Friday, July 04, 2008

Confusing Song TItles

Happy fourth weekend everyone. I'm gonna post a long one and just leave it up over the weekend. It's all linked in with videos of the songs so take your time, eat your barbeque, blow your fingers off with fireworks and come back and sample these as you have time...

The other day the girlfriend asked me what the title of a song meant. I sort of knew but wasn’t really successful at all in explaining. It got me thinking and that means trouble. There is actually a lot of confusing song titles. Let’s examine:

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. What in the hell does this mean? Is another sibling lifting their baby brother? No, this is one of those hippy era songs and the “heavy” implies that you aren’t all serious and a problem to be around. You’re free and easy. “Brother” is short for brotherhood meaning we’re all the same. It’s one of the “can’t we all get along” songs from that era. Still, it feels like I have to write a novel or give a lecture at some college to try and explain it.

Life is a Rock but the Radio Rolled Me. Do you have any idea? Sure, it’s got the catchy rock and roll thing going in there. But what does it have to do with anything? The song was a one hit wonder from the 70s and is about as fast a song has ever been sung on radio before. But I’ve never had a radio physically roll me anywhere. Heck, my radio wouldn’t even roll me one (if you get my drift…).

Strawberry Fields Forever. Wow, don’t tell a migrant worker that during summer. They’ll go nuts. They’re the only ones picking strawberries anymore. It used to be a neat way for kids to make some money. That was until the berry fields got moved out hundreds of miles due to urban sprawl. Also, kids are way too spoiled and lazy to do this kind of manual labor for little money anyway. But I’ve digressed. This was clearly a drug related song and I’ve no idea what it really implies (if anything).

Devil’s Haircut in My Mind. It just makes me wonder, who cuts the Devil’s hair anyway? That seems like a lose/lose proposition. I mean, can you really cut it good? Would you want to? Does the Devil even have hair? Is it gray or does he color it? I don’t know, somebody should ask Beck what this song means.

Turn Turn Turn. You know this song by the Byrds. “To everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn…” What does turn have to do with this? I know, it’s all about a cycle and everything having it’s time. The song though seems like you could substitute pretty much any single syllable verb though:

- To everything spit, spit, spit, there is a season, spit, spit, spit
- To everything slide, slide, slide, there is a season slide, slide, slide
- To everything laugh, laugh, laugh, there is a season laugh, laugh, laugh

Moving in Stereo. This Cars tune is great, but what the hell does it mean? How do you move in stereo? I’ve moved a stereo before and let me tell you; they are a pain in the butt to move. All those wires, and connections and settings. Uggh.

Tubthumping. Is this some sort of slang that I’m just not “in” enough to be aware of? Do rationale cool people go around thumping tubs? Is this an Olympic sport? I’m so confused. Oh, and what’s up with the bands name: Chumbawomba. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that they’d have a band name more confusing than this song title.

Wear your Love Like Heaven. Another 60s hippy days song. This one by Donavon is confusing. How do wear love in the first place. And even after you figure that out you’re gonna need an “in” for the fashion trends up in heaven. You don’t want to be caught dead in out-of-fashion love trends.

Soul of the Sea. This 70s Heart song off their Dreamboat Annie song is confusing. Does the sea have a soul? Were they fishing for soul in the sea? Is that how Nancy Wilson got so overweight? So many questions…

Keep Feeling Fascination. Right into the 80s we go. How do you feel fascination? I’m fascinated to know! And once I figure it out, how do I keep that feeling? This is gonna be a tough one…

Let a Woman Flow. Yet another 60s song by It’s a Beautiful Day. This is what you get with a band that reads like a sentence in casual conversation. What does this mean? I hope its not a menstruation reference. I think it’s 60s speak for not being controlling with your partner.

What is and what should never be. Perhaps this song title? I actually like the song title because it hurts my brain. It’s too much effort to think about these two categories together. Sort of like walking and chewing gum.

The Mummers Dance. My only question here is what the hell is a Mummer? And why are they dancing? Ok, I lied, I had two questions. I just keep spitting out questions like some kind of nasty came, don’t I? Don’t thank me…

Smells Like Teen Spirit. Yeah, I know, I finally learned that was a fragrance as obnoxious as Axe is for today’s youth. But if you didn’t know about that you’d be going “teens smell but I have other words to describe THAT”. What exactly does the spirit imply too? Are they talking about dead people? Is this secret teen code-speak for a kegger party at somebody’s house? Is it rah-rah like cheerleaders and all that? I’d look towards the lyrics but I can’t understand any of those either.

Kiss from a Rose. Another one of those tricky titles meant to confuse. You see these kinds of things in Blog titles too: Liberating Conservative. Military Intelligence. Quick as the Dead. That kind of stuff. Unless there is a super model out there named Rose, I won’t be kissing a lot of those flowers because “every rose has it’s thorns” (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Diving to be Deeper. Couldn't find a video to link but you can listen to a sample from the Amazon page. My only point here is: Isn’t that the whole point of diving? To be deeper? Am I missing something here? Do they mean deeper as in philosophy?

Twist in my Sobriety. This song has great lyrics to it. The title is very tricky. I mean, if I’m sober, you won’t see me doing the Twist!

35 comments:

Sunshine said...

Tubthumping wins, it's the least in context with the song.

Sully Sullivan said...

Teen Spirit was a deodorant wasn't it?

Strawberry Field Forever is a great tune, but I have no idea why they chose that title.

Carla said...

The devil's hair is red. No question.

Serena Joy said...

If I ever heard 'Tubthumping' or 'The Mummers Dance,' I was (thank God!) too out of it to remember. I suspect I'm better off.:)

VE said...

sunshine - Yeah, I tried thumping the tub while listen to it and all I got was a sore thumb...

sully - Well I agree, some good songs but what the hell on the titles?

carla - Good point. I'm thinking he doesn't condition though...

sj - Or you had too many gin and tonics! ;)

VE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ana said...

There´s a video list at http://www.weshow.com/top10/en/ about the classic songs, check the names! "like a rooling stone..."

Kurt said...

I have heard of exactly six of those songs. Maybe I should get a radio.

Alan Smithee said...

"Moving in Stereo" was featured in the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, during the scene in which Judge Reinhold fantasizes about Phoebe Cates removing her bikini top.

VE said...

ana - Wow, there are a lot of lists on that site!

kurt - You've probably been drinking too much wine! But wait, I'm gonna guess which ones you've heard: Strawberry Fields Forever, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Kiss from a Rose, Turn Turn Turn, Moving in Stereo, He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother. How'd I do?

VE said...

alan smithee - Ha! You're right. Now that's an interesting interpretation of moving in stereo...

Alice said...

You've asked important questions. I will go have another beer in order that I may be able to answer some of them to your satisfaction. Or not.

Alex L said...

Devils Haircut, I know theres a hair style known as the devils tongue, 'the misfits' made it popular google them you should see what it is. Maybe thats what Beck was talking about.

PracticallyJoe said...

To everything, blog, blog, blog, There is a season, blog, blog, blog

According to wikipedia ... Devil's Haircut has been used to describe both a haircut that resembles devil horns, and a cocktail made with vodka, rum, two splashes of champagne, a few drops of bitters and a slice of lemon.

So Beck had these things on his mind ... thanks to my research that title is no longer confusing.
You're welcome.

Lori said...

They all kinda sound like really bad porno titles!?!

Memarie Lane said...

The song I don't get is Working for the Weekend. Not the title, but the lyrics. If you read through them they make NO sense whatsoever. Of course most 80's music is like that, which is why I really dislike 80's music. But that one really gets me.

Jeff said...

Marie is right... Working for the Weekend drives me nuts too. But my all-time most hated song is I Can't Fight this Feeling by REO. Here's why:

And I cant fight this feeling anymore
Ive forgotten what I started fighting for
Its time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars, forever

'Nuff said.

leelee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leelee said...

Aren't mummers those folks with buttons and umbrellas? I need to wiki that..

and I am fairly certain the devil wears a satin cape with a hood...thats what the devils I always see are wearing.

SCARY!!!

Megan said...

Heavy stuff, man.

ChrisEldin said...

Hey, I love "He ain't heavy!" I'm such a sap, it even makes me cry.

Jacki said...

Song titles of yesterday year so different than today, with all the U's and UR's. Back then they didn't make sense, today they can't spell.

Kelley said...

on a totally unrelated note, that door knob on your sidebar? Does it come with a lock? Cause if it does it will keep out those Damn Emos and freak the hell outta them at the same time.

And now I must go and listen to Nirvana. Like a lot. Damn you.

MJ said...

"Every rose has it's thorns" *chuckle* - Some wine with that cheese?

Sarah said...

haha great list!
Kiss from a Rose - is the kind of song that I find a lot of people make up their own words too. Not sure why but I always find it hysterical!
Even though the lyrics are strange, I do love that song.

VE said...

alice - I hope you enjoyed that beer!

alex - The devil's tongue? And what does THAT look like? Yuck!

joe - I think the beck might have had one too many of those cocktails!

lori - Good one. Do you know of any GOOD porn titles? It seems like they are ALL bad.

marie - I don't like the title either though. It implies work.

jeff - Gad that's beautiful song writing. A tear is forming right now. ha ha. What does REO stand for? Rip ear off?

leelee - Ha ha. I try not to wear a lot of satin...

megan - I know...ask your brother!

chris - I'll light a lighter in your honor

jacki - Next generation won't be able to talk...they'll just text.

kelley - It does have a lock and it's wicked creepy, huh?

mj - Why, yes, as long as it is red!

sarah - I think I make up my own words to every song. I'm wondering if I know any song complete without my own changes...

ChrisEldin said...

Ve, You've been to a Neil Diamond concert? Oh, that's just way cool! I have a story....
:-)

VE said...

chris - You have a story? I like stories. Does it have a happy ending? Are there pictures?

lime said...

having grown up outside philadelphia i am sorry to say i know what a mummer is. it's a man who dresses in drag and plays a banjo in a parade on new year's day. frightening huh?

if you want to know more you can check

http://phillymummers.com/

you have been warned though.

VE said...

lime - Wow, now that I wasn't expecting. But it gives me awhile to pick out an outfit... ;)

blue said...

did you ever find out what a mummer was?

Yes, my name is Arizona said...

I love Tubthumping, but is she really singing, "pissing the night away" ????

VE said...

blue - Yeah, check out lime's comment just above here. Weird!

arizona - Bwahahaha, it does sound like that doesn't it!

Dee said...

I must admit I didn't recognize some titles so I'll look them up later because i have no life! it's always entertaining to come over to your blog!

VE said...

dee - Thanks. Feel free to actually look up any and all of these at your leisure!