Tag Archives: nonsense

Let’s Get Lyrical #31 – Happiness

There are a lot of songs that make me smile.  One of them is Look At Me (I’m A Winner)!! by The Aquabats.

If you listen to this and don’t feel happy, there is something wrong with you.

The best lyric is probably:

Someone once told me
You can’t lose em’ all
And that someone was you
But when I nail gunned my hand to the wall
I started to wonder if that could be true

I don’t think I really have to add anything to that, do I?

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Let’s Get Lyrical #23 – Gary Numan

You may already know this, but chronologically speaking, the seventies came before the eighties.  So this week, let us journey lyrically further back in time than ever before – to 1979, when Gary Numan released a song all about Cars.

Here in my car

He began, setting the scene

I feel safest of all

That’s odd.  You hear of people being involved in car accidents every day.  Cars may not be as bad in the mortality stakes as say heart disease, but they’re hardly the safest place to be.

I can lock all my doors
It’s the only way to live, in cars

No, Gazza.  It’s literally no way to live.

Here in my car
I can only receive

Presumably this refers to people passing you stuff in through the window out of sympathy.  “Hey, let’s take some food to the crazy dude who lives in his car – it’s Christmas Day!”

I can listen to you

Only if you drive very slowly alongside me with the window rolled down.  Not ideal.

It keeps me stable for days, in cars

Interesting definition of ‘stable’ you have there.

Here in my car
Where the image breaks down

I have no idea what this means.  I googled it and got a comic of a car breaking down.  A really bad one.

Will you visit me please?
If I open my door, in cars

This sounds like an invitation to visit him in a fleet of different cars, which is odd.  As a man so skint he has to live in a car, it seems odd he has more than one.  Rather than buying loads of motors and inviting people to visit you in them, why not put down a deposit on a flat?  You can fit more people in a flat than in a car.

Here in my car
I know I’ve started to think

DID IT HURT?!!!!!!!!!!11 LOL.

About leaving tonight

Leaving the safety of your car?  Surely not…

Although nothing seems right, in cars

Doesn’t that contradict everything you’ve said thus far?  One minute cars are the only place to live, and the next minute nothing seems right in them.  Gary Numan, so inscrutable right now.  Srs.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #21 – Toto

Ah, Toto.  A simple band, with simple needs.

All I wanna do when I wake up in the morning is see your eyes
Rosanna, Rosanna

Some people want money, power, fame, or even breakfast.  He just wants to see your eyes.  How nice.  Or sick making, depending on your outlook.

I never thought that a girl like you could ever care for me, Rosanna

Yeah, cause girls notoriously hate guys in bands.

All I wanna do in the middle of the evening is hold you tight
Rosanna, Rosanna

The middle of the evening?  When is that?  9ish?  How oddly specific.

I didn’t know you were looking for more than I could ever be

Uh oh, spaghetti o’s…

Not quite a year since she went away, Rosanna yeah

Once again, specific but vague.

Now she’s gone and I have to stay

Why?

Meet you all the way, meet you all the way, Rosanna yeah
Meet you all the way, meet you all the way, Rosanna yeah

So what, did she just text you saying ‘brb’ and never come back?  Where are you meeting her?  What?

I can see your face still shining through the window on the other side
Rosanna, Rosanna

Wait, where was it she went?  Is she just out in the garden?  You are one clingy boyfriend…

I didn’t know that a girl like you could make me feel so sad, Rosanna

Well to be honest, it sounds kind of like you get yourself upset over nothing, which is hardly her fault.

All I wanna tell you is now you’ll never ever have to compromise
Rosanna, Rosanna

Actually, compromise is a fundamental necessity in any relationship.  If you let her get her own way all of the time she will be able to walk all over you, and ultimately she’ll lose all respect for you and you will come to resent her.  Like the relationship between Timothy Spall and Susan Sarandon in Enchanted.

I never thought that losing you could ever hurt so bad

Way to make the previous stuff about ‘all you want to do at 9pm is be with her’ sound empty and hollow.  If you love someone that much, you would expect losing them to hurt.  Unless of course, you’re all talk.  Ya poodle haired poser.

Not quite a year since she went away, Rosanna yeah
Now she’s gone and I have to stay
Meet you all the way, meet you all the way, Rosanna yeah
Meet you all the way, meet you all the way, Rosanna yeah

… yeah.  He’s a blether.  I don’t think he ever knew this so-called Rosanna very well.  He was in love with the idea of being in love with her, but nothing he says indicates that he knew her particularly well – “I loved you, I wanted a hug, but you went away, which made me sad, but I didn’t come after you because of an unspecified reason that I may explain at a later date.  But don’t get your hopes up.”  Wow, that dude’s a keeper.  No wonder Rosanna got out of there.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #18 – Def Leppard

A journey back to the eighties wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of hair metal, and who better to turn to than Def Leppard?  I’m sure there isn’t anything too embarrassingly risqué in the lyrics of Pour Some Sugar On Me

Step inside, walk this way
You and me babe, Hey, hey!

So far, so bad with rhyme..

Love is like a bomb, baby, c’mon get it on

Hopefully without the same amount of shrapnel

Livin’ like a lover with a radar phone

Woah there!  What’s a radar phone?  Sounds futuristic!  Or at least, it might have done in an early episode of Buck Rogers

Lookin’ like a tramp, like a video vamp

Is this him or her?  And is it good or bad?  The answer to both of these is ‘yes’.

Demolition woman, can I be your man?

Apparently there’s an ‘adult film’ called Demolition Woman.  According to the IMDB synopsis, “In the year 20014, the ozone has gone so completely haywire that men can no longer reproduce. So Demolition Woman Isis transports herself back to the year 1994 where she collects some virile sperm samples, in the form of surfer dudes Pete and Bob. She brings them into the future as breeding stock, but they will meet opposition, and danger, from a group of power mad, men hating feminists.”  Doesn’t that sound like a fantastic piece of cinema?

Razzle ‘n’ a dazzle ‘n’ a flash a little light
Television lover, baby, go all night

Well as long as there’s no vajazzling going on.

Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet
Little miss ah innocent sugar me, yeah

I don’t think that means anything, really.

Hey!
C’mon, take a bottle, shake it up

You can tell these guys are rock stars – that’s just madness!  What if it all fizzes up all over your hand?!

Break the bubble, break it up

… is that the same thing as bursting someone’s bubble?  I didn’t think it was that kind of song.

Pour some sugar on me

We could assume this to be a literal request to take that bag of tate and lyle out of the kitchen cupboard and pour it on the man…

Ooh, in the name of love

… But this implies that perhaps it is some sort of metaphor, perhaps referring to sweet sweet kisses.

Pour some sugar on me
C’mon fire me up

Maybe they’re practicing for an episode of Come Dine With Me where they’re planning on spinning hot sugar into an elaborate dessert basket?

Pour your sugar on me
Oh, I can’t get enough

I would caution you on that score, Leppards.  Type 2 Diabetes is man made, and this is the type of behaviour that can lead to it.

I’m hot, sticky sweet
From my head to my feet yeah

Well yes,that’ll happen if you submerge yourself in sugar I suppose.  Let that be a lesson to you.  It’ll be a bugger to clean up, too.  Still, it’s interesting to know that sugar has insulating properties.

Listen! red light, yellow light, green-a-light go!

You’ve chosen the wrong sense, there.  For those ones to work you want sight, not hearing.

Crazy little woman in a one man show

Surely that would be a one-woman show?  But I suppose that doesn’t scan.  Which is of utmost concern to Def Leppard…

Mirror queen, mannequin, rhythm of love
Sweet dream, saccharine, loosen up

I think here they’ve just taken a load of words that loosely rhyme and hoped for the best, really.

You gotta squeeze a little, squeeze a little
Tease a little more

OK, that sounds a bit rude.  But I’m sure there’s a perfectly innocent explanation.

Easy operator come a knockin’ on my door
Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet
Little Miss Innocent sugar me, yeah

Yeah, that doesn’t make a huge amount of sense either.  I assume they’re on a massive sugar high at this point and just saying anything that comes into their heads.
Chorus
[guitar solo]

You got the peaches, I got the cream

That’s definitely rude.

Sweet to taste, saccharine

Two ways of describing the same thing, there

‘Cos I’m hot, say what, sticky sweet
From my head, my head, to my feet

I like the rhyming of ‘hot’ and ‘say what’ there.  This is poetry right here.

Do you take sugar? one lump or two?

No, thank you.  This song has opened my eyes as to what can happen if you become too reliant on sugar, and I don’t want to be that guy.

If you have been affected by the issues raised by Def Leppard in Pour Some Sugar On Me, help can be found here.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #2 – Justin Trousersnake

The second of my posts in honour of UNESCO’s Let’s Get Lyrical campaign.  Originally posted on my old blog, January 11th 2009.

Ah, iTunes. The magic of shuffle is indeed a powerful tool.

It has in recent moments come out with ‘Losing My Way’, a provocatively poor track from the otherwise surprisingly enjoyable Future Sex/Love Sounds by none other than Justin Timberlake.

I was leant the CD by an embarrassed friend who entreated me not to tell anyone where it came from. Released in 2006, just ahead of several undeniably better albums (Jarvis Cocker’s first solo effort, a re-release of Pavement’s Wowee Zowee, Pieces of the People we Love by The Rapture – the list goes on), it received mixed reviews. I know this because I just read a load of them. Tim Finney of Pitchfork, for instance, wrote: “According to the laws of momentum which govern pop music, any sequel [to a debut album] could only be either be a pale reflection or a hubristic monstrosity. With FutureSex/LoveSounds he unrepentantly chooses the latter.”

That’s a tad unfair. The album is by no means a total failure, although it does veer from the sublime to the ridiculous with the breakneck speed of a toddler pumped full of cherryade, and it fizzles out a little bit towards the end. On the other hand, I was rather expecting it to be gash, so the fact it was any craic at all is a tribute to the Timberlake. The first single, after all, was SexyBack, a hugely confusing track for those of us who didn’t know sexy had left in the first place, and the song chosen to annoy the crap out of anyone who listened to Star FM (the St Andrews University Radio Station) at the time of release, as it was their signature tune. St Andrews University Radio is not now, nor has it ever been, bringing sexy back.

But what I really want to talk to you about is not Sexyback, nor the album as a whole, but the aforementioned crap in a bag that is ‘Losing My Way’. This is an anti-drugs song so preachy that a gospel choir comes in half way through. Lucy Davies of BBC online “can’t decide whether this is brilliant or cheese on toast.” It’s the latter. No question. Rolling Stone’s Robert Christgau is far closer to the mark in describing it as a “clueless embarrassment.”

It’s about a crack addict called Bob, who will probably never know the colour of his daughter’s eyes on account of all the drugs. Drugs are bad, m’kay. It’s deep, meaningful and touching. Victor, of lyricsdepot.com, said “Justin expressed my pain in one song”. A few posts down, Nanea elaborates “this song could for so many situations not just drugs.. like alcohol problems or anything that might cause you to lose your way. I pray for those who have lost thier way and hope God lights their path. I thank JT for singing a song that touched me.” Evidence that people who genuinely enjoy this track are unable to proof read their own posts, if nothing else. The only thing this song touches is the gag reflex, or whatever nerve it is that makes you cringe.

The epic melodrama sees Justin, whose acting you may remember from Shrek 3, sings from the point of view of a junkie. To engage the listener, he easily introduces himself through rhyme:

“Hi my name is Bob and I work at my job.”

The man is a poet.

“I make forty-some dollars a day
I used to be the man in my hometown
’til I started to lose my way”

The reason Bob thinks that ‘forty-some’ is a number is quickly explained:

“It all goes back to when I dropped out at school
Having fun, I was living the life
But now I got a problem with that little white rock
See I can’t put down the pipe.”

It’s about as subtle as Just Say No.

“It is breaking me down, watching the world spin round..
While my dreams fall down
Is anybody out there?”

It is unclear whether Bob is tripping and can see the world spinning around as part of a hallucination, or whether the fact the world spins round is something he vaguely remembers from watching National Geographic in the middle of the night having been unable to score. But more important is the point that his dreams have not come true, and he feels alone. Drugs and lack of schooling will do that to you.

“Can anybody out there hear me? ‘Cause I can’t seem to hear myself…”

Wow, that is like, so true! Nobody listens to drug addicts except for the people they mug to fund their addiction.

“Can anybody out there see me? ‘Cause I can’t seem to see myself…”

Nobody makes eye contact with them, either. And not being seen makes you feel invisible. God, that Justin is good innee. Look at his hair.

“There’s gotta be a heaven somewhere”

Fair play. You can’t argue with established facts, like the proven existence of a physical heaven.

“Can you save me from this hell?”

Yes, for I am Justin Timberlake, popstar, actor and superhero! But I shall not tell you how yet, for we must add EVEN MORE DEPTH to this utterly believable, clearly based on more solid experience than watching a couple of True Movies, tale.

“Now you gotta understand I was a family man
I would have gave anything for my own”

(His family, that is)

“But I couldn’t get a grip on my new-found itch”

(Drugs)

“So I ended up all alone
I remember where I was when I got my first buzz
See I thought I was living the life
And the craziest thing is I’ll probably never know the colour of my daughter’s eyes.”

Mmm. That implies she was unborn when all this transpired. Which begs several questions. How old is Bob? How long has Bob been on the drugs? Is he actually intending on getting clean at any stage? It seems he wants someone else to solve his problems for him, which is totes lazy imo. JT, you are a busy and important man, you shouldn’t be trying to find friends for indolent crackheads. And yet, he does. What a guy. All Bob need do, Justin suggests, is repent. And lo, he will be saved. Biblical.

Justin, it may be worth pointing out, has been in the entertainment industry since he was about ten. Call me a cynic, but it seems unlikely that he ever met a proper down and out junkie from the street when he was doing the Mickey Mouse club. When he comes into contact with drugs, it’s surely in rather more glamorous surroundings than poor old Bobby Bob Bob. Essentially, I think he’s watched a documentary and written a song about it.

I look forward to the follow-up, a ditty from the point of view of the half-ton boy who was on that Bodyshock program. It’ll be poignant as fuck.

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12 Books In 12 Months

For those who are interested in my literary endeavours, following the comparative success of my NaNoWriMo exploits I am going to write 12 books in 2011.

I will be needing your help though.  To find out more click HERE.  And please feel free to leave lots of comments and tell your friends.

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Further Adventures In NaNoWriMo

First published on The Edinburgh Reporter November 15 2010

The NaNo Beans writing group reserves tables in coffee shops across Edinburgh so that people can write in style...

“So, how’s nana-rama going?” my sister now asks me on a daily basis.

She is not referring to my latest musical project where I encourage a group of grandmothers to backcomb their hair and sing the hits of the 80s, but to my misguided attempts to write 50, 000 words of a novel by the end of November.

Truthfully, I’ve lost momentum.  I was doing fine until Wednesday – NaNoWriMo‘s statistics page cheerfully told me that if I carried on at this rate, I’d be finished five days ahead of schedule.  This was the point at which I attended a rock karaoke, and it all went downhill.  Why write 17,000 words when you can hone your Morrissey impersonation in front of a roomful of strangers?

There are other factors that have stopped me writing.  Over the past week I have been worried about my heroine (I want her to defy the romance genre by having backbone, and challenge the broken Britain stereotype by being a smart, likeable ned; but it might be better for the story to defer to type and write her as more of a sexy doormat).  I have added several new characters, who I now have to do something with.  I have veered wildly from the genre I was supposed to be emulating, none of it makes much sense, and I am concerned that it’s dull to read.

Theoretically, none of this should actually be a problem.  After all, nobody ever has to see the thing.  It’s all between me and my laptop.  As soon as I’ve hit 50k and validated my word count, I can hit delete and never think about it again.

There’s just one small problem with this.  I have been posting every chapter on my blog, in full view of the general public.  Oh, and this is the week Guardian Edinburgh has chosen to launch their literary blogosphere.  Which has a link to my blog.  Sorry, Edinburgh.

Fortunately help is at hand, in the form of the regular pep talks sent out to participants by NaNo HQ.  This week, we all got an email from American author John Green, who said,

“At this point, you’ve probably realized that it’s nearly impossible to write a good book in a month. I’ve been at this a while and have yet to write a book in less than three years.”

This may sound defeatist to the outside ear, but it embodies the NaNo spirit quite well.  This project is not about producing something perfect.  The point is to force people to jump the seemingly insurmountable first hurdle of book writing – the blank page.  NaNo takes the saying that everyone has a novel in them, and challenges people to stop making excuses and do it.  It says go on; it’s only thirty days of your life.  What’s the worst that can happen?  OK, maybe you end up with 90% unusable nonsense.  But nobody else ever has to know that.

Unless you’ve posted it on the internet.

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