Blind date with the chancer
We had oysters and dry lancers
And the check when it arrived we went dutch, dutch, dutch, dutch
A redder shade of neck on a whiter shade of trash
And this emory board is giving me a rash
I'm flat out
You're so beautiful to look at when you cry
Freeze, don't move
You've been chosen as an extra in the movie adaptation of the sequel to your life

A shady lane, everybody wants one
A shady lane, everybody needs one
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god
Oh my god, oh your god, oh his god, oh her god
It's everybody's god, it's everybody's god
It's everybody's god, it's everybody's god
The worlds collide, but all that we want is a shady lane

Glance, don't stare
Soon you're being told to recognize your heirs
No, not me
I'm an island of such great complexity
Stress surrounds in the muddy peaceful center of this town
Tell me off in the hotel lobby right in front of all the bellboys
And the over-friendly concierge

A shady lane, everybody wants one
A shady lane, everybody needs one
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god
Oh my god, oh your god, oh his god, oh her god
It's everybody's god, it's everybody's god
It's everybody's god, it's everybody's god
The worlds collide, but all that I want is a shady lane


Lyrics submitted by vCheerUpEmoKidv, edited by revmannix138, cronaldo7, AntDC, steve11836

Shady Lane/J vs. S Lyrics as written by Stephen Malkmus

Lyrics © WORDS & MUSIC A DIV OF BIG DEAL MUSIC LLC

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Shady Lane song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentThis song, in my opinion is one of the finest examples of Stephen Malkmus's narrative brilliance. In fact, it is one of the few examples of the use of straight narrative, in a Pavement song. SM doesn't normally tell stories; his songs are usually oblique meanderings on various moods. However, in keeping with the general "maturity" of SM's songwriting style on "Brighten the Corners," it makes sense.

    Here's a brief exegesis of the story of "Shady Lane," as I see it unfolding:

    1) A sort of unwashed slacker hick decides to go on a blind date with some high-class fancy new girl in town, at a fancy resturant in the town's five-star hotel.

    2) They go on the date, and when the check shows up, the mostly broke and ambitionless slacker decides it would seem most egalitarian if he proposes they go dutch (i.e. both members of the party pay).
    3) During this potentially terse moment, the slacker reminisces back to earlier in time before the date, as he regarded his shabby visage in the mirror ("A redder shade of neck on a whiter shade of trash"), and prepared his grubby fingernailsfor the big endeavor ("this emory board is giving me a rash").

    4) Finally, after sitting around in uncomfortable silence, the slacker admits to the girl that he's totally broke ("I'm flat out")!

    5) The girl starts bawling her eyes out. He tells her she looks beautiful when she cries, in a shallow attempt at making amends for the growing embarrassment of the scene. He sticks his foot further into his mouth by joking about her being captured there, in the moment, "as an extra in the movie adaptation of the sequel" to her life.
    6) The chorus has the slacker singing about how much he wishes the world were easier, and less high-maintenance.

    7) The scene grows more terrible. The waiter waits, the girl sobs, and the slacker gropes empty pockets. "Glance, don't stare," he thinks in the direction of the perplexed and embarrassed onlookers. The girl begins to scream, "Fuck you!" to the slacker, and then to the onlookers, pissed that she's in the situation. Therefore, as the slacker predicted they soon would, he and the onlookers are both being told to "recognize [their] heirs"!

    8) In his mind, the slacker thinks, "Fuck me?" and mentally rebuts in a bored and matter-of-fact way, "No, not me...I'm an island of such great complexity." Basically, in the face of humiliation and defeat, he'd rather put on an air of blase nonchalance.

    9) "Stress surrounds / in the muddy, peaceful center of this town" is pretty self-explanatory at this point. I imagine the girl throwing down all of her cash, and storming out of the restaurant, into the hotel lobby, where (predictably)...

    10) ...she tells the slacker off in the hotel lobby, "right in front of all the bellboys and the over-friendly consierge".

    A brilliant tune from a brilliant album, and my favorite songwriter in the world.
    summerbabeon May 15, 2002   Link

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