Monday, October 19, 2009

Bon Jovi -- "I'll Be There For You"

Oh, hello. I didn't see you there.

Here's today's song, and it's a doozy!

But first, Wikipedia told me the original name for the band Bon Jovi. Do you want to hear it? OK.
It's "Johny [sic] Electric."


I guess this time you're really leaving / I heard your suitcase say goodbye

I'm imagining an anthropomorphic suitcase here, kind of like something from Pee Wee's Playhouse, saying "Goodbye, Jon," in a really mopey voice.

Well, as my broken heart lies bleeding / You say true love it's suicide

This is another one of those songs where the singer is just so broken up about his wife/girlfriend/rhino handler leaving and just can't go on without her, oh my god! And you sort of feel sorry for him until you read the rest of the lyrics where he fucking admits how badly he treated her, and how he really deserves everything that happens to him. Then you go out to the garage and huff some paint, because hey, you like huffing paint, and you're not going to let society tell you how to live your life.

You say you've cried a thousand rivers / And now you're swimming for the shore / You left me drowning in my tears / And you won't save me anymore

That is a goddamn assload of tears being shed in this little stanza. Why are we trying to save this relationship again? Seriously. Just break up. JUST BREAK UP! And stop writing these awful lyrics. They're really awful. I'm telling you this for your own good. Let this poor girl get on with her life and go take a creative-writing class or something. (But, don't stop pumping out the sweet jams. I know it's a fine line to walk. We can all help you through it.)

Now I'm praying to God you'll give me one more chance, girl

And if that doesn't work, I'll pray to Allah or Buddha or LeBron James or whoever it is people pray to these days.

I'll be there for you / These five words I swear to you

Ha, I kind of like this line. Except for the fact that everything else in the song indicates that he has never been there for her at any time. Run! Run far away!

When you breathe I want to be the air for you / I'll be there for you / I'd live and I'd die for you / I'd steal the sun from the sky for you / Words can't say what love can do / I'll be there for you

Yes! Exactly, Jon Bon Jovi. You've really hit the nail on the head. "Words can't say what love can do." And the fact is, you are trying to save this relationship with words when you have failed to show this poor woman love.

Although, if you are in fact able to "steal the sun from the sky" for her, that would be pretty impressive ... for about seven minutes before all of humankind died in agony.

I know you know we've had some good times / Now they have their own hiding place

But do you know that I know that you know ... oh, forget it.

Also, why are you hiding all the good times? That's not really helping your cause.

I can promise you tomorrow / But I can't buy back yesterday

Unless ... (attempts to buy time machine) ... nope, I was right.

And baby you know my hands are dirty / But I wanted to be your Valentine

Are these two lines supposed to be somehow related? His hands are dirty, BUT he wanted to be your Valentine? I'm expecting the next line to be something like "Ooh girl, I made a turkey sandwich / But you joined a marching band." Actually, imagine singing that like Bon Jovi. It's kind of funny. Or maybe it's just funny to imagine him making a turkey sandwich.

I'll be the water when you get thirsty, baby / When you get drunk, I'll be the wine

Uhhh, yeah. A couple things wrong here. First of all, you already established water as a drowning metaphor earlier in the song. Now you're using it as a life-giving metaphor. Are you trying to sell me a bill of goods here, Jon Bon Jovi? Trying to have your turkey sandwich and eat it too, so to speak?

Also, giving her wine when she's already drunk? Creepiness tag.


Now these final lines might be my favorites.

I wasn't there when you were happy / And I wasn't there when you were down

Beautiful. Awesome. You weren't there when she was happy or when she was down. Meaning you were never there for her at all. Or perhaps only there when she was clipping her toenails, or was watching a boring movie, or was sleeping or something. Then as soon as a hint of emotion flickers across her face, boom! Out the door.

Didn't mean to miss your birthday, baby / I wish I'd seen you blow those candles out

Awe. Some. Ly. Bad. Lyrics. (These five words I swear to you.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Flock of Seagulls -- I Ran (So Far Away)

So I guess we'll stick with the bird theme for one more post.

Fun fact! Wikipedia tells us that in 2004, A Flock of Seagulls was part of the "Nike Run Hit Wonder," a series of 5,000- and 10,000-meter road races, featuring popular bands that are frequently classified as one-hit wonders (including Devo, General Public, and Tommy Tutone) who performed along the race course. This sounds like the kind of thing that would make me want to run a road race, something I would normally avoid at all costs.

Also, Wikipedia says lead singer Mike Score told VH1 that he "resents" the success of this song. I suppose he also resents the giant mansion and solid gold toilet and rare species of antelope that he was able to buy with all of his ill-gotten money? With a name like Mike Score, you could've easily supported yourself with a reputable career such as pornography or ... pornography.

Also, isn't this video creepy?


I walk along the avenue / I never thought I'd meet a girl like you / Meet a girl like you

Sure, maybe on a boulevard or a cul-de-sac or even a thoroughfare I would've expected to meet a girl like you, but an avenue? Jesus Christ! Fuck!

With auburn hair and tawny eyes / The kind of eyes that hypnotize me through / Hypnotize me through

"Tawny" means "of a dark yellowish or dull yellowish-brown color," according to So yeah, I would not expect to ever meet a girl with yellow eyes, on any sort of roadway. Is it time to consult our old friend WebMD? A female aged 25-34 with yellow eyes may be suffering from hepatitis A, B, or C, cirrhosis of the liver, syphilis, mononucleosis, or tuberculosis, among other things.

And I ran / I ran so far away / I just ran / I ran all night and day / I couldn't get away

Presumably to avoid contracting one of these diseases.

Seriously, though, why is he running away? I really want to know. Maybe listening to some more verses will clear up this mystery!

A cloud appears above your head / A beam of light comes shining down on you / Shining down on you

That sounds like an image of heaven, although usually when we think of heaven, we think of clouds parting and then light coming down, not a cloud moving in. The cloud would tend to block the light, right?

The cloud is moving nearer still / Aurora borealis comes in view / Aurora comes in view

A cloud would also tend to obscure the aurora borealis (Northern Lights).

And I ran / I ran so far away / I just ran / I ran all night and day / I couldn't get away

Still not sure why you make with the running, Mike Score. A beam of light? The aurora borealis? Those are pretty nice things. Things that would make me want to stick around.

Reached out a hand to touch your face / You're slowly disappearing from my view / 'pearing from my view

OK, I was sort of with you on the whole repeating-the-last-part-of-the-previous-lyric thing, but "'pearing from my view"? That's just sloppy songwriting!

And furthermore, aaaaaaagh. I thought you were trying to run away. Now you're reaching out your hand to try to touch this person? You're all over the map on this, Mike Score.

Reached out a hand to try again / I'm floating in a beam of light with you / Beam of light with you

According to, Mike Score was a hairdresser when he joined this band. Not really sure what we're supposed to do with that information.

Allmusic also says that A Flock of Seagulls' lyrics are "forgettable."

And I ran / I ran so far away / I just ran / I ran all night and day / I couldn't get away

It's time to play Two Truths and a Lie!

1. This song was the inspiration for the movie "Forrest Gump."
2. These lyrics are really flipping great.
3. I'm having a really easy time wrapping up this blog post, and I think that it's probably my best ever!

OK, that was three lies.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Eagles -- "Take It Easy"

Man, come on, I had a rough night, and I hate the fucking Eagles.

Actually, it seems to me like the Eagles are the kind of band that when they come on the radio, you'll be like, "Oh yeah, this is a good song," and you probably won't change the station. However, you'll never be like "Oh wow, I'd really love to hear an Eagles jam right now!" or "Hey guys, I erected a small shrine to the Eagles in my basement that includes DNA samples from each band member so that once we have the technology, we can clone them all and force the clones to play live shows for us every night!" Not that I've done that for any bands or anything.

So, yeah, I think the Eagles are pretty cool and can be enjoyed by children of all ages, but they've never done anything that really blows me away. So why am I blogging about them? Your guess is as good as mine.

Well, I'm runnin’ down the road tryin' to loosen my load

Uh, OK, not off to a good start here. I get it, you* have worries and troubles and stuff. But I need some clarification on what, specifically, you are doing. "Runnin' down the road" -- are you jogging? That seems like an OK way to take your mind off your problems. But I don't think you're jogging. Are you running away from something or someone? Neither of those things seem like good ways to "take it easy." I think maybe you're actually driving a car, based on subsequent lyrics.

Also, how does one "loosen" one's load, exactly? Did you mean "lighten my load"? I would think loosening your load, especially if you're driving, would be a bad idea.

Or, maybe you're just constipated.

* You = Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, who co-wrote this song, I guess.

I've got seven women on my mind / Four that wanna own me, two that wanna stone me, one says she's a friend of mine

It's a love octagon! Seriously, if you really want to take it easy, friend, you might want to simplify your love life a little. Also, two different women want to "stone" you? I'm guessing you mean throw rocks at you, not smoke marijuana, because smoking marijuana might be the quintessential way to take it easy.

Did you know there's a board game called "Take It Easy"? It's true!

That box makes the game look sort of complicated, though, not easy.

Take it easy, take it easy / Don't let the sound of your own wheels / Drive you crazy

Yeah, I mean, if the sound of your *wheels* is driving you crazy, I think you definitely need to take it easy. Like, maybe by checking into a mental institution. Unless you have like a bad axle or something and it's making some sort of clunking sound, in which case it's probably justified. What was I talking about?

Lighten up while you still can / Don't even try to understand / Just find a place to make your stand / And take it easy

"Lighten up" here could easily be "loosen up." Why don't we just agree to swap the words "loosen" and "lighten" in this song? I think it would make the world a better place. If Obama can win the Nobel Peace Prize for shaking hands with some Egyptian dude or whatever, I can probably make a good case based on this, right? Oooohhhh, did I just get political?! Oh, snap!

Well, I'm a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona

I have to say, you know a band has made it when a throwaway line in one of its songs inspires a full-blown tourist attraction. Although I'm not really sure how exciting this could actually be. It's like going to see the Abbey Road street crossing -- you go there and say, "Yup, there it is," and then maybe take a couple pictures and leave, because really in the end, it's just a crosswalk. I would imagine the corner in Winslow would be even less interesting, because the Beatles were actually at the street crossing at one point, and the Beatles are a much more interesting band than the Eagles.

Take that, Arizona Office of Tourism!
This message sponsored by the New Mexico Tourism Department.

Such a fine sight to see / It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me / Come on, baby, don't say maybe / I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me / We may lose and we may win but we will never be here again / So open up, I'm climbin' in, take it easy

Yeah, let's add another woman to the mix. That ought to make your life easier.

Also, "come on, baby, don't say maybe" is a terrible lyric.

Also, does "open up, I'm climbin' in" warrant the "creepiness" tag? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Well I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load, got a world of trouble on my mind / Been lookin' for a lover who won't blow my cover, she's so hard to find

You're actually a spy? Again, I hate to be a Critical Carl here, but that doesn't seem like a profession conducive to taking it easy.

OK, so the rest of the song is mostly just a lot of "ooh, ooh, ooh"-ing and stuff.

Hey, how many other bands can you think of that are named after birds? There's the Jayhawks, the Dodos (sub-category: extinct birds), Department of Eagles, Doves, and, of course, the Byrds. It seems like there should be a lot more, but I'm not coming up with any off the top of my head ...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Starship -- "We Built This City"

I think Bernie Taupin might be the Rosetta Stone of awesomely bad lyrics. Not only did his collaborations with Elton John produce some of the loopiest lyrics of all time, but he's credited as one of four writers that contributed a little bit of pixie dust to this train wreck of a song.

Also, I encourage you to watch the video (linked above) if you enjoy unnecessary reaction shots, impassioned pleas to statues of Abraham Lincoln (presumably to suspend habeas corpus or something in order to allow Starship to keep on rockin'), statues of Abraham Lincoln that spontaneously come to life in order to rock out, floating emotionless disembodied heads, oversized killer dice that terrorize entire populations, and of course, big hair!

Let's get it on!

We built this city, we built this city on rock and roll / Built this city, we built this city on rock and roll

I like songs that get right to the point. Here. Listen. See this city? We built it. On what? Funny you should ask. Not on bricks or mortar or asphalt or dinosaur bones, but on good old fashioned rock and roll!!! It's a metaphor, you see, because obviously you couldn't ... I mean it would be ridiculous to suggest that ... heh heh. Ahhhh.

OK, now that that pesky chorus is out of the way, let's bust out the first verse.

Say you don’t know me or recognize my face / Say you don’t care who goes to that kind of place / Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight / Too many runaways eating up the night

Clearly this song wants to rebel against something, but I'm not sure what. I'm not sure the four writers of these lyrics really agree on what, either.

Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don’t you remember / We built this city, we built this city on rock and roll

I was going to make an obscure joke about Guglielmo Marconi here, but after a little research it appears this lyric actually refers to Guglielmo Marconi. My goodness. Marconi's Wikipedia entry reveals that not only was he a Nobel Prize winner and a pioneer in wireless communication, but was, later in life, "an active Italian fascist and an apologist for their ideology and actions such as the attack by Italian forces in Ethiopia." Umm, maybe not the guy to whom you want to hitch your fake-counter-culture wagon here, Starship.

Wikipedia is silent on whether G. Marconi ever actually played the "mamba," which is a kind of snake. Did you mean "mambo"? Maybe "samba"?

Or, maybe we should take this literally and believe that an early 20th-century Italian inventor is attempting to play a deadly reptile like a musical instrument. Makes about as much sense as any other interpretation.

Hold on a second ... Marconi!!!! LOOK OUT!!!!

We built this city, we built this c
ity on rock and roll / Built this city, we built this city on rock and roll

Phew. That was a close one.

Someone always playing corporation games / Who cares, they’re always changing corporation names

Yeah! Take that, CORPORATIONS!!! How dare you establish yourself as a legal entity for the purpose of doing any kind of business! You suck!!!! Except, of course, for RCA Records, the good people that marketed and distributed this song.

We just want to dance here, someone stole the stage / They call us irresponsible, write us off the page

What are you angry about? Seriously. I'm getting sleepy.

It’s just another Sunday, in a tired old street / Police have got the choke hold, oh then we just lost the beat

What? How do these lyrics make any sense together? The first line makes me think everything is boring and people have stopped rocking because of complacency or something, but then you tell me the police have "got the choke hold," which then caused you to "lose the beat."

I think the songwriting process for this tune was like an exquisite corpse-type scenario in which Bernie Taupin and his collaborators would each just contribute one line, then pass it off to the next person, and so on until this #1 hit was complete!

Who counts the money underneath the bar?

Probably the bartender.

Who rides the wrecking ball in two rock guitars?

Ummm .... I don't know. Ronald Reagan? Anthony Michael Hall? Is this a trick question?

Don’t tell us you need us, cause we’re the ship of fools / Looking for America, coming through your schools

The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine.