May 8, 2010

Things singers sing that they do that they actually never do.

I'm starting a list:
  1. Hop a train.
  2. ...
  3. ...
I need some help with this one. I don't want fantasies, but real things that are intended to make the singers sound gritty and deeply in touch with life, but you know damned well they don't do.

(Here's the song that was playing....)

80 comments:

danielle said...

your link is bad .. missing a 'w'

Trooper York said...

In a Gadda Da Vita Baby!

Dr. Alice said...

Going walkin' after midnight.

danielle said...

how about the contents of songs that we wish were not true but are .... there a lot of that these days ...

danielle said...

... but back to your subject -- i dont know Ricky Martin music, but I'm sure he sang about a lot of stuff he wasnt really doing.

Trooper York said...

"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)"

HDHouse said...

Sing(in') in the Rain
Fly away
Gather at the river (shall we?)

El Pollo Real said...

I seriously doubt whether Bob Dylan ever drifted down to New Orleans and worked on a fishing boat right outside of Delacroix.

cathy said...

go to a church and pray
put a dime in the phone

El Pollo Real said...

I wonder if Arlo Guthrie ever rode The City Of New Orleans?

lemondog said...

cry a river

catch a falling star

El Pollo Real said...

Did any of the Guess Who ever get laid in the US?

lemondog said...

Drove my chevy to the levee,

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

Nowadays, with email and all, I probably won't sit right down and write myself a letter. The postage stamp alone makes it cost-prohibitive.

stealth pundit said...

How about "write(ing) a letter"? And how, exactly, does one let "their backbone slip". Sounds painful - or maybe I'm just getting old.

GMay said...

"... but back to your subject -- i dont know Ricky Martin music, but I'm sure he sang about a lot of stuff he wasnt really doing."

I'll nominate that right there as thread winner.

Rialby said...

From the same song...


Two hours of pushin' broom
I smoke old stogies I have found

LonewackoDotCom said...

I'm willing to bet that this is not an accurate portrayal of events.

Paul Zrimsek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sierra said...

Well, they probably don't fill up their shoes after rummaging through some screaming woman's drawers, for one.

Paul Zrimsek said...

There's probably a database of Everest summiteers where I could look this up if I weren't so lazy, but has any singer ever climbed the highest mountain, either for the sake of his love object or any other reason?

Would the answer be any different if any singers actually knew which mountain was highest, instead of having to fall back on the generic "the highest mountain"?

Trooper York said...

Pop that cootchie!

El Pollo Real said...

Didn't Terry Zwigoff pimp this in Ghost World in the scene where Steve Buscemi calls BS on a white blues band singing about pickin' cotton?

I just spent 10 min looking through Youtubes trying to find the scene but failed. :(

save_the_rustbelt said...

..shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die..

ricpic said...

Roger Miller was probably one of the few singers who did know the hardscrabble king of the road life firsthand. He came off a Texas farm with nothing in his pockets. Of course he put distance between himself and that life as fast as his wits could manage but he knew whereof he spoke.

DrSquid said...

Lovin you eight days a week. Nice thought though.

traditionalguy said...

Be Ruined at a House in New Orleans...this may be reserved for golfers and NFL stars.

reinoruzu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

"Young Girl Get Out of my Life" by Lawrence Taylor.

EDH said...

The Who
I spit out like a sewer hole
Yet still recieve your kiss


The Stones
I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain...
I was raised by o toothless, bearded hag
I was schooled with a strap right across my back...
I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead
I fell down to my feet and saw they bleed
I frowned at the crumbs and a crust of bread
I was crowned with a spike right through my head...

Adam said...

"If I had a hammer,...I'd hammer out love between,
My brothers and my sisters,
All over this land."

Bullshit, Woody. You could buy a fucking hammer for under ten bucks. Spare me the subjunctive-case promises.

EDH said...

At least Simon and Garfunkel admit they're full of crap in the lyrics to the refrain.


Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know

Lie la lie ...

Asking only workman's wages
I come looking for a job
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there

Lie la lie ...

ricpic said...

Like all Obamoids who ever were
Blow is a smirk wrapped around a cur.

Meade said...

I truly believe Johnny and June really did get married in a fever, hotter'n a pepper sprout. And although they went on talkin' 'bout Jackson, I'm a little skeptical about the part where they suggested that the fire went out.

I'm not calling them liars.

I just don't think it ever did go out.

Even though they sang that it did.

Kensington said...

Is there a bigger poseur than Bruce Springsteen? I'm pretty confident he never ran for his life on back streets.

ricpic said...

Just because I can't make a coherent comment about corporations and such doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talkin' 'bout when I tellya Roger Miller and Johnny Cash lived the life that sang about. I'm smart. Ain't no one gonna say I ain't smart. See?

edutcher said...

"Sometimes, it's hard to be a woman, givin' all your love to just one man..."

After "The Crying Game", I could never hear Tammy Wynette the same way.

traditionalguy said...

Be Ruined at a House in New Orleans...this may be reserved for golfers and NFL stars

A ballad that predates the Civil War - with more than a grain of truth, no doubt.

ricpic said...

life they sang about. darn.

Trooper York said...

"Don't Let Your Son Go Down On Me" as sung by the late Michael Jackson.

Sixty Grit said...

"Paint it Black" - Mick would hire someone to do that.

Anything involving surfing - Brian Wilson was afraid of the water.

"Went down to the crossroads" - we can all picture Eric Clapton hitching a ride on the Mississippi Delta, right?

"Bringin' in a couple of ki's" - Arlo had people to do his smuggling for him.

Did any of the Who ride a bus, magic or otherwise?

Did Bobbie Gentry travel from Leflore county over to Carroll County just to go to the movies? Greenwood had a perfectly adequate movie house at that time. Or did she chop cotton, for that matter? Her mother had a good job at the power company, after all.

There you have it - not one song newer than 40 years old. Kids these days and that racket they call music - meh!

William T. Sherman said...

**Is there a bigger poseur than Bruce Springsteen? I'm pretty confident he never ran for his life on back streets.**

And I'd bet he never drove a stolen car either, but then again that's why they're called metaphors.

Kirstin said...

This isn't gritty, but there are lots of lame Christian songs that include references to twirling and spinning (not the exercise kind).

gbarto said...

From Dancing in the Dark... speaking of Springsteen:

I'm sick of sitting 'round here
Trying to write this book

Every time I heard it, I had a niggling suspicion his agent made him change it from "read this book".

Ralph L said...

"I'll love you forever", or equivalent, sung by just about anyone in the music business.

Triangle Man said...

Standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona?

TheThinMan said...

1) "I woke up this morning..." He went to bed this morning is more like it.
2) "Workin' in a coal mine, goin'' down, down, down"
3) "Lonely, I'm Mr. Lonely,""It's a lonely ol' night," "I feel so lonely, wanna die" i. e., Only two chicks in my bed tonight.
4) "'Cause I don't care too much for money..." That's why I'm always suing everybody.
5) "I could never live without you." Whatever your name is.

BTW, If I Had a Hammer was written by Pete Seeger, not Woody Guthrie. Which reminds me of the Tim Harden song: "If I Were a Carpenter." If he were a Carpenter would be bulimic and kill himself.

El Pollo Real said...

Somehow, even after doubting the veracity of Dylan's, Guthrie's, and The Guess Who's lyrics, I still like the songs just as much.

Does it really matter?

William T. Sherman said...

Grab your ticket and your suitcase
Thunder's rolling down the tracks
You don't know where you're goin'
But you know you won't be back
Darlin' if you're weary
Lay your head upon my chest
We'll take what we can carry
And we'll leave behind the rest

Big Wheels roll through fields
Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

Now I will provide for you
And I'll stand by your side
You'll need a good companion
For this part of the ride
Leave behind your sorrows
Let this day be the last
Tomorrow there'll be sunshine
And all this darkness past

Big wheels roll through fields
Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

This train
Carries saints and sinners
This train
Carries losers and winners
This Train
Carries whores and gamblers
This Train
Carries lost souls
This Train
Dreams will not be thwarted
This Train
Faith will be rewarded
This Train
Hear the steel wheels singing
This Train
Bells of freedom ringing
This Train
Carries broken-hearted
This Train
Thieves and sweet souls departed
This Train
Carries fools and kings
This Train
Dreams will not be thwarted
This Train
Faith will be rewarded
This Train
Hear the steel wheels singin'
This Train
Bells of Freedom Ringing


I was standing about thirty feet away from Bruce Springsteen when he debut this piece in March of '99 to packed gymnasium in Asbury Park, NJ. For the next six years this song of ultimate inclusion was the primary soundtrack to my life. But as Springsteen grew more politically active his music and his attitude grew less inclusive and more arrogant. He still sang this song most nights, and every time it felt like a slap at those of us who believed personal vision and integrity were more important than political expediency.

The last straw was the night in Ohio Bruce started talking about capital punishment, and mentioned some group opposing the death penalty that had a table in the lobby. He asked those in the audience who might disagree with him to keep an open mind, and pick up some literature in the lobby after the show just to hear what the other side had to say. When he'd finished his spiel somebody down front hollered "kill the killers"! loud enough for all to hear. Springsteen became angry and insulting, growling into the mic that the fan's opinion was "a kind of stupidity that gets us nowhere". I guess in Springsteen's world having an open mind is for other people.

The man who wrote "Land of Hope and Dreams" eleven years ago had enough insight and self control not to become an asshole just because somebody expressed a contrary opinion within his earshot. The guy who sings the song these days doesn't.

Galvanized said...

Go walkin' after midnight

Palladian said...

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin' for a train,
An' I's feelin' near as faded as my jeans.
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
That rode us all the way to New Orleans

David said...

RE-RE-RE-SPECT (In the morning.)

Palladian said...

It's been a hard day's night,
and I've been working like a dog
It's been a hard day's night,
I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you I find the things that you do
Will make me feel alright

Palladian said...

I'm on the pavement, thinkin' 'bout the government.

John Burgess said...

Give a damn about anything but their royalties.

Trooper York said...

"We shall overcome"

Yeah right.

Galvanized said...

Actually "been through the desert on a horse with no name."

Trooper York said...

"I want to live in America" by some some Latin chick.

Oh wait a minute.....wrong thread...I have to go change my
T-shirt.

Marcia said...

hitch a ride

Lucius said...

I'm pretty sure the Beatles didn't actually live in a yellow submarine.

Trooper York said...

Well I am pretty sure that it was your Sharona.

Blair said...

How many people who use the word "baby" or "babe" in a song actually refer to their lover using those terms in real life? Probably not many.

Mark said...

Go to the Love Shack
Feel Groovy
Bang a Gong
Drink the bullfrog's wine
Whip it good (okay, maybe that one...)

William said...

Springsteen should write a heartfelt song about the rising cost of jet fuel and the prohibitive expense of owning your own private jet. Keep it real.

paul a'barge said...

Robert Johnson: "beat my woman until I can be satisfied..."

Paul said...

"I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. . ."

I guess that's what Johnny Cash told the other guys in the pen.

Also, does anyone really like "Walking in the rain" like you're supposed to in songs? For how long, and how far, and how hard is it raining exactly, and is the temperature below 75 degrees?

From Inwood said...

How many songwriters/singers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Deborah said...

Did Paul or Art ever lie down on a bridge over trouble water?
Paul ever go to Graceland?
Ever ride on the Tulsa Queen?
Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made? Driven the back roads so you wouldn't get weighed?
Found a new place to dwell, down at the end of lonely street at Heartbreak Hotel?

Dark Eden said...

Care about "important issues" that don't involve snorting coke off of hookers' naked bodies?

too cynical?

Project Strength said...

climb the highest mountain
swin the deepest sea
walk a mile in your shoes
go to kansas city

john said...

Ride my see-saw.

Aggle said...

Kill a man in Reno, just to watch him die

dbp said...

These guys were honest about it:

Never Did No Wandering

billbejNJ said...

I'd be inclined to say that singers who sing about things they actually do are usually pretty damn boring.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Leave on the midnight train to Georgia. Woo-woo!

Michael Hasenstab said...

She's a cheerleader and I'm on the bleachers.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I busted a chair right across his teeth

And we crashed through the wall and into the street

Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

Michael Hasenstab said...

To the best of my knowledge, the late Bob Marley never shot the sheriff.

Alexander said...

There's a grave that holds Johnny Cash's body down. At least for now.

Also, Paul Simon did go to Graceland.

AZDCbadger said...

1. put another dime in the jukebox baby
2. leaving on that midnight train to Georgia
3. grazing in the grass
4. count the headlights on the highway