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#216907 - Wed Mar 10 2004 09:43 AM Were they on something or just looney?
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
I was listening to the radio last night, and "Muskrat Love" came on. Ok, let me first say that I really hate this song - always have! It's just downright frightening!

But, it got me to thinking about songs that the singer MUST have been high on something when they were writing it! There could be no other explanation as to how the song came about other than that.

Another example is "If I Had a Hammer" (Peter, Paul and Mary). Ok, does that song make sense to anyone?! "If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning. I'd hammer in the evening. All over this land...." That's just plain weird.

What songs have you heard that you're suspicious of because of the words? Which songs just don't quite make you think that the person was all in their right minds when they wrote it?

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#216908 - Wed Mar 10 2004 10:12 AM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
IndieQueen Offline
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I've always wondered about "Lookin' out my Back Door" by CCR. For the longest time, I was sure that I was hearing the lyrics incorrectly. "Tamborines and elephants are playing in the band," that just can't be right! It is. "Muskrat Love" has confounded me for years. I'm sure there are many, many more that I'm leaving out at the moment.
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#216909 - Wed Mar 10 2004 12:55 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
AlienGoddess Offline
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Registered: Tue Feb 17 2004
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Many years ago I heard a song that celebrated Chewy (Chewbacca) from the "Star Wars" movies. The lyrics were something like this: "Chewy! Chewy! He's a wookie!", and that's about it. I don't remember who sang it, but it cracked me up. I also wondered if whoever wrote the song (and probably the guys who sang it too) were on something. I mean, "He's a wookie!"? Gee, really? I didn't know that!


Edited by AlienGoddess (Wed Mar 10 2004 12:55 PM)
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#216910 - Wed Mar 10 2004 01:12 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
rootsgrrl Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 12 2003
Posts: 96
Loc: New York City New York USA   
Linda, Linda, Linda....


"The Hammer Song" was written by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger, in 1949. The lyrics were on the first cover of Sing Out! magazine. It has been recorded since by over 200 artists including Peter, Paul and Mary, Trini Lopez, and Senator Sam Ervin.

Not at all "just plain weird, " the lyrics mean that if I could bring about peace and brotherhood by hammering, I would do so. I would also do it by ringing a bell, or perhaps singing a song.

This song is one of the most important folk (or protest) songs ever written.

Neither Lee Hays nor Pete Seeger were "looney," or on something. They were, however, blacklisted in the glorious '50's.

Lee Hays died in August of 1981. Pete Seeger is 85 and lives in upstate New York, and has done (and still does) more to clean up the Hudson river than any 50 people half his age.

Edited to add:
I've been reminded that the hammer is the hammer of justice, the bell is the bell of freedom, and the song is a song about love.

Weird, wild, and wacky!!


Edited by rootsgrrl (Wed Mar 10 2004 05:14 PM)
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#216911 - Wed Mar 10 2004 01:19 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Perhaps. But, those lyrics still sound weird!



Edited by Linda1 (Wed Mar 10 2004 01:20 PM)
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#216912 - Wed Mar 10 2004 04:15 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
rogue Offline
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Registered: Sat Apr 05 2003
Posts: 664
Quote:


What songs have you heard that you're suspicious of because of the words?




I know some people worry and/or wonder about "clouds in my coffee" but I thought that made plenty of sense, right? Early '70s AM radio had many weird moments. One song- "Sweet City Woman", I think- had a line about "she feeds me love and tenderness and macaroons". Macaroons? Is this while she's feeding love & tenderness or afterwards?

I always wondered about David Essex's "Rock On". The song seemed ripe for some hidden messages if you played it backwards. Then there's the verse-

"Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I've ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
James Dean, rock on"

- and the way he pronounces "James Dean". Say what? Is he talking about the same Dean- actor James Dean or is it Jimmy Dean the sausage guy/country singer? What does the blue jean baby queen have to do with James and/or Jimmy Dean?

Quote:

Which songs just don't quite make you think that the person was all in their right minds when they wrote it?





How about the fellow who wrote & sang "Wiggle Wiggle"?

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a gypsy queen,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle all dressed in green,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle 'til the moon is blue,
Wiggle 'til the moon sees you.

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle in your boots and shoes,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, you got nothing to lose,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, like a swarm of bees,
Wiggle on your hands and knees.

Wiggle to the front, wiggle to the rear,
Wiggle 'til you wiggle right out of here,
Wiggle 'til it opens, wiggle 'til it shuts,
Wiggle 'til it bites, wiggle 'til it cuts.

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a bowl of soup,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a rolling hoop,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a ton of lead,
Wiggle - you can raise the dead.

Wiggle 'til you're high, wiggle 'til you're higher,
Wiggle 'til you vomit fire,
Wiggle 'til it whispers, wiggle 'til it hums,
Wiggle 'til it answers, wiggle 'til it comes.

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like satin and silk,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a pail of milk,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, rattle and shake,
Wiggle like a big fat snake.

No, not Chubby Checker, but Bob Dylan. What was he on- maybe a deadline to finish up an album?

I do love "Muskrat Love". America had some fun lyrics in "Horse With No Name" and my favorite, "Ventura Highway"- "Sorry boy, but I've been hit by purple rain" How did they predict Prince so many years ahead of time? Amazing!

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#216913 - Wed Mar 10 2004 05:19 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
Bertho Offline
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Registered: Fri Oct 04 2002
Posts: 974
Loc: Queensland Australia
Speaking of Wiggles. "Fruit Salad, yummy yummy." Hmm.

And what of Bowie. His catalogue is full of "Ground control to Major Tom" songs. He wrote a song, perhaps around 1965, called the 'Laughing Gnome' which went something like "ha-ha-ha, he-he-he, I'm a laughing gnome and you can't catch me."

There are many many others.

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#216914 - Wed Mar 10 2004 05:20 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
rootsgrrl Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 12 2003
Posts: 96
Loc: New York City New York USA   
Near the end of the song, Mr. Essex is corrected by a very deep voice, saying "James Dean." Probably not the countrysinger/sausage magnate.

Indie, it's "Memories and elephants." That makes maybe a little more sense, I guess.

Go back to the '40's for "Three Little Fishes," "The Hut Sut Song," Mairzy Doats," and countless other novelty tunes who lyrics are true head-scratchers.
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#216915 - Thu Mar 11 2004 10:48 AM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
IndieQueen Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 17 2001
Posts: 7306
Loc: Pittsburgh
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Are you sure about that one? I looked it up just now and it's listed as tamborines. Oh well, either way, it still doesn't make much sense to me.

As much as I love the Replacements, Paul Westerberg has written some pretty out there lyrics. This one is particularly odd: "Fingernails and cigarettes a lousy dinner." What these things have in common, I don't know. Of course, judging by their history, I don't think I have to wonder if they were on something when it was written.
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#216916 - Thu Mar 11 2004 12:51 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
rootsgrrl Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 12 2003
Posts: 96
Loc: New York City New York USA   
No, it's memories. I think the Replacements were alluding to bad habits. I don't chew my nails, but I do smoke (no lectures, please).

I got tired of the Replacements in a hurry, but I'm still a fan of Paul Westerberg.
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#216917 - Thu Mar 11 2004 01:48 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
Coolupway Offline
Prolific

Registered: Mon Aug 26 2002
Posts: 1131
Jim Morrison warrants his own thread on this subject:

Quote:

When I was back there in seminary school
There was a person there
Who put forth the proposition
That you can petition the Lord with prayer
Petition the lord with prayer
Petition the lord with prayer
You CANNOT petition the lord with prayer!





Oh.

Quote:

The Negroes in the forest brightly feathered
They are saying, "Forget the night.
Live with us in forests of azure.
Out here on the perimeter there are no stars
Out here we is stoned - immaculate."





Whatever.

Quote:

Motel Money Murder Madness
Let's change the mood from glad to sadness

Mr. Mojo Risin', Mr. Mojo Risin'
Mr. Mojo Risin', Mr. Mojo Risin'
Got to keep on risin'
Mr. Mojo Risin', Mr. Mojo Risin'
Mojo Risin', gotta Mojo Risin'
Mr. Mojo Risin', gotta keep on risin'
Risin', risin'
Gone risin', risin'
I'm gone risin', risin'
I gotta risin', risin'
Well, risin', risin'
I gotta, wooo, yeah, risin'
Woah, ohh yeah





I see. You found this ANAGRAM, and then you wrote this, erm... SONG...



Must confess to a sort of nostalgia for "If I Had A Hammer", though. Mom was kind of a folkie in her time, so that sort of thing's bred into me. However, it was well known that if you sang that song too loudly or repeated it too many times, you probably turned into a Wobbly or a Commie.

Anyone see Joe Hill around lately?

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#216918 - Thu Mar 11 2004 01:55 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
IndieQueen Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 17 2001
Posts: 7306
Loc: Pittsburgh
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I won't lecture you, I'm a smoker too. I love Paul Westerberg.

About Jim Morrison,yes, he does deserve an entire thread on the subject. You left out my favorite one "I want to hear the screams of the butterflies." Huh?

Of course, we don't need to wonder if he was on something, we pretty much know.

I was going to not post this one, but hey, it makes no sense to me:

"A Milato, an albino, a misquito, my libido." Smells Like Teen Sprit, Nirvana.

Ok, I don't get Nirvana at all, I never did. This one I'll never understand.


Edited by IndieQueen (Thu Mar 11 2004 01:58 PM)
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#216919 - Thu Mar 11 2004 03:59 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
rogue Offline
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Registered: Sat Apr 05 2003
Posts: 664

Quote:


Go back to the '40's for "Three Little Fishes," "The Hut Sut Song," Mairzy Doats," and countless other novelty tunes who lyrics are true head-scratchers.




I think the best novelty of a novelty tune are the odd lyrics. I guess the same can be said of lyrics in glam, prog rock and psychedelic. A power pop/prog pop tune like "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" is ideal for the band Klaatu but for sounds pretty odd coming from the mouth of Karen Carpenter, at least to these ears.

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#216920 - Fri Mar 12 2004 03:14 AM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
damnsuicidalroos Offline
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Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
Just regarding Indiequeen not getting Nirvana. This site might be helpful and this one as well,though as with many things artistic songs are also open to different interpretations.
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#216921 - Fri Mar 12 2004 08:09 AM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
IndieQueen Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 17 2001
Posts: 7306
Loc: Pittsburgh
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Thanks for those sites roos. I'll be busy reading them later today. I know I should never say this in public, but I just can't stand Nirvana. I never could. They should be right up my alley, but for some reason I just don't like them.
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#216922 - Fri Mar 12 2004 09:12 AM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
rootsgrrl Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 12 2003
Posts: 96
Loc: New York City New York USA   

I love Nirvana; always will.

Indie, here we go.

Opposites (sort of):

A Mulatto: Brown
An Albino: Verrrry White
A mosquito: tiny
My libido: big

Here are some others, not nonsense, but just (to me) unlistenable

"The Pina Colada Song"--Rupert Holmes
"Afternoon Delight"--Starland Vocal Band (winners of a Best New Artist Grammy)
"Longer"--Dan Fogelberg

All huge hits.

Nice to find another Westerberg fan here.

Cheers.
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#216923 - Fri Mar 12 2004 03:28 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
tjoebigham Offline
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Registered: Sat Dec 25 1999
Posts: 2824
Loc: Fairhaven Massachusetts USA   
Suspecting the writers of these songs were "on something" reminds me of the rumors around the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds": it was supposedly based on the Fab Four's experiences with LSD (they incorporated the acronym in the title!). But the song was really based on a drawing by John Lennon's little son, who said it was of "Lucy in the sky with diamonds". Lennon and McCartney simply drew the imagery of the song from the drawing, not from any drug trance.

tjoeb};>
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#216924 - Fri Mar 12 2004 03:32 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
IndieQueen Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 17 2001
Posts: 7306
Loc: Pittsburgh
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Quote:


I love Nirvana; always will.

Indie, here we go.

Opposites (sort of):

A Mulatto: Brown
An Albino: Verrrry White
A mosquito: tiny
My libido: big


Nice to find another Westerberg fan here.

Cheers.




You'd think that would have been blindingly obvious to me. D'oh! I guess it's just me not liking Nirvana. It makes total sense the way you've explained it though.

I'm a newbie Westerberg fan. He's a genius in my book.

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#216925 - Sun Mar 14 2004 08:06 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
tanzen Offline
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Registered: Tue Oct 02 2001
Posts: 8311
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I love the fact that everyone always speculates about Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds being about drugs (which it isn't ) and completely ignore Doctor Robert, which was about drugs
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#216926 - Sun Mar 14 2004 10:20 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
rootsgrrl Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 12 2003
Posts: 96
Loc: New York City New York USA   
I don't think anyone has speculated about "Lucy in the Sky" since 1968. However, The Beatles were completely up front about "Dr. Robert." No speculation necessary.

Gee, "Highway to Hell." Makes ya think. Wonder what those AC/DC rapscallions were up to there.
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#216927 - Sun Mar 14 2004 11:01 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
tanzen Offline
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Registered: Tue Oct 02 2001
Posts: 8311
Loc: Melbourne
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Well I wasn't born until 1979, and I still hear a lot of it about...

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#216928 - Sun Mar 14 2004 11:37 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
rootsgrrl Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 12 2003
Posts: 96
Loc: New York City New York USA   
I can't imagine from whom. It's been clarified in print, online, on TV and everywhere else for years.
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#216929 - Mon Mar 15 2004 05:41 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
tanzen Offline
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Registered: Tue Oct 02 2001
Posts: 8311
Loc: Melbourne
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I know this, as would, I imagine, every Beatles fan on the planet...I suppose the "ignorance" lies with those who know the Beatles in passing...??
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#216930 - Tue May 25 2004 12:48 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
ertrum Offline
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Registered: Wed May 19 2004
Posts: 2131
Loc: Cary North Carolina USA      
People have been writing looney songs as long as people have been writing songs. There is a Renaissance motet with the sounds of domestic animals in it. There are the (slightly later) English catches - rounds - which are totally innocent until sung, at which point some of the words become, er, different. Not to mention Spike Jones, Anna Russell, PDQ Bach, Dr. Demento and Al Yankovik.

And then there are... "One eyed one horned flying purple people eater",
"wooly bully" (What did you EXPECT from Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs?), "Mexican Radio" (an early MTV staple, that), "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda", "On top of spaghetti", etc. Looney, the whole bunch of them. Why, Mozart himself once wrote "A Musical Joke"!

Maybe people are looney?

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#216931 - Tue Jul 06 2004 06:26 PM Re: Were they on something or just looney?
SilverMoonsong Offline

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Registered: Sun Nov 07 1999
Posts: 3987
Loc: Durham, North Carolina USA
Quote:

People have been writing looney songs as long as people have been writing songs. There is a Renaissance motet with the sounds of domestic animals in it. There are the (slightly later) English catches - rounds - which are totally innocent until sung, at which point some of the words become, er, different. Not to mention Spike Jones, Anna Russell, PDQ Bach, Dr. Demento and Al Yankovik.





I LOVE PDQ Bach. Performed several songs in college. And let's not forget Tom Leherer...

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
Masochism Tango
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