Monday, November 16, 2009

The Outfield -- "Your Love"

Holy crap. I was toying with the idea of mentioning that it seemed to me that a disproportionate number of baseball players use this song as their "at bat" music. (Hitters often pick a song to play on the PA system when they come up to the plate.) But, I decided not to, because I'd heard it maybe only like three times, and that's a pretty small sample size.

But, lo and behold, Wikipedia actually mentions this on its page for this song! So, I'm not crazy, and baseball players are weird. The players it mentions are: Gordon Beckham (3B), Kelly Johnson (2B), Frank Catalanotto (OF) and Eric Byrnes (OF). All white guys, and only two of them are actually outfielders, so at least Mr. Beckham and Mr. Johnson really like this song and didn't just think it would be funny to play a song by a band called "The Outfield." Although there are no bands called "The Infield" that I'm aware of, so I don't know if they had much of a choice in the matter. "Second Base" or "Third Base" would be good band names, but I don't think any group has harnessed this particular bit of genius either.

Speaking of baseball, this song has been a topic of discussion on a sports blog that I follow. So thanks to Joe Posnanski, whom I have never met or corresponded with, for the (sort of) recommendation, although he seems to think this song is just bad and not in any way awesome. I respectfully disagree.

Judge for yourself!

Josie's on a vacation far away / Come around and talk it over

I don't know whether to address my comments to lead singer Tony Lewis or songwriter and guitarist John Spinks. I think I will choose the latter, because "Spinks" is kind of a funny name.

OK, here we go.

First of all, poor Josie, whoever she is. This whole song is about her husband/boyfriend/whatever cheating on her, and all she gets is this cursory mention at the beginning of the song. It sounds a little suspicious too.

Q: Hey, John Spinks, where's Josie?
A: Oh ... uh ... she's ... on a vacation ... far away! Yeah, that's the ticket.

You think he killed her? I think he might've killed her.

So many things that I wanna say / You know I like my girls a little bit older

Regardless of what happened to Josie, our old pal Spinksie isn't doing much better by this other woman. "I like my girls a little bit older"? Really? Of all of these myriad things that you're just dying to say, that's the first thing that comes out of your mouth? Sweet mercy.

I just wanna use your love tonight / I don't wanna lose your love tonight

And this is the second thing? Christ almighty, Spinkasaurus. You're really quite the charmer, aren't you? I'm starting to think Josie is on a "vacation" about as far away as she can possibly get from you. Or maybe she's imaginary. "Josie" sounds kind of like a fake name.

Really, though, aren't "I just wanna use your love" and "I don't wanna lose your love" two absolutely contradictory statements? Just because two lines rhyme doesn't mean you should write them back to back, Spinkbones.

I ain't got many friends left to talk to / No one's around when I'm in trouble

And why might that be? Let's all just sit around and ponder that one for a while.

You know I'd do anything for you / Stay the night but keep it undercover

I'd do anything for you. Except publicly acknowledge the fact that we have a relationship. Other than that, anything. Come on, baby, you can trust the Spinkmeister.

I just wanna use your love tonight / I don't wanna lose your love tonight


Trying to stop my hands from shakin' / Somethin' in my mind's not makin' sense / It's been a while since we were all alone / I can't hide the way I'm feelin'

Somethin' in your mind's not makin' sense? No fucking shit.

Hey, Tony Lewis really has a nice voice, doesn't he? He sounds a lot like Sting when he sings that last verse. Just wanted to mix a compliment in there.

As you leave me please would you close the door / And don't forget what I told you

Yeah. Good sex there. Now get out and close the door. And don't forget what I told you about keeping this secret. Otherwise you might end up like Josie. Capisce?

Just 'cause you're right - that don't mean I'm wrong

Fundamentally, this is true. But you are wrong, Spinks. Very wrong.

Another shoulder to cry upon


I just wanna use your love tonight / I don't wanna lose your love tonight

Am I being too harsh on John Spinks? Maybe this song is about a guy who's really conflicted. He doesn't know whether he wants this to be a one-night stand ("use your love") or whether he really has feelings for this woman ("don't wanna lose your love"). Maybe. I still think it's more likely that these lyrics were carelessly slapped together and chosen more for rhyme and meter than for coherence. I think only one person knows the real truth: Josie. And she's not talking.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Foreigner -- "Head Games"

Oh Lou Gramm, I have missed you like the cracked dry earth misses the rain.

So the Wikipedia entry for the album "Head Games" is short but yields a couple of delightful tidbits. First, I would be remiss if I didn't share with you the album cover.

Yikes. That definitely is right in the running with the Scorpions' "Virgin Killer" for creepiest cover art featured on this blog. And at least the "Virgin Killer" cover is related to the title of the album ... in this case, it would seem Foreigner just really wanted to use a photo of a young girl squatting in a urinal despite the apparent absence of a connection to the title "Head Games." I guess a bathroom can be called a "head" so there is pun potential there, but whatever she's doing doesn't really look like it's part of a game. And why use the urinal when there's a row of seemingly unoccupied stalls right there? The mind reels.

Also: "In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Head Games is one of the abilities of the Foreigner Belt. This ability allows the wearer to transform their victim's head into a game, possibly limited to Connect Four." Now that's comedy!

Here's the studio version of the song, or if you prefer, watch this rendition that may or may not be performed by a drunken Lou Gramm impersonator.

Daylight, alright

I really am loving the beginning of this song more and more every time I listen to it. The opening guitar riff is awesome and I appreciate how they just jump right into the hook rather than employ any kind of intro. It's cool. And the first line is nothing but "Daylight! Alright!" as if Lou Gramm is just bursting with happiness and ready to leap out of bed, sing with the bluebirds, and celebrate another glorious day of being alive. As we will soon see, though, this is not the case.

I don't know, I don't know if it's real / Been a long night and something ain't right / You won't show, you won't show how you feel

At this point (see previous Foreigner-related posts for details) I am highly -- highly -- distrustful of any claims that Lou Gramm makes about his relationship problems. I am strongly inclined to believe that whatever is wrong is somehow his fault.

No time ever seems right / To talk about the reasons why you and I fight

And yet, he really seems to be making an effort here. He wants to talk it out. Lou Gramm has seen the light! Hey, that rhymes with four other lines in the first two verses, and one line still to come! Alright!!

It's high time to draw the line / Put an end to this game before it's too late

That seems like a pretty good idea. Relationships are built on trust and communication, and it's better for the couple to put their cards on the table and talk through their problems rather than letting them fester. Lou Gramm is perfectly justified in his desire to bring this situation to a head, if you will.

Let's see how this plays out! Just for a change of pace, I'll pretend to be the object of old Lou's psychotic ramblings! Won't that be fun?

Head games, it's you and me baby

Hi, Lou. Yeah. Who else would it be?

Head games, and I can't take it anymore

This is unhelpful. What head games are you talking about? I'm happy to discuss this with you but you'll have to be a little more ...

Head games, I don't wanna play the head games

OK, Little Louie Lou-Pants, I understand you're frustrated and I want to try to talk this through ... if we could just ... are you listening to me? Louis?!

I daydream for hours it seems / I keep thinkin' of you, yeah, thinkin' of you / These daydreams, what do they mean? / They keep haunting me, are they warning me?

I don't know if daydreams really have this effect on people. If he was talking about a regular REM-sleep-type dream, the last line makes perfect sense, but since daydreams are a product of your conscious mind, I don't know how they really haunt you or warn you of anything. Maybe Lou thinks a daydream is just a dream you have when you take a nap during the day?

Daylight turns into night / We try and find the answer but it's nowhere in sight

Phew. That was a long day. A long day of head games.

Let's play analogies! I've got one. Lou Gramm:O.J. Simpson::"the answer":the real killer. Wasn't that fun!?

It's always the same and you know who's to blame / You know what I'm sayin', still we keep on playin'

I guess he's saying that she's to blame. Right? I don't know who else he would be referring to. Unless it's God. Is it God? That would be some dark shit.

Head games, that's all I get from you / Head games, and I can't take it anymore
Head games, don't wanna play the head games

We've been over this already. Have we heard one concrete example of a "head game" yet? I don't think so. I'm very suspicious. As Lou Gramm might say, "something ain't right." Sherlock Holmes might also say that. If he was more like Lou Gramm, that is.

So near, so far away / We pass each other by 'cause we don't know what to say / It's so clear, I'm sorry to say / But if you wanna win you gotta learn how to play

Uggghhhh. More vagueness. I'm about to pass out here.

Hey, what's up with the rhyme schemes in this song? Each verse seems to have a slightly different one. Oh, guess what I just remembered? I don't care.

Head games, always you and me, baby / Head games, 'till I can't take it anymore

There's no chance that the "head" in "head games" refers to Lou Gramm's penis, right? Just asking.

Head games, instead of makin' love

Ah. I think here we are finally getting at the crux of this sordid matter. Head games ... instead of making love.

Lou Gramm: Hey, baby! Welcome home! Let's make love!
Woman: Oh, Lou, can't we just sit down and talk a while first? I'm so tired and I just walked in the door.
Lou Gramm (clutching his head in dismay): Wooooaaaah! What are these head games you're playing with me, man? What a drag! Dullsville!
Lou Gramm: (embarks on a 36-hour spiritual journey fueled by drugs and disillusionment)
Woman: (shrugs shoulders) Here we go again!
(Canned laughter)
(Roll credits)

Head games, in the first degree / Head games, yeah, always you and me / Head games, why do you do it baby?

I like how Lou always saves his most nonsensical lyrics for the outro. (See "Hot Blooded.") It's like he thinks, hey, this song is pretty much over and probably doesn't need any more lyrics, but I have to sing something here at the end, right? Umm ... "Head games! In the first degree!" .... "That's gold!"

If you want to waste five perfectly good minutes playing "Head Games" of your own, try this out! So long, suckers!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Duran Duran -- "Hungry Like the Wolf"

So if, like me, you are a connoisseur of 1960s French erotic science fiction, you probably already know this. But, for the unwashed masses who have missed the boat, the band Duran Duran is named after a character from the 1968 classic "Barbarella," starring Jane Fonda as the title character.

Here's the plot summary from Wikipedia:

"Set in the 40th century, Barbarella follows the adventures of its title character played by Jane Fonda. In the film, Barbarella is assigned by the President of Earth to retrieve Doctor Durand-Durand from the planet SoGo in order to save the earth. Beyond this premise, the plot is very loose, serving mostly as an excuse for Barbarella to end up in erotic situations. On her quest to find Durand Durand, Barbarella is seduced by a human resident of SoGo, who introduces her to penetrative intercourse (civilized people of Barbarella's society find sexual release through pharmaceuticals), seduces an angel named Pygar, and overloads a torture device (called the Excessive Machine) which kills through sexual pleasure."

Coincidentally, the members of Duran Duran went on to introduce all of America to penetrative intercourse with their hit song "Hungry Like the Wolf." Take a look at the music video. Oops, wait, that was the wrong video. Here you go.

Just as an aside, this video was shot in Sri Lanka, where to the best of my knowledge, there are no wolves. Why not shoot in Canada or Siberia or something? It would've been cheaper and more relevant to the whole wolf thing. Oh well.

Dark in the city, night is a wire / Steam in the subway, earth is afire

This is actually some pretty good imagery. "Night is a wire." I like that. Good work, Simon Le Bon.

Woman, you want me, give me a sign / And catch my breathing even closer behind

Starting to get a little creepy.

By the way, I'm not including any of the "do do do do, etc." parts here because they're not really "lyrics" per se, but I would like to point out that the Wikipedia page for this song states that "the repeating of the word 'do' at the end of each verse, is an inspiration from Gordon Lightfoot's song 'If You Could Read My Mind'." [sic] Being naturally curious about bands' musical influences, and being a fan of Mr. Lightfoot myself, I cued up the song, in which he does no "do do do"-ing whatsoever, unless I'm listening to some sort of abbreviated version or something. Is this just completely wrong or am I missing something here?

In touch with the ground / I'm on the hunt, I'm after you


Smell like I sound, I'm lost in a crowd / And I'm hungry like the wolf

"Smell like I sound"? I don't get that line. It could be "smell like a sound," but that doesn't really make much sense either. How can a thing or a person smell like he/she/it sounds? I don't think it's possible for a sound to smell like anything. Um. And the following line, "I'm lost in a crowd," doesn't help much either.

Straddle the line in discord and rhyme / I'm on the hunt I'm after you

I think maybe Simon Le Bon is so hungry that he's become delirious.

Mouth is alive with juices like wine / And I'm hungry like the wolf

Simon Le Bon is drooling. Or, I don't know, maybe eating somebody?

Stalk through the forest, too close to hide / I'll be upon you by the moonlight side

"The moonlight side"? What does that mean? And when did we get into this forest? In the first line we were in a city. Unless we were in the forest the whole time and he just happened to mention that it was dark in the city, as a kind of non sequitur. Is anyone else getting hungry? I'm kind of hungry.

Hey, why didn't Duran Duran turn this song into a whole series? They could've done "Angry Like the Goat," "Sleepy Like the Bear (In Winter)," "Sticky Like the Anteater," "Endangered Like the Panda," "Amphibious Like the Frog" ... the possibilities are endless. Each one could also be adapted as a children's book and an erotic science fiction movie. Synergy!

High blood drumming on your skin it's so tight / You feel my heat I'm just a moment behind

If someone was following you, what would happen first? Would you "catch (his) breathing" or "feel (his) heat"? And would those two things happen like two verses apart?

And, "high blood drumming on your skin it's so tight"? Huh? I think maybe it's actually "High blood / drumming on your skin, it's so tight." In which case, whaaa??? Actually, maybe Mr. Le Bon should be congratulated here, because even though I have no concept of what this line means, I can definitively say that it is creepy. Kind of like if a child gave you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but instead of peanut butter and jelly, he used gravel and mucus. You don't really know exactly what he's trying to tell you, but it's quite clear that he is mentally ill and you should sleep with one eye open.

In touch with the ground / I'm on the hunt, I'm after you / Scent and a sound, I'm lost and I'm found / And I'm hungry like the wolf

OK, we get it.

Straddle the line it's discord and rhyme / I howl and I whine, I'm after you

The unofficial lyrics I found online said this lyric was "strut on a line." I think that makes less sense than "straddle the line," but it does sound more like he says "strut." So I listened hard to the song (he sings this line three times) and each time it sounded like something different. Then I thought, "Does it really matter which it is? This is like two detectives sitting around arguing about how many times the serial killer stabbed his latest victim, while the killer hops in his car and drives away." Then I realized it wasn't like that at all, but it got me thinking about detectives, so I watched 22 consecutive episodes of "Murder, She Wrote." Then I Googled "Angela Lansbury" and "1960s French erotic science fiction" and got no results.

This song is making me type nonsense.

Mouth is alive all running inside / And I'm hungry like the wolf

This song makes me want to eat a big juicy steak and have penetrative intercouse, not necessarily in that order. The intercourse should be the easy part, but where am I going to find a steak at this hour?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Aerosmith -- "Sweet Emotion"

Because cheap laughs that make us feel bad about ourselves later is what we're all about here at Awesomely Bad Lyrics, please enjoy this picture!

Ha! This funny-looking celebrity would not fit in in the Real America with us hard-working Joes! All the solid gold toilets in the world won't change the fact that he looks similar to a monkey when he makes a certain facial expression!

Little-known fact, though, and here's where I blow your mind -- this monkey got a songwriting credit for "Sweet Emotion." He was later kicked out of the band because of "creative differences" with Steven Tyler, and because he demanded 100 freshly peeled bananas each day before he would write a single word. Many critics feel that while Aerosmith's later work was more polished and enjoyed great commercial success, it didn't quite have the same spark, much like the recordings of Pink Floyd post-Syd Barrett.

OK, enough monkeying around! Ha ha! (muffled sob)

Before we start with the lyrics, please enjoy this creepy video! I like the part when it appears that Steven Tyler and one of his band-mates (I refuse to learn their names) are on the verge of making out.

Sweet emotion / Sweet emotion

Yeah, emotion sure is sweet. It really doesn't matter what emotion you're feeling -- lust, despair, surprise, angst, contempt, optimism, rage, zest -- it's always pretty sweet. Yup.

You talk about things that nobody cares / You're wearing out things that nobody wears

First line is grammatically incorrect. You don't "care" something. We need a preposition here.

Second line makes little to no sense.

So, what emotion is Steven Tyler feeling here? Contempt? Disgust? Confusion?

You're calling my name but I gotta make clear
/ I can't say, baby, where I'll be in a year

OK, up to this point the song makes at least a modicum of sense. Steven Tyler knows a girl, and the girl likes him, but he's not especially into her and wants to let her know that he doesn't see this becoming a serious relationship. He is feeling some sort of emotion, probably apprehension, I guess, and for some reason this is sweet.

When some sweat hog mama with a face like a gent / Said my get up and go musta got up and went / Well I got good news, she's a real good liar / 'Cause the backstage boogie set your pants on fire

Oh, my. So much to discuss here. First of all, what does this have to do with anything? Secondly, why are you so concerned with this seemingly casual insult from a "sweat hog mama"? You seem kind of insecure. Third, I don't think it's fair to call this woman a liar. She was just probably mistaken about your loss of sexual prowess. Fourth, if the pronoun "you" still has the same unnamed antecedent as it did in Verse 1, why are you responding to this criticism by citing your seduction of a woman that you hold in such seemingly low esteem? And fifth, oh my god, really? "The backstage boogie set your pants on fire"?

Phew. I'm calling a timeout. While you wait, maybe you'd enjoy seeing a disgusting picture of Steven Tyler with his ass hanging out? I know I was thrilled to find it! And hey! Maybe you'd like to buy an Aerosmith lottery ticket? If that article doesn't entice you, maybe this commercial in which a goldfish somehow drives a car will do the trick!

OK now. Deep breaths. Keep it together, man. Just two verses to go.

Sweet emotion / Sweet emotion

What do the words "sweet emotion" have to do with the content of this song? I really want to know. Maybe it's just a filler phrase that Steven Tyler made up, sort of along the lines of "Oh well!" or "What're you gonna do?"

So one could say something like "Hey, there's this girl who is really into me, and we did it a couple times, but I need to tell her that it's not really going to work out. I'm really in a pickle here. Sweet emotion!"

I pulled into town in a police car / Your daddy said I took it just a little too far

This whole third verse is just drunken rambling. I will give anyone who can offer a reasonable explanation of these lyrics an autographed copy of the 1975 Aerosmith album "Toys in the Attic." Or an autographed printout of that disgusting picture of Steven Tyler I linked to above. Whichever you prefer. (These would be autographed by me, not by any members of Aerosmith.)

You're telling her things but your girlfriend lied / You can't catch me 'cause the rabbit done died / Yes it did


You stand in the front just a shakin' your ass / I'll take you backstage, you can drink from my glass

Eww. Gross. Haven't you heard of H1N1, Steven Tyler?

Actually, this album was released just one year before the swine-flu outbreak of 1976. Coincidence? Or perhaps this occurred because everyone was going around drinking from each other's glasses willy-nilly, throwing caution to the wind, after this song came out? I think I might've stumbled onto something important. Is anyone here an epidemiologist? Is anyone even here? Hello?

Hey, what part of the "backstage boogie" do you think that "drink(ing) from (Steven Tyler's) glass" represents? I don't think I want to know.

I'll talk about something you can sure understand / 'Cause a month on the road and I'll be eatin' from your hand

Irritation. Exasperation. Fear. Horror. Torment. Disgust. Rage. Shame. Agitation. Grumpiness. Melancholy. Dejection. Alienation.