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Incredible String Band – October Song Lyrics 4 months ago
A beautiful, deep song about accepting one's mortality and embracing everyday life.

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Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Bellerin' Plain Lyrics 6 months ago
"Parapliers" is wordplay on parapluies, which means umbrellas. Also on pair of pliers.

There's a famous Renoir painting called Les Parapluies.

And looking forward along railroad tracks resembles an open pair of long-nose pliers. I agree with HarryIrene that it has a lot of imagery relating to trains. A bit like the verbal equivalent of those Futurist paintings of trains in motion.

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David Bowie – The Bewlay Brothers Lyrics 6 months ago
@[rustybucket:29035], Another possibility-- Bewlay was an old brand of pipe, mainly early 20th century. That might tie in with the Great War imagery of feet in the wallow, crew cuts and so forth.


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David Bowie – The Jean Genie Lyrics 10 months ago
@[Geryman:27634], it's a Bo Diddley-style riff, that's all.

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Ian Dury And The Blockheads – Plaistow Patricia Lyrics 11 months ago
Matchstick Becontree refers to Matchstick Island which was part of what is now Mayesbrook Park. It's not far from Becontree tube station.

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Joni Mitchell – Coyote Lyrics 1 year ago
@[TrueThomas:25731] In Sam Shapard's play Cowboy Mouth, the two characters are described as "a chick who looks like a crow" and "a cat who looks like a coyote." Those two characters are based on Patti Smith and on Shepard respectively.

Also, the Coyote/Trickster mythos was a popular topic in the early 70s and I wouldn't be surprised to find that Mitchell knew about it.

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The Clash – Deny Lyrics 1 year ago
OK. So what's the problem with turning up alone at the 100 Club? Why would that matter?

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The Clash – Bankrobber Lyrics 1 year ago
@[mark112305:23683], Billy Bragg's father wasn't a politician, and he had nothing to do with this song anyway.

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The Clash – Bankrobber Lyrics 1 year ago
@[Kalynada:23682] -- yeah, but his little Horatio Alger lesson is to get up off your ass and rob a bank.

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The Velvet Underground – I'm Set Free Lyrics 1 year ago
@[JT1968:22911], when I was much younger and was doing music, when we'd finish something, we'd say "Well then, on to the next cul-de-sac."

I think that this song is about relationships, and about how there's so much expectation and fantasy at the beginning, then there's the big letdown when it ends. But he's ready to get on that roller coaster for another ride, even though he knows a lot of it's not real.

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The Velvet Underground – Sister Ray Lyrics 1 year ago
@[epiphanysterror:22574], it's got to be either the raven or Barnacle Bill the Sailor...

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David Bowie – Lady Grinning Soul Lyrics 1 year ago
@[Tricky1979:22566], I think they both liked German cabaret music. The Doors covered a Kurt Weill song, even.

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Can – I'm So Green Lyrics 1 year ago
@[barney18:22134] I think that part's more just about seeing trails while tripping.

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Can – Vitamin C Lyrics 1 year ago
@[SilentZephyr:22132] yeah-- listen to Tago Mago if you want to hear more. He was truly a force of nature. RIP, Jaki.

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The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane Lyrics 2 years ago
@[johnjackmehoff:21728], you've got it backwards. Mott did their version in 1972. The Velvets did it in 1970. Mott the Hoople got help from Bowie, who was also helping to revive Lou Reed's career. As well as giving them All the Young Dudes to record, he also pulled some strings so they could cover Sweet Jane.


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The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane Lyrics 2 years ago
Also, I think the narrator's in transit because, like many people who play in bands, he's either going on the road or just coming back.

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The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane Lyrics 2 years ago
@[BillyBobCohen:21727], I like where you're going with that, but the Bearcat is in a stanza that's talking about the past. So that part of your interpretation doesn't fit.

I think Jack is an older guy, Jane works for him, Jack's banging Jane, and they've both got their kink on. And the "different times" may be looking back to the time of Jack's youth, in the 20s.

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The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane Lyrics 2 years ago
@[EmpressHimiko:21725], I really think you've picked up on something that the other posts have missed. Even straight-seeming middle-aged people like Jack and Jane have their kinks. And Jack has memories of a wilder era, the Roaring Twenties (the "different times").

@[IllToast2That:21726] -- thanks for the lecture, but you really have no idea what you're talking about. I'm a musician, I'm 60, and I still go to clubs and festivals. I go less often now, but that's due to hearing damage, not to avoid those freaky kids and their rampant promiscuity. And I don't know anyone my age who looks back on their twenties and thirties and says "my only regret is that I got laid too much."

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The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane Lyrics 2 years ago
"Jim" is just a generic name you use for someone when you don't know them, like when you're talking to a stranger in a bar. Lou Reed uses it in a number of his songs.

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The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane Lyrics 2 years ago
Based on other Velvets songs, and also based on Lou Reed's approach to songwriting, if he wanted to say something about heroin, he'd just say it. For example, by writing a song with that name.

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Leonard Cohen – The Future Lyrics 2 years ago
@[TheForbinProject:21722] -- Saint Paul also had a somewhat repressive interpretation of Jesus's teachings. His misogyny and authoritarianism did a lot of harm to a lot of people's lives. So I'd say Cohen was referring to modern cruelties and to ancient ones.

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Leonard Cohen – The Future Lyrics 2 years ago
@[moonchild81:21721], there's also a stereotype that we can't dance (pretty accurate in my case). I interpreted that part of the song as one of those impossible things that's supposed to happen right before the Apocalypse.

I can't deny, though, that white people have done more than our fair share of damage. I just hope everyone else knows enough to fix things instead of making them even worse.

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Leonard Cohen – The Future Lyrics 2 years ago
In the Tarot, the hanged man is upside-down. This is supposed to symbolize a state of uncertainty. I wonder if this is connected with the woman hanging upside-down?

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The Smiths – Girlfriend in a Coma Lyrics 9 years ago
Another interpretation-- it's his friend's girlfriend and he's conflicted over feeling good about her being out of the way.

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Dukes of Stratosphear – You're a Good Man Albert Brown (Curse You Red Barrel) Lyrics 10 years ago
I agree with pumkinhed. And Grandpa's a bit of an old drunk and wastrel.

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Richard Thompson – Turning of the Tide Lyrics 10 years ago
Typically unblinking Thompson scenario: the narrator in the song is feeling empathy for the high-mileage floozy he's picked up.

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Richard Thompson – 1952 Vincent Black Lightning Lyrics 10 years ago
Notice how James is an outlaw but he has no regrets about getting killed in a robbery attempt, and his vision of heaven is biker angels coming to meet him? Along with being a Thompsonian subversion of a traditional ballad form, it's a commentary on how passion and commitment win out over playing it safe.


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The Smiths – Girlfriend in a Coma Lyrics 10 years ago
What in the song makes you think it's his girlfriend? I think it's about another guy's girlfriend and he's jealous of her. That's why it's so ambivalent. He wants her out of the way but he doesn't want something horrible to happen to her.

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Franz Ferdinand – I'm Your Villain Lyrics 10 years ago
They've got some stylistic ideas from Roxy Music alright, but their musicianship is more competent (and at time more maniacally mechanistic). I also hear bits of Ziggy-era Bowie occasionally shining through. And they make sudden shifts in their music more often than most pop bands do.

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Franz Ferdinand – What You Meant Lyrics 10 years ago
"Feckless" has more of a sense of being careless and lazy rather than reckless. This is a "better to wear out than to rust out" line.

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Franz Ferdinand – What You Meant Lyrics 10 years ago
Though this might be stretching it, Step Number Four in a 12-step program is when you take a comprehensive moral inventory of yourself. That seems to fit with the rest of the song.

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Franz Ferdinand – What You Meant Lyrics 10 years ago
It's saying that they're so aggressive to each other that the only way they can get along is to take some E first.

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Pulp – Common People Lyrics 10 years ago
Cocker's from a working-class background and is from Sheffield, so the earlier comments about him being as privileged as Greek Girl are unfounded. In England, class mobility's nothing like it is in the States.

Lots of spoiled rich girls like to try "a bit of the rough" and this is the guy's perspective on what it's like to be used that way, and how it'll never give her the perspective she thinks she's going to get because her privilege will still get in the way. But he's still willing to go along for the ride.

"Everybody hates a tourist" is a key line in my opinion. You may think slumming is amusing but don't assume you're really welcome there or you'll understand what's going on.

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Pulp – Pencil Skirt Lyrics 10 years ago
This always brings me back to my younger days sneaky-fucking married women (for which some day I'll probably burn in hell-- I'm not at all proud of it now).

The part that resonates most with me is that he gets off on how guilty she feels that they're doing it. That, and his jealousy directed at her main squeeze: the "you can tell us some lies" part. An altogether twisted work of genius. Jarv understands this sort of thing more than most.

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Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah Lyrics 10 years ago
You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

That part refers to the belief that man should never say the name of God. In the Torah the name is written but the word is never pronounced. Cohen then refers to the fact that the real name of God is in every part of the Creation. There's a theme in a number of Cohen's songs about the unattainability of some perfect holy state and that our actual flawed condition is where we are and that's a good enough starting point. For example, in Anthem the bit about the crack in everything that lets the light in.

This is also an interpretation that's consistent with what little I know about Zen.

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Leonard Cohen – Anthem Lyrics 10 years ago
"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light" is a quote attributed to that great Zen monk Spike Milligan.

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R.E.M. – Kohoutec Lyrics 11 years ago
Kohoutek was a famous comet that was expected to be extremely bright as it passed through but wasn't. And its not going to be back in our lifetimes.

The song's about a near-miss encounter like that.

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R.E.M. – I Remember California Lyrics 11 years ago
You don't find many wolverines in California, though they sometimes show up in the Sierras. People used to wear that brand of boots though.

California's full of people who almost did something with their lives. That's the "nearly was and almost rans."

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R.E.M. – Finest Worksong Lyrics 11 years ago
"Throw Thoreau and rearrange"-- don't withdraw, engage.

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R.E.M. – Feeling Gravity's Pull Lyrics 11 years ago
There's a lot more to Dada than a protest movement. That's a shallow, trivial interpretation.

Man Ray did a wide range of art, in several media. One of the techniques of photography he invented is called the Rayograph, which is a form of solarization. Very intense, high-contrast, and similar to techniques Stipe uses in films he's shot. It fits nicely with an interpretation based on lucid dreaming or psychedelia. Everything around you is an illusion and can be manipulated for your entertainment. Then you come back down.

It also reminds me of dreams of flying.

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R.E.M. – Disturbance At The Heron House Lyrics 11 years ago
I always interpreted it as having to do with animal-rights activists releasing the critters from the zoo, and that as a metaphor for revolution in a broader sense in which we're the monkeys.

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Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – The Dust Blows Forward And The Dust Blows Back Lyrics 11 years ago
"One red bean stuck in the bottom of a tin bowl/Hot coffee from a crimped-up can." Been there, it was good.

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Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Pachuco Cadaver Lyrics 11 years ago
I think it's about a woman and her car.
"Sedan skims along the floorboard" because it's a lowrider.
"Her two pipes hummin' carbon cum" - dual exhaust.
A Brodie Knob is also sometimes referred to as a Necker's Knob and was attached to the steering wheel to allow one-handed driving. Often amber (or in the case of mine, clear blue) in color.
"Spanish fringe..."-- really popular in the 50's and early 60's in lowriders to have a tasselled fringe around the roof liner. Compare the little red velvet balls in Pena.
"Looks like an old squaw Indian" like the hood ornament on a Pontiac.
"Avocado green 'n alfalfa yellow"-- it's a two-tone car.

The pachucos would really be checkin' out a carrucha like that one. Especially if a woman was driving it.

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Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Electricity Lyrics 11 years ago
"I sing the body electric"

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Fairport Convention – Genesis Hall Lyrics 11 years ago
Corrections: "My father he rides with your sheriffs", "Judge without haste or alarm", "Gypsy who begged for your presents", "Rivers run thicker than trouble", "Taking revenge on your blood."

The father is on the side of the authorities, but the narrator takes a more balanced view. And when the poor rise up, the narrator expects to be swept away by the revolution too. And regardless, there will come a time where you'll need others, and then there will be payback for all the cruelty.

And Thomson was in his early 20s when he wrote this.

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Richard Thompson – Cooksferry Queen Lyrics 11 years ago
The Cook's Ferry Inn in Edmonton is a club that Thompson used to go to in the 1960s. It's about a thug who gets dosed with acid and adopts the paisley.

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Frank Zappa – Concentration Moon Lyrics 11 years ago
Manzanar. Google it.

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Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Moonlight On Vermont Lyrics 12 years ago
As well as the old song, I always thought it was referring to Vermont Canyon, which is in Griffith Park right next to the LA Zoo. And when the Beef's talking 'bout old-time religion, I'm pretty sure it's older than Christianity.

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Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish Lyrics 12 years ago
Fedlocks: shouldn't that be "fetlocks"?

Meate rose in hairs: meat [noun] rose [verb] in hairs
Meaty meate rose in hairs: meate [adj] rose [noun] in hairs

Cists -> cysts

Peeled in felt fields 'n belts: He's undressing her.
Whalebone: a component of a corset.

Cavorts girdled in ladders o' light: dances in the sunbeams

This is all imagery from a wet dream. I love the expression "stirruped in syrup." Yeah.

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Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – My Human Gets Me Blues Lyrics 12 years ago
In this lifetime you've got my human gets me blues: this is all about your soul being incarnated as a human but wanting to get back to the infinite.

God dug your dance: compare Krishna and the milkmaids.

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