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Bob Dylan – Queen Jane Approximately Lyrics 9 years ago
The marijuana arguments don't make any sense, but I do like the Lady Jane Grey interpretation.

I've always assumed this song was about an "if we're both still single at 40 then let's get together" kind of arrangement, the singer loves a woman enough that he will wait until she's no longer desirable to anyone else. It's bittersweet because she's popular, glamorous, etc., and has no time for him, but he cares enough that he'll wait a lifetime for her, he'll be waiting for her when everyone else is gone.

Mclusky – Day of the Deadringers Lyrics 10 years ago
I'm pretty sure it's not "deceptions" or "Decepticons" but actually "Deceptacons", after the Le Tigre song "Deceptacon", they're the "new wave good-time girls". Though I'm not fully sure what the line means.

!!! – Shit Scheisse Merde, Pt. 1 Lyrics 11 years ago
See I try my very best to be just how I am
But everybody wants me to be like Zimmerman

parodies Dylan's "Maggie's Farm":

Well, I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them

David Bowie – Look Back in Anger Lyrics 12 years ago
Probably obvious, but the title is likely a reference to the 1958 film Look Back in Anger, or less likely but also possibly the 1956 play on which it was based. The film's a look at a doomed relationship during a pretty bleak time in England's history, centred on an angry, abusive protagonist (played by Richard Burton -- the term "angry young man" wasn't coined for the character, but it was popularized by it). However the relationship between the lyrics and the film isn't obvious. Maybe he just liked the phrase.

Elliott Smith – Let's Get Lost Lyrics 13 years ago
I think it's titled "Let's Get Lost" not because he wants to find someone to keep up with him, but after Bruce Weber's excellent 1988 documentary about California jazz musician Chet Baker's life (called "Let's Get Lost").

And to all the people who think it's not about drugs -- Chet Baker was a massive heroin addict.

Elvis Costello – New Amsterdam Lyrics 13 years ago
Even though I know he says "selling me tulips mistaken for lilies", every time I hear "selling mint juleps mistaken for lilies".

I think the chorus is one of the most brilliant ever written -- potentially only ever topped by "Blue Chair" on _Blood & Chocolate_. What an amazing lyricist.

Elvis Costello – Clowntime Is Over Lyrics 13 years ago
The beginning sounds ever-so-slightly like the beginning of Bowie's "Heroes".

Always thought it was "while others just stalk and talk" but I suppose these sound identical.

I think this is a brilliant, bitter title for a song, though it's not the best on _Get Happy_ (the next one, "New Amsterdam", probably is imho).

Elvis Costello – Love for Tender Lyrics 13 years ago
*err, acerbic and unexpected.

Elvis Costello – Love for Tender Lyrics 13 years ago
I'd always thought of the meaning of "tender" as "something tendered or offered, esp. money, as in payment" while listening to this song, but it's only just occurred to me the play on "Love Me Tender".

Really love "You're the one who hates to love / but he's the one who loves to hate", "Because he is the neighborhood", and "Just like a well-known financier". He's a master of acerbic, unexpectic lyrics.

I always thought he said "the wages of sin are an expensive affliction".

Something Corporate – Straw Dog Lyrics 15 years ago
I agree that this is about the verse from the Tao Te Ching about heaven and earth not being benevolent, treating the myriad things as straw dogs, etc. Jessica is someone to be used and thrown away. I don't buy into the logical fallacy argument, since I think "straw dog" is just a less common (possibly incorrect) name for the well known "straw man" fallacy, and anyway the term obviously comes originally from the Tao Te Ching (6th century-ish BC). It just doesn't make sense in the context of the song as a logical fallacy; people above simply argued that the fallacy is built up to be destroyed, which is exactly what Lao-Tzu was talking about anyway. But why would Something Corporate pick this out of the Tao Te Ching? Perhaps they read the Lao-Tzu, but my guess is from watching Sam Peckinpah's 1971 movie Straw Dogs (a great film, incidentally) and then later doing the research. That's a film about inexplicable violence, and they probably just liked the reference once they asked why the film was called that. (Incidentally, I read the Tao Te Ching many times before I saw the film, but took no special note of it until I watched the film.)

Elliott Smith – Let's Get Lost Lyrics 15 years ago
There's nothing optimistic about this song in my opinion. Just look at the first four lines as stated correctly: he was invited into a relationship, but couldn't stand it. Later he mentions the death of this relationship: "I had true love / I made it die." In all likelihood the "beautiful place to get lost" is a reference to heroin, given his addiction to the drug and references elsewhere on the album (e.g., "King's Crossing" for injection/needle references). He has given up on human contact; even when his relationships were good, he couldn't hold them together because of his addiction. He has therefore thrown himself headlong into his drug addiction; this meaning is made more plausible by the fact that he committed suicide before the album's release.

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