in the 1980s.

"Number Twelve Looks Just Like You", "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room", and "On Thursday We Leave for Home" are all Twilight Zone episodes.

"I bring you a warning…" is from The Thing—the 1951 original, not the John Carpenter 80s remake.

In the last verse, "thought police" are from 1984, and Dementia 13 is Francis Ford Coppola's first (real) movie. I'm not sure about the rest of it—the first line sounds like a Judge Dredd/Halo Jones mashup; maybe he was reading 2000AD while something boring was on telly, until 1984 came on?

Pop Will Eat Itself – Nightmare at 20,000 ft. Lyrics 4 years ago
The title is of course referencing the Twilight Zone episode of the same name.

I'm not sure if the song is about irrational fear of flying, or about the somewhat more rational fear of flying in the near future if John Major got his way with airline deregulation.

As it turned out, when deregulation happened in 1992, all the new fly-by-night airlines with lax safety and maintenance standards quickly went out of business and got bought out by the older low-cost airlines like Ryanair before they managed to kill lots of people, but who could predict that in 1990?

Pop Will Eat Itself – Ich Bin Ein Auslander Lyrics 4 years ago
The song was inspired by the BNP's Tower Hamlet's election victory, as kmk_natasha explains, and it's chock full of historical references about fascism.

"It Can't Happen Here" is Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel, which was written as a warning to complacent Americans that fascism wasn't just Europe's problem. The point of the book is the same as the point of this song: that it can happen anywhere if people are apathetic to the danger of the right.

The second verse is about neo-Nazi skinhead gangs. The BNP had supposedly cut all ties with neo-Nazis, but the volunteers handing out their pamphlets in the day were the same people throwing petrol bombs through Pakistanis' windows at night.

"When they come to ethnically cleanse me" is a reference to Martin Niemöller's 1946 speech criticizing anti-Nazi German intellectuals—including himself—for not standing up. It's more familiar in the poetic translation you find on the wall at the Holocaust Museum. Niemöller (a conservative theologian) did nothing to defend the handicapped, the communists, the socialists, and the Jews, so there was nobody left to defend him when they came to purge the Lutheran churches and put him in Dachau.

Of course "ethnically cleanse" was the Serbs' euphemism for their attempted genocide of the Bosnians. At first everyone was angry with them for trying to dodge responsibility, but soon world leaders like Clinton and Major were using it. Which meant anyone who ever wanted to commit genocide in the future (including the Croats and Bosnians in the same way) could get away with claiming they weren't committing genocide, only ethnic cleansing.

I can't remember what "through a glass eye" is a reference to, but it's definitely something. V for Vendetta? Repent, Harlequin?

"Politics of Hate" was the 1968 front-page editorial in the Times calling for the Tories to expel Enoch Powell for his "Rivers of Blood" speech, the speech that basically created the far-right wing of the Tory party overnight (although they'd have to wait a few decades for Boris Johnson).

"Freedom of expression doesn't make it alright" refers to the BNP's claim that their real issue was freedom of expression, not racism. The BBC asked a BNP candidate not to use words like "Paki" and "darky" on air; when he refused, they didn't put him on broadcast, and the BNP cried censorship, which ended up giving them much more, and better, press than a blatant racist on telly speaking for them ever would have.

Pop Will Eat Itself – Can U Dig It? Lyrics 4 years ago
@[molofan:31177] The song is called "Da Doo Ron Ron", and it's not a Beach Boys song. It's a Phil Spector song made famous by the Crystals. Many people later covered it—it launched the pop idol careers of both Shaun Cassidy and Debbie Byrne in the 70s—but I suspect the Poppies are referring to the original. (Actually, the Beach Boys have apparently been covering the song since 1998, when Mike Love got sole rights to tour as The Beach Boys. But I doubt they used their time machine to visit future Beach Boys concerts.)

The Ciccone Youth song "Into the Groove(y)" is a cover of Madonna's "Into the Groove". But I think this is another comic book reference. If I remember right, there was a special issue of an alternative-sci-fi fanzine dedicated to the "British invasion" comics, with a big panel of unused art from Grant Morrison's upcoming Doom Patrol reboot with "Into the…", with the word "Groovy" from the magazine's logo pasted next to it, as the cover.

MC Chris – I Want Candy Lyrics 4 years ago
@[ka11itkarma:31048] You forgot the diet pills. The demons are going to sell his diet pills. That's where the profit comes from.

But really, that's just an excuse. Like the Daleks drilling a big-ass hole in the earth to replace the magnetic core so they can fly the planet around like a toy spaceship, or Nero drilling a big-ass hole in the earth to inject it with red matter to make it kerplode, MC Pee Pants drilling a big-ass hole in the earth to releasing ancient demons to sell diet pills sure _sounds_ plausible, but it's really just about drilling a big-ass hole for the sake of drilling a big-ass hole.

MC Chris – Fett's Vette Lyrics 4 years ago
Who doesn't want to live in the universe where Attack of the Clones followed the backstory from this song, instead of what we actually got?

The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia, My Reflection Lyrics 4 years ago
@[laurelinwyntre:30884] "The comparison between guns and drugs is a typical Eldritch riff"

Half of Legal Weapon's songs use weapons as a metaphor for drugs or vice-versa, and it's not too rare in the songs of the various other related bands that Pat went through. So, even this could be an oblique "welcome, Pat" thing: "see, I make 'shot' puns too".

The Sisters of Mercy – Black Planet Lyrics 4 years ago
PS, The very fact that he calls it "highway 101" is further evidence that he actually meant PCH.

Most roads in LA are never called "highways". In particular, US 101 is always either "the Hollywood Freeway" or "the 101", never "Highway 101".

But CA 1 is one of the exceptions. It's "Pacific Coast Highway" (or "PCH") or "Highway 1".

Somewhere about halfway up the state—not far from Pismo, actually—the naming conventions suddenly change; if you're driving US 101 from San Jose to San Francisco, it actually is called "Highway 101", "Route 101", or just "101", never "the 101" or "the Bayshore Freeway". But I'm pretty sure he's singing about LA, not the Bay Area (or Pismo, or Tillamook, Oregon).

The Sisters of Mercy – Black Planet Lyrics 4 years ago
I've always been pretty sure Andrew Eldritch mixed up Highway 101 and Highway 1. And, contrary to what sandyclaws057 suggested, I think "sunset" actually does refer to Sunset Blvd.

Driving down Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) heading for Sunset Blvd., you're driving by the side of the ocean, and heading for a street that's both the metaphorical symbol of LA decadence, and (well, in the 80s; things have changed since then) also the rough physical border of urban civilization.

Cliffs on the left, undevelped beach on the right, only minimal signs of commerce... until you come around that last curve before Sunset, when you're suddenly in a traffic jam, with a supermarket and a minimall to the left and an ostentatious private beach club to the right.

And things only get denser ahead until you each the great white Santa Monica Pier. (Technically, PCH turns inland there; if you drive onto the pier, you're on the end of Route 66, not the end of PCH. But.. close enough.)

The only problem is that PCH isn't (US) Highway 101, it's (CA) Highway 1. Highway 101 is the freeway that runs from East LA through downtown and eastern Hollywood (which is where it meets Sunset Blvd.) to the northern suburbs. It doesn't go anywhere near the side of the ocean along the way.

But plenty of people have confused two of LA's most famous highways--including two commenterss here. It's not like Andrew is an LA native; he's a Brit who'd been there a couple times on tour. If an American sang about circling round and round the city on the M5, you'd guess he actually meant the M25 orbital, not that he was singing about getting confused by a temporary detour around Taunton on the way to Exeter.

If you interpret "heading for sunset" as heading for _the_ sunset, as in heading west, rather than heading for Sunset Blvd., then you can make it work, but only by placing the song way outside LA. For example, in Pismo Beach, the coast turns almost straight west rather than north-by-northwest, and the 101 goes alongside the beach boardwalk. But LA is the end of the world, the final stage of the cancer of western civilization; Pismo is a sleepy beach resort town that people have only vaguely heard of because of Bugs Bunny making a wrong turn on the way there.

Other than getting these details wrong, I think sandyclaws and techgeist are right about what the song means.

Echo and the Bunnymen – Do It Clean Lyrics 4 years ago
I don't think this is specifically about coke, as about all the drugs. They did snort a lot of coke, but they also spent a lot of time on acid, and generally took whatever pills anyone had. Quoting Ian: "Pretty much everything but smack. No, I think I did smack once by accident because there was nothing else around." The title "do it clean" does sound specifically coke, but a lot of the other lines fit acid, amphetamines, etc. better—or just all of them.

Then-manager Bill "KLF" Drummond says this song was kept off the album and buried as a b-side of a non-album single, even though it was an obvious hit, because it was also too obviously a drug song, and the label wouldn't have allowed it. Ian said that was BS, and it was left off the album because the original version sucked, and it wasn't until they came back and recorded a totally different version that it was worth releasing. Who's remembering right? Who knows. But foreign labels apparently had no problems with the song—most of them added it as a bonus track—even if it didn't appear on LP in the UK until the best-of half a decade later.

Echo and the Bunnymen – The Cutter Lyrics 4 years ago
This song is about creating music. But I don't think "the cutter" is the labels and their pet producers trying to water it down, as so many of the comments say. From almost any other band, I'd agree, but not from Ian McCulloch.

For one thing, Echo & the Bunnymen had been lucky and never really faced any kind of label interference up to this point. And if you look at the history of this album, even in Ian's words, he was the reason for all of the problems they had with it, not the label (much less the producer, Ian Broudie, who the band asked for and got over the label's original choice). It's worth reading the story in Turquoise Days, or at least the summary on the Wikipedia page for this album.

Ian has said the whole album is about "coming to terms with the opposites in me", and that it's "so personal that I hate it, it's oppressive". It ties in with the general struggle with OCD that so many of his songs are about, but in this one, it's specifically about how that struggle manifests when trying to get a song from the raw Peel Session version to the final world-conquering single. It's his own alternating self-doubt and perfectionism that drove him to keep rewriting and rearranging this song (only part of the chorus survived from the 1981 version, called "Happy Loss"), and I think that as it evolved over countless obsessive rewrites, it became about that process itself.

Echo and the Bunnymen – The Cutter Lyrics 4 years ago
The "seventh floor" is studio 7B on the seventh floor at Broadcasting House, where the famous Peel Sessions were recorded.

Thanks to regulations forced on the BBC by EMI back in the 1940s, DJs were severely restricted from putting a song into rotation unless it was an official single on a major label. John Peel found a clever end-run to this: he'd hire the band members as "session musicians" to come in and record a "cover" of their own song, which then counted as BBC content, so he could play it as often as he liked. By 1982, the Peel Sessions were a cultural institution, which Peel had used to break hundreds of bands, in a dozen new genres from psychedelic to punk.

Echo & the Bunnymen were particular faves of Peel's, and they were appreciative. In 1979, their demos had been rejected by all of the labels, but after their first Peel Session, Warner not only signed them, but created a new imprint (Korova) to sign similar bands. And Peel kept bringing them back—in the middle of recording Porcupine, they did their 4th session in 3 years, which got "Back of Love" heavy airplay before it was released as a single.

Echo and the Bunnymen – The Back Of Love Lyrics 4 years ago
@[jackflashjess:30753] Over-analyzing everything is a central trait of OCD. And Ian has specifically listed this song as one of the ones that's about his struggles with OCD.

More importantly, diagnosing someone based only on their art and their public statements is pretty fraught. Sure, he often looks like almost a stereotype of a bipolar musician in interviews. But he's been under psychiatric care for most of his life. His doctors presumably know him much better than us, and see sides of him that we don't, and none of them have ever diagnosed him bipolar.

Madness – House Of Fun Lyrics 4 years ago
As an American, I had a bit of trouble understanding this song. I didn't even know that a "chemist" was a drug store. I'd never heard condoms called "party hats". And "party poppers" meant amyl nitrate, which made me think the song had something to do with either homosexuality or disco.

The video cleared things up for me.

I don't think you could even really translate this for 1982 America, because we didn't really have a load of euphemisms for condoms. You could call them "rubbers", but since that doesn't mean boots, or anything else but condoms, that wouldn't be any less embarrassing. Most young people just used the brand name "Trojans", because they'd started mainstream advertising during the late-70s herpes scare.

Madness – House Of Fun Lyrics 4 years ago
@[solent:30725] That scene ( is nothing like what you described. Other than both being about the embarrassment of buying condoms when they were still behind-the-counter items, it has nothing in common with the song. And I doubt it inspired the song. Suggs and Herman Raucher both had the same kind of experience that three generations of boys went through, and they both decided to have fun looking back at it (probably exaggerated for humorous effect).

Aztec Camera – Oblivious Lyrics 4 years ago
As witty as those lines are, as much as they sound like they must add up to something, they really don't.

Roddy told the story of this song many times in interviews in the late 80s. I can't find any of the print interviews available online, although a video at gives the one-line version.

After two years of singles that got critical praise but no airplay (even after John Peel tried to break them), he wanted to get on Top of the Pops, so he wrote a "light, straightforward pop song".

The lyrics may seem too clever for a "light, straightforward pop song", but then so are complex jazz chords set to a samba beat, and yet it all worked as intended. Most of the lines came from unrelated notes in Roddy's notebook, and he didn't make any attempt to fit them together into a coherent story or theme, as long as they sounded good. Which they do—the hook is catchy as hell, but without the lyrics it wouldn't be nearly as memorable. Even if they don't mean anything.

Anyway, they had to release the single twice, but the second time, it hit the top 20, they got to appear on Top of the Pops, and then Roddy got to spend the next 5 years trying to shed the "pop boy" image it got him, but that's another story.

Babyland – Ramona Moraga Lyrics 4 years ago
This song contrasts Ramona, a desert town in the middle of nowhere in San Diego county, and Moraga, a yuppie suburb between Berkeley and Walnut Creek.

But the point isn't to complain about those two towns in particular. Those happen to be where Smith and Dan grew up, but no matter where you grow up, you have to transcend it. It doesn't matter whether you become just another desert redneck or just another Bay Area yuppie; what matters is that you _not_ become just another _anything_. It's up to you to find—and help build—the community you represent, rather than letting yourself represent the community you were born into.

Queen – Flash Lyrics 4 years ago
I used to have an edit of this movie (well, actually a control script for a laser disc of the movie, because it was the 80s) that contained only the parts with either Freddy Mercury singing or Brian Blessed shouting. I'd put it on the TV on endless loop (with the volume muted) at parties. Whenever things got quiet, someone would look at the screen and recognize the scene and shout out "Flash! A-ah! He'll save every one of us!" or "I tell you my friend, this might seem like the end" or "That must be one hell of a planet you men come from!" and that would be enough to kickstart the party again. "Impetuous boy! Ah well, who wants to live forever? DIVE!"

Queen – Another One Bites The Dust Lyrics 4 years ago
@[Blackadder:30606] The idea that Freddy Mercury would backmask that message in 1980 was always ridiculous.

The original backmasking controversy was so played out by then that even ELO's increasingly silly joke messages had stopped; nobody was doing it anymore unless they had something really clever. (Of course people started again after the Satanic metal panic brought back the silly controversy, but that was still a few years in the future, and I don't think Freddy had a TARDIS.)

Plus, if Freddy wanted to be subversive or provocative, it'd be as bombastic and over the top as everything he wrote, not a line as prosaic and clumsy as "Decide to smoke marijuana".

Also, why would he tell people to smoke pot? He was on coke and booze constantly, and it was only a few months later that he told Bowie he hadn't smoked pot in years because all it does is dull the high.

The B-52's – Dance This Mess Around Lyrics 4 years ago
First they ask us to name all 52 girls and only give us a couple dozen names, then they tell us to do all 16 dances and only tell us 9 of them. And later, on the B-side of the album, they only name 8 of the 9 planets. And it goes even beyond the B-52s—Cindy skips 4 when counting to 8 for Martini Ranch. Why does she hate the Count from Sesame Street?

The B-52's – Quiche Lorraine Lyrics 4 years ago
@[quamp:30400] "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" didn't come out until 1982, so, unless Fred had a time machine, he probably wasn't writing about it in 1980.

Also, Fred was never particularly interested in the 80s stereotypes of masculinity that book was about. 50s stereotypes of masculinity, sure, those are funny, but that's a different story.

Also, there is almost certainly no woman who done Fred wrong. Did you somehow miss fact that Fred is gay? Nobody in his life did. He's talked about how he tried to come out at 14 but everyone already knew.

The B-52's – Downtown Lyrics 4 years ago
This song was originally written for, and made famous by, Petula Clark, in 1964. It's a really odd song, with a sound sort of halfway between big-band and rock despite being mostly played by a string orchestra. Clark's label had no idea what to do with it, but their American licensor loved it and pushed it hard, and it went to #1 on the charts.

I don't know if the songwriters have ever spoken about what it's about, but Petula described it as a small-town Brit's fantasy idea of what New York City must be like.

It had a brief resurgence in popularity when Petula Clark did a disco version of the song, which may be where the B-52s first got interested in it—but at some point they definitely discovered the original. Kate has talked about the string arrangement, and even things like the French lyrics in "Dans le Temps" (a loosely-translated version Petula released in Quebec in 1965).

The B-52's – Channel Z Lyrics 4 years ago
I'm pretty sure the title is inspired by Z Channel, one of the original pay TV networks, which finally died and went off the air right when the B-52s were writing this album. If you were into Z instead of HBO or SelecTV, you were hip—Z picked an eclectic mix of "great films" instead of chasing blockbusters or filling time with cheap T&A, they invented the idea of "director's cuts", they used letterbox instead of pan&scan—and, late at night, they showed B-movies curated for their camp value instead of budget pricing. If you want to hear someone rant about how great they were, look for interviews with Robert Altman or Quentin Tarantino.

Of course Z wasn't all that cool anymore in their last few years. And, when they went off the air, you didn't get static—you got SportsChannel. Even though the title, and maybe the inspiration to write the song in the first place, came from Z Channel, the lyrics aren't really about it at all.

The B-52's – Legal Tender Lyrics 4 years ago
This song is inspired not so much by actual counterfeiters, as by movies about them—and, I think, especially the Burt Lancaster comedy "Mister 880", based on the real-life case of Edward Mueller.

Mueller didn't counterfeit millions of dollars, and he didn't get caught trying to pass bills to a bank and take off in a Jeep—but everything else fits. He was "living simple, and trying to get by", and failing. As a junk collector, he'd accumulated some old but professional printing equipment, which he installed in the basement, and used to start printing money. He stored his ink in jelly jars. He began printing just a few dollars at a time to pay his expenses, making sure never to pass bills at the same shop twice. His counterfeiting was terrible (he didn't even spell "Washington" right), and at one point in either the Burt Lancaster movie or the other movie based on Mueller but gender-swapped that I forget the name of, one of the shopkeepers calls it trash and compares it to grass. He got away with it for years just because a guy passing $1 at one shop at $2 at another shop a week later just isn't the Secret Service's top priority.

Also, I love the line "those gangster presidents". It just doesn't have the same connotations post-Ice Cube as it did in 1983, when "dead presidents" was still ironic retro-1940s slang used by investment-banker yuppies.

The B-52's – 6060-842 Lyrics 4 years ago
The best part of this song is that people in Athens apparently write dirty graffiti, but write it very politely—"if you'd like a very nice time".

Kim Wilde – Cambodia Lyrics 4 years ago
According to Kim, her brother Ricky (who wrote the music), and her father Marty (who wrote the lyrics), the song ended up a lot more ambiguous than they originally intended, but that made it better.

The original idea was pretty straightforward: a hero pilot straight out of a WWII movie is returning home from his routine last mission, gets shot down, and is MIA, and his wife never sees him again. It's a war tragedy that could come from any war, so it can even appeal to Reaganites. It was meant to avoid being "too political for a pop song"; raising the MIA issue was enough for people to think about.

But as finally written, it's not entirely clear what happens to the pilot in the end. And there are definite hints that he's suffering from PTSD for quite a while. And he's had to do things he can't talk about, but we don't know whether that's covering up atrocities or just normal operational secrecy.

Kim: "It's a song that leaves you with various questions. A song which you don't know what it's about or what's happening in it. You get a certain idea, but you just don't know. And a song like that tries a lot to make the mystery bigger."

Ricky (after talking about a vet who thanked them for perfectly capturing his story about vanishing from his wife because he was afraid his PTSD would make him hurt her): "My god, did we write that? Yeah, it's in there if you want to find it. I don't think we knew we were putting it there, but we did. You can get different stories out of it."

The changes they made along the way include: rewriting the song from from being about the pilot to from the wife's perspective, then changing it from her first-person story to a third-person story about her; adjusting a few lines to fit the rhythm that "lost a lot of the clarity, or, better, added a little mystery"; and replacing the sound of a missile hitting a jet with sounds of helicopters because it fit the music better.

Scooter – Sunrise (Ratty's Inferno) Lyrics 4 years ago
So this is Scooter covering their own secret side project's cover of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren", with all the Tim Buckley bits removed.

The funny thing is that this is much more straightforward trance than the Ratty version, even though the whole point of Ratty was to do straightforward trance without all the Scooter baggage.

Anyway, both versions are great. If only we'd gotten Scooter under yet another of their names remixing Dead Can Dance cover of "Song to the Siren" to complete the hat trick…

Scooter – Stripped Lyrics 4 years ago
20 years later, they finally cover the song that inspired them to start the band.

I think the result is a lot better than we would have gotten from a Celebrate the Nun cover, or even an early Scooter cover, of the song. By this point, they're free to go off in a huge range of dance styles… which means they can get away with actually playing this one straight.

Unfortunately, live, they went way too far—no more pianos, trancy pad builds, etc., they just tried to reproduce the original sound for sound and note for note, and obviously Depeche Mode can do "let's sound exactly like Depeche Mode" a lot better than Scooter. But this album version strikes a bunch better mix of reverent without redundant.

Scooter – She's The Sun Lyrics 4 years ago
This almost sounds like Scooter woke up with 15 years of amnesia, forgot they weren't Celebrate the Nun anymore, and decided to start over by doing their own spin on Depeche Mode's current sound, just like they'd originally done with Depeche Mode's mid-80s sound.

I wish we'd heard more of this direction, ideally under a different name so they wouldn't have to live up (or down) to Scooter expectations. I suppose they were already doing their new trance thing Ratty, and Rick's project with his wife that never went anywhere, on top of Scooter, so there was just no room for yet another project. But it might have been really interesting.

Scooter – Ramp! (The Logical Song) [Extended] Lyrics 4 years ago
Outside the Supertramp lyrics, this is the usual Scooter nonsense, with the usual in-jokes/references. For example, "The K The L The F" is an obvious reference to KLF. "Scooter, are you Ratty?" refers to the more "serious" trance artist Ratty being a Scooter side project (which they'd originally kept secret, but they'd since revealed who was under the rat masks).

Scooter – Ramp! (the Logical Song) Lyrics 4 years ago
OK, so what does it mean to cover only the first verse of this song?

Assuming you don't want to just say "They missed the point" or "They missed the point on purpose", it means they're telling you not to let society grind all the childlike questions out of you and try to recover them later, but to stay childlike and innocent. You can always hang out with the freaks instead of fitting in.

To which Supertramp would say, "That's all well and good, but we need adults who understand the system to question it from the inside, or nothing will ever change."

To which Scooter would say, "Um… Pump it up! Aiii!"

But this is apparently the lyrics to the version without the added Scooter rants.

Anyway, the reason this is a cover (like "Rebel Yell") rather than a partial cover (like "Nessaja") is that they don't add any new riffs or changes, they just (radically) rearrange the existing ones. So the music credit is 100% to Davies and Hodgson, instead of Davies and Hodgson and Baxxter, Thiele, and Jordan. (On the versions with the added ranting, the lyrics are credited to Davies and Hodgson and "h.p. baxxter a.k.a the mic enforcer", but the music is still Davies and Hodgson.)

Scooter – One (Always Hardcore) Lyrics 4 years ago
This is a partial cover of the Bodylotion (Jeroen Streunding, credited as a songwriter here) song "Always Hardcore", a 1996 gabber hit, which included the partial cover/parody of Pearl Jam's "Alive".

Or actually, it's a cover of DJ Paul Elstak's remix of the Bodylotion song. DJ Paul removed a lot of elements of the song, including the main riff (and none of those elements make it into the Scooter cover), and added in a loop from a Rotterdam Terror Corps song (which does make it into the Scooter cover).

Of course the added lyrical rants are the usual Scooter intentional nonsense.

Scooter – Nessaja Lyrics 4 years ago
This song is a cover of a sappy synthi ballad by Peter Maffay ( that was a minor hit in central Europe in 1983. It means exactly what it sounds like: He's turned his life around by rediscovering his inner child. The original is in German; I don't know if Maffay did an English version, or Scooter translated it, but either way, it's a pretty straightforward translation.

Of course that's only the chipmunk part. The rest is the usual Scooter techno, with HP in character as the guy who's somehow become the biggest rapper in the world despite not realizing he's an idiot and barely speaks English.

The Painted Cow is one of the ridiculous new aliases he regularly invents for himself and announces in the middle of a song, like Screaming Lord or Radical MC.

And as always, there are random references to other music (which HP the character probably doesn't get, but the real HP obviously does). For example, Junglist Soldier is a song by jungle/D&B legend Stevie D (who I think had recently died). 3 AM is a Scooter side project who had released a version of this song without the vocals a few weeks before this version. I suspect the Dave on the train is Dave Bass Parker, a made-up person that both HP and Rick use when doing remixes for other artists who are too mainstream or serious to be associated with Scooter, but I could be wrong on that one.

Scooter – Maria (I Like It Loud) Lyrics 4 years ago
@[Bah:29957]! The funny thing is that HP's English is actually a whole lot better than it was when he was trying to write serious emotional lyrics in English back in the Celebrate the Nun days. He actually has to try to sound like a German idiot who barely remembers his English classes. Fortunately (?) he's up to the challenge.

Scooter – Jigga Jigga Lyrics 4 years ago
Apparently this was originally intended as a very different song for a side project by Rick Jordan (the main producer of Scooter) and Nikk Sukar (his wife, who does a lot of the female backing vocals, including in this song), but that project fell through, Rick turned it into a dance song, HP came up with the usual silly vocals, and the rest is Scooter history.

The slow bit in the middle (with the girl with the fish in the video) sounds like it could have fit into the Celebrate the Nun - Crown of Creation - Leichtmatrose dark synthpop sound that would have been Rick's career if he and HP hadn't turned CtN into Scooter. I kind of wish we'd gotten to hear it.

I'm also curious whether ""I will be there" is a reference to CtN's biggest hit "Will You Be There".

Scooter – I'm Raving Lyrics 4 years ago

(Lyrics to Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis")

* This information can be up to 15 minutes delayed.