This song was originally written by a guy called Peter Gutteridge. He was one of the founders of the "Dunedin Sound" a musical scene in the south of New Zealand in the early 80s. From there it was covered by "The Clean" one of the early bands of that scene (he had originally been a member of in it's early days, writing a couple of their best early songs). The Dunedin sound, and the Clean became popular on american college radio in the mid to late 80s. I guess Yo La Tengo heard that version. Great version of a great song,
I'm reaching for a dollar in the hole in my pocket, a new approach for yr corporation television lies, instead of living a life buried with the masses, I won't live for you, I won't die for you, Look at the color, look at the lights, look at the surround sound stereotypes, yr god is on the t.v. screen, yr fucking god is on the fucking t.v. screen!!! LIVE FAST AND DIE DRUNK!! (x3) don't believe what you see on t.v., consumerism kills, drone out to the decadence and greed, escape reality through yr t.v. screen!!! self indulgence, yr useless life in a new found ritual!!!
Lyrics submitted by PLANES
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Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo
I Can't Go To Sleep
This song is written as the perspective of the boys in the street, as a whole, and what path they are going to choose as they get older and grow into men. (This is why the music video takes place in an orphanage.) The seen, and unseen collective suffering is imbedded in the boys’ mind, consciously or subconsciously, and is haunting them. Which path will the boys choose? Issac Hayes is the voice of reason, maybe God, the angel on his shoulder, or the voice of his forefathers from beyond the grave who can see the big picture and are pleading with the boys not to continue the violence and pattern of killing their brothers, but to rise above. The most beautiful song and has so many levels. Racism towards African Americans in America would not exist if everyone sat down and listened to this song and understood the history behind the words. The power, fear, pleading in RZA and Ghostface voices are genuine and powerful. Issac Hayes’ strong voice makes the perfect strong father figure, who is possibly from beyond the grave.
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Mel And Kim
Mel And Kim
Just listening for the 784,654th time....and it's just perfect in every way. Just incredible. The only reason it was remade was to scoop up a boatload of money from a more modern and accepting audience. But it is a completely different song than the other one that sounds slapped together in a few takes without a thought for the meaning. This song captivates me still, after 50+ years. Takes me to the deep South and the poverty of some who lived thru truly hard times. And the powerful spirit of a poor young girl being abandoned to her future with only a red dress and her wits to keep her alive. She not only stayed alive, she turned her hard beginnings around, became self sufficient, successful and someone with respect for herself. She didn't let the naysayers and judgers stop her. She's the one sitting in the drivers seat at the end. So, not a song about a poor girl, but a song of hope and how you can rise up no matter how far down you started. There is a huge difference between a singer who simply belts out a song that is on a page in front of them, and someone who can convey an entire experience with their voice. Telling not just a story with words, but taking you inside it and making you feel like you are there, with their interpretation.