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The Cars – Getting Through Lyrics 9 years ago
Say what you will about Ocasek's oblique, often silly, lyrics but...

"...With TV ads that sell erections..."

...is remarkably prescient, anticipating the onslaught of Viagra and Cialis TV commercials nearly twenty years before the drugs were developed!

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Robyn Hitchcock – The Speed of Things Lyrics 9 years ago
Perhaps Hitchcock's most heartbreakingly beautiful song.

The title says it all, really. The three middle verses relate, in a very melancholy way, how confounding the passage of time can be.

"I fed you in your chair this morning
You made a mess of everything
By afternoon, you drove a sports car
You were driving at the speed of things"

These lines are addressed to a child who goes from a toddler eating in a high chair to an adult driving a sports car, seemingly in one day (parents of adult children can relate to this sentiment quite well).

"You held my hand when I was crying
You were allergic to bee stings
I threw some earth onto your coffin
And thought about the speed of things"

This verse appears to be addressed to a parent or guardian who comforted the singer as a child, but passes away unexpectedly.

"I kissed you by the clear, cold river
I felt like I was growing wings
But I grew horns and found another
Oh, a girl to share the speed of things"

These lines have real bite: addressed to a former lover, the singer recalls the euphoria of this early love, but admits his betrayal of this relationship as he discovers someone else he wants to spend his time with.

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Robyn Hitchcock – (A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs Lyrics 9 years ago
The song is inspired by the "Dirty Harry" film MAGNUM FORCE (1973) which starred Clint Eastwood as the titular vigilante cop and featured Hal Holbrook playing the corrupt police lieutenant "Briggs". In fact, the song title is a line of dialog from the film spoken by Eastwood. Hitchock uses the characters in the film to comment on anger control issues, especially in regards to men lashing out at women (hence, the presumed reference to Mel Gibson in the third verse).

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Sugar – JC Auto Lyrics 11 years ago
As Bob has revealed in his published autobiography, this song is a sequel of sorts to the track "Poison Years".

It's neat that "foreverdrone" picked up on the melody taken from the earlier song because there is, in fact, a clue hidden in the lyrics of the line that follows:

"Parts Of It Seem Over Now / You Expect A Real Solution" =
P O I S O N Y E A R S

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Hüsker Dü – Flexible Flyer Lyrics 11 years ago
I think this is the most affecting lyric Hart ever wrote. Note how he appears to be addressing both a child and an adult at the same time; the song becomes both a warning and a lament.

Now 26 years after I first heard this song, I hope that I'm still growing and not just growing old.

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Hüsker Dü – How To Skin A Cat Lyrics 11 years ago
The lyrics to this song come (almost) verbatim from the low-budget exploitation film MANIAC (1934) which was a favorite on the cult movie circuit from the 60s through the 80s.

You can check it out here...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025465/

(Note that, at the time of this posting, the Husker Du song in question is mentioned on the discussion board)

Ironically, a friend of mine saw the film and described the scene involving the cat-skinning pitch to me only a couple of weeks after NEW DAY RISING was released. I immediately responded that there was a song he needed to hear!

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Hüsker Dü – Could You Be The One? Lyrics 11 years ago
Okay, not a lot of substantial analysis going on for this song...how about this:

Mould is questioning God, specifically Jesus Christ as the one who is always "hanging all around" (on a crucifix).

This same kind of "crises of faith" was addressed on the BEASTER EP by Mould's follow-up band Sugar.

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Dramarama – The Bottle And The Bell Lyrics 11 years ago
The line in question is "So I put on the CASSOCK and I carried the bottle and the wine".

A "cassock" is an article of clothing that a clergyman or alter boy would wear during a Catholic mass. Clearly, Easdale is singing from the perspective of a former alter boy.

I believe the second line in question is "I saw God and thought I was BETTER".

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Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – The Dead Girls Lyrics 11 years ago
"When you're out of range" is the correct lyric, not "...out of rain".

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Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Enola Gay Lyrics 11 years ago
Wait a minute "Atlanticgrl" - maybe you're just a troll trying to stir things up, but your reply could not be further from the truth.

Here are the facts:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enola_Gay

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Too Much Joy – Thanksgiving In Reno Lyrics 11 years ago
This transcription is missing the payoff bridge and final verse...

"Some of this is true...some of this is better.
We got drunk, we got sad.
DID NOT meet a girl who said she could save me.
We got stoned, DID NOT have sex.
Really had that dream about Evil Knievel."

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Too Much Joy – Susquehanna Hat Company Lyrics 11 years ago
What does the title of the song have to do with the lyrics?

Well, "Susquehanna Hat Company" is the name of an old vaudeville routine where a comedian asks a man for directions to the hat company only to have the man go berserk because of a tragedy that occurred to a relative at the company. Every person the comedian asks has had a terrible experience with the hat company and, inevitably, the comedian is beaten up simply for mentioning the name.

Here's a clip of Abbott & Costello performing the routine from their film IN SOCIETY (1944): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THZV5g1CNZM

The Three Stooges did a variation of this routine in which the words "Niagra Falls" are substituted for the hat company which provoke the memorable phrase "Slowly I turn...step by step..."

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Too Much Joy – I Believe In Something Lyrics 11 years ago
The second bridge is incomplete; it should read "...that there was nothing I couldn't do WITH MY GREATER INTELLECT".

Also, the correct line reading is "Gideon Bibles make good rolling paper" (meaning the pages of the bibles can be easily rolled into homemade cigarettes, both legal and not).

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Too Much Joy – Crush Story Lyrics 11 years ago
To take full advantage of the play-on-words in the third verse, the second line should be read as "Hey Miss, understand me"!

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Bob Dylan – I'm Not There Lyrics 11 years ago
I think it's pretty clear that Dylan did not finish this song and, during the one recording he made of it, he simply improvised some nonsense lines to fill in where he didn't have something more concrete. All the same, it has a lot of potential and it's telling that Dylan would choose not to finish the song. He recorded one demo of it, then handed the tape to Neil Young when Young mentioned he really liked it. The reason we have the song now on the I'M NOT THERE soundtrack is due to Young finding the tape in his archive when he was reviewing material to release in his own ARCHIVE series.

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Sebadoh – Healthy Sick Lyrics 11 years ago
"It's a different sort of SAME" is the correct line, which makes sense since Barlow is playing on the idea of opposites in this song.

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Sebadoh – Mystery Man Lyrics 11 years ago
The song certainly uses child abuse imagery, but it also fits in with the "breaks just like a little girl" tradition of identifying a woman as a child when the songwriter really means she is immature or trapped under someone else's control. I think the "children know no shame" line is supposed to apply to the "Mystery Man" of the song's title; here's a guy who is desperate to control his wife ("she's legally yours when she shares your name"), but doesn't know the first thing about maintaining a relationship. The wife, on the other hand, is happy to play along until someone new comes around.

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Sebadoh – Brand New Love Lyrics 11 years ago
I believe it's "GOSSIP dirt..."

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Sebadoh – Black-Haired Girl Lyrics 11 years ago
I believe the correct line reading is "your perfume WEB won't catch me again".

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Outrageous Cherry – Pale Frail Lovely One Lyrics 12 years ago
"...don't drive me to tears/
You can keep the money I lent you/
and give it to the angel that sent you..."

is the correct reading of those lines.

I believe the bridge goes...

"My life has been so bright you know/
ever since you said 'hello'"

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Dramarama – It's Still Warm Lyrics 12 years ago
The second line is "C'mon, it's just a five-hour flight".

The song is about the band deciding to move to L.A. from New Jersey in an attempt to further their career (a flight that would take five hours as opposed to the two hours or so it would take to get to Miami).

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Dramarama – Classic Rot Lyrics 12 years ago
The missing opening lines are...

"Well, I get off work at midnight/like I did it yesterday
and I listen to the signal that the ancient strangers play."

This song is clearly about how rock music had been turned into a commodity by the late 70s/ early 80s. By that time, less-and-less new music was being played and you started hearing the same thirty "classic" songs played on radio for years and years on end.

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Dramarama – What Are We Gonna Do Lyrics 12 years ago
I'm pretty sure Easdale uses the wrong date for Earth Day on purpose as irony.

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Dramarama – Work For Food Lyrics 12 years ago
As far as "song meanings" go, I believe Mr. Easdale commented that this was written largely about himself as an imagined future where he could wind up homeless following the lack of success with Dramarama.

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Dramarama – Volunteer Please Lyrics 12 years ago
I believe the line should be "Dry like a surgeon" (as in sober)

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Dramarama – Last Cigarette Lyrics 12 years ago
A few mistakes in the transcription, here are the correct lines (I believe):

"Hey, hey it's been so long since I have written with a pen..."

"It's getting late, you've got to get the kitten fed..."

"Oh Mister Sandman, won't you listen to me please..."


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Frank Black and the Catholics – I Gotta Move Lyrics 12 years ago
This song references the deaths of two performers associated with the film ERASERHEAD, both in the Los Angelos area. "Peter Radiator" is Peter Ivers, a singer/songwriter/TV host who composed the song "In Heaven" for David Lynch's first feature film (sung by the "Girl In The Radiator" in the movie), a song covered by The Pixies. The "Jack who coiffed it" is Jack Nance who was the star of ERASERHEAD. Although the two men died 14 years apart, both deaths were the result of beatings that were never fully explained. I suspect Frank is literally singing about wanting to move away from the neighborhood or city that harbors such random violence.

Other allusions in the lyrics:

"He got sainted" - In one of his album covers, Peter Ivers was shown with an arrow stuck in his chest much like Saint Sebatian.

"There was a Jack who coiffed it" - Nance's appearance is ERASERHEAD is notable for his outrageous hairstyle.

"He came from my home town" - Jack Nance was from Boston as was Frank Black.

"He was a prophet" - In one of his earliest stage successes, Jack Nance portrayed early American Thomas Paine, generally considered to be an American prophet.

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Frank Black – Two Reelers Lyrics 12 years ago
"He got a Joe and another Joe"

After the death of Shemp (who himself was a replacement for the ailing Curly), Moe Howard hired Joe Besser as a replacement. After Besser left the team, Joe DeRita was hired.

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The New Pornographers – Stacked Crooked Lyrics 12 years ago
"Altamont" Speedway was the location of the infamous Rolling Stones concert in '69 where an audience member was knifed to death by a member of the Hell's Angels (who were hired by the Stones as security) - it was suggested the audience member was holding a handgun. The event has long been associated with the end of the 60s love and peace era.

I suspect Carl is using the phrase "private Altamont" to refer to a personal "end-of-an-era" moment.

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The New Pornographers – We End Up Together Lyrics 12 years ago
That line in the second verse should be "Little Brother, cap in hand".

(Sorry - this comment was also included as a reply to "fortm" by mistake)

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The New Pornographers – Testament to Youth in Verse Lyrics 12 years ago
I'm pretty sure the correct lyric is "...I don't know much, BUT OTHER SINGERS KNOW LESS."

(Sorry - this comment was also included as a reply to "coolwhip 117" by mistake)

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The New Pornographers – A Bite Out of My Bed Lyrics 12 years ago
Uh...shouldn't this be titled "A Bite Out Of My Bed"?

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The New Pornographers – Testament to Youth in Verse Lyrics 12 years ago
I'm pretty sure the correct lyric is "...I don't know much, BUT OTHER SINGERS KNOW LESS."

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The New Pornographers – We End Up Together Lyrics 12 years ago
That line in the second verse should be "Little Brother, cap in hand".

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