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Quiz about Mystery Lyric from Astorian
Quiz about Mystery Lyric from Astorian

Mystery Lyric from Astorian Trivia Quiz


For the first nine questions, identify the artist responsible for the given lyrics. For the final question, find the mystery lyric that makes only one of the answers fit in with the quiz.
This is a renovated/adopted version of an old quiz by author astorian

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
184,811
Updated
Jun 24 24
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
191
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: gogetem (10/10), Guest 82 (8/10), Guest 92 (8/10).
Question 1 of 10
1. "But the joke was on me. There was nobody even there to call my bluff.
I'm going back to New York City. I do believe I've had enough."

The song 'Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues' first appeared on an album by which of these performers?
Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. "Now I'm laying out my winter clothes, and wishing I was gone. Going home, where the New York City winters aren't bleeding me."

Whose song 'The Boxer' included these lyrics?
Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. "And now I know 'Spanish Harlem' are not just pretty words to say. I thought I knew, but now I know that rose trees never grow in New York City."

These lyrics came from the album 'Honky Chateau', released by which piano man?
Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. "Little Joe never once gave it away. Everybody had to pay and pay. A hustle here and a hustle there, New York City is the place where they said, Hey, babe, ..."

If you can finish the line, you will be singing the title of the song first performed by which of these artists?
Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. "The police in New York City chased a boy right through the park. In a case of mistaken identity, they put a bullet through his heart."

Which band sang these lyrics in a song on the album 'Goat's Head Soup'?
Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. "New York City is a thousand miles away, and if you ask me, I'll tell you that's OK. Now, I'm not trying to put the Big Apple down, 'cause they don't need a man like me in town."

Which band released an album in 1975 that saw Ronnie van Zant singing these lyrics?
Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. "Day is night in New York City. Smoke, like water, runs inside. Steel, idle trees to pity every living thing that's died."

These are the opening lyrics of a song on the self-titled debut album of which of these performers?
Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. "Nose is runny, losing my connection. We're losing money, getting no affection. New York City blues. Eastside, Westside news. Throw me in the slam. Catch me if you can."

What band, originating in Boston, was responsible for these lyrics?
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. "New York City took me with the tide, and I nearly died from hospitality. Left me stranded, took away my pride. Just another no-account fatality."

Who sang these lyrics in a 1977 release?
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Which of these songs could be used as the subject of a question that fits with the theme of this quiz? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. "But the joke was on me. There was nobody even there to call my bluff. I'm going back to New York City. I do believe I've had enough." The song 'Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues' first appeared on an album by which of these performers?

Answer: Bob Dylan

'Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues', from Dylan's 1965 album 'Highway 61 Revisited', is part of the road theme of that album. It describes a horribly unpleasant series of experiences in the Mexican city of Juarez, at the end of which the singer decides to go home to New York. Like much of Dylan's work, the lyrics are full of literary and musical references, along with ambiguous metaphors that give everyone plenty of things to discuss. It also has a title with no discernible relationship to the lyrics. Again, not uncommon.

Rather than discuss the possibilities, I will let Dylan's introduction of the song at a 1966 performance in Sydney serve as an explanation of the title:
"This is, this is called Tom Thumb. This story takes place outside of Mexico City. It begins in Mexico City and it ends really in Des Moines, Iowa, but it's all about this painter, he's a quite older fellow, he comes from Juarez, Juarez is down cross of Texas border, some few feets, and he's a painter. He's very very well-known painter in the area there and we all call him Tom Thumb and when Tom Thumb was going through his blue period, this is one of the most important times of his whole life and he's going to sell many many paintings now taken from his blue period and this is all about Tom Thumb and his early days and so we name this Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues."
2. "Now I'm laying out my winter clothes, and wishing I was gone. Going home, where the New York City winters aren't bleeding me." Whose song 'The Boxer' included these lyrics?

Answer: Simon and Garfunkel

This song was included on 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', the fifth and final studio album from Simon and Garfunkel, released in 1970. Along with the title song, 'The Boxer' was one of their most successful singles, with both of them featuring in multiple versions of Rolling Stone's '500 Greatest Songs of All Time'. 'The Boxer' had already been released as a single in 1969, charting both in the US and overseas. Paul Simon has said that it was largely autobiographical, written at a time when he was feeling misunderstood by the world in general, and Art Garfunkel in particular - the two were already pursuing separate careers, with Art working in the movie 'Catch-22', and Paul staying in New York writing songs.

The first verses of 'The Boxer', sung in the first person, could apply to almost anyone who is experiencing tough times. It starts, "I am just a poor boy, Though my story's seldom told" and goes on to describe someone who is struggling to make their way in a big city, finally identified as New York in the lines used here, at the end of the second verse. The third verse changes to a third-person perspective:
"In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
'I am leaving, I am leaving'
But the fighter still remains."
3. "And now I know 'Spanish Harlem' are not just pretty words to say. I thought I knew, but now I know that rose trees never grow in New York City." These lyrics came from the album 'Honky Chateau', released by which piano man?

Answer: Elton John

Elton John named this 1972 album after the Château d'Hérouville, an 18th century French chateau where it was recorded. It was to become his first of seven consecutive US Number One albums, and included a number of his biggest hits, including 'Rocket Man' and 'Honky Cat'.

'Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters' was the fourth track on the second side of the album. Elton John and Bernie Taupin collaborated (as they so often did) to produce a song based on Bernie's reaction to hearing gunshots outside his hotel during his first visit to New York. The lines quoted are a reference to the song 'Spanish Harlem', recorded by Ben E King, which opens with the line, "There is a rose in Spanish Harlem". Needless to say, the song is a pretty negative take on the city and its denizens!
4. "Little Joe never once gave it away. Everybody had to pay and pay. A hustle here and a hustle there, New York City is the place where they said, Hey, babe, ..." If you can finish the line, you will be singing the title of the song first performed by which of these artists?

Answer: Lou Reed

Lou Reed may be best known for his work with The Velvet Underground, and their association with Andy Warhol and his Manhattan studio (The Factory), but he had a lengthy solo career after leaving that band. His second album, 'Transformer', became an icon of Glam Rock, especially for 'Take a Walk on the Wild Side'. Each verse is about a different member of the people involved with the scene at The Factory - Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, 'Little Joe' Dallesandro, 'Sugar Plum Fairy' Joe Campbell and Jackie Curtis (in verse order) - and pays tribute to them for daring to break with conventions and express themselves as artists and individuals.

'Take a Walk on the Wild Side' was released as a single, and became Reed's only Hot 100 hit. It was actually considered a double-A side single, with the lyrical ballad 'Perfect Day' on the reverse. In contrast to the outrageous behaviour encouraged in 'Take a Walk on the Wild Side', 'Perfect Day' is about romance and enjoying the simple things in life. To quote Lou Reed in a 2000 interview, "This guy's vision of a perfect day was the girl, sangria in the park, and then you go home; a perfect day, real simple. I meant just what I said."
5. "The police in New York City chased a boy right through the park. In a case of mistaken identity, they put a bullet through his heart." Which band sang these lyrics in a song on the album 'Goat's Head Soup'?

Answer: Rolling Stones

'Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)' is the fourth track on the 1973 album 'Goat's Head Soup'. The first verse is often believed to have been inspired by a real incident in which NYC police mistook a man and his ten-year-old son for suspects fleeing the scene of a robbery.

However, the first recording of the song was several months before that particular incident, so the lyrics are probably just based on generic incidents of a similar nature. The second verse describes the death of a ten-year-old-girl of a drug overdose. Jagger and Richards certainly weren't viewing the city through rose-coloured glasses!
6. "New York City is a thousand miles away, and if you ask me, I'll tell you that's OK. Now, I'm not trying to put the Big Apple down, 'cause they don't need a man like me in town." Which band released an album in 1975 that saw Ronnie van Zant singing these lyrics?

Answer: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Unlike most of the songs in this quiz, 'I'm a Country Boy' (not John Denver's 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy'!) is not set in the city; it just puts down New York and all other big cites from a distance. As the chorus says, "Big city, hard times don't bother me, I'm a country boy, I'm as happy as I can be." It is one of the many musical tributes from Lynyrd Skynyrd to the way of life to be found in the American South, describing the pride to be found in a hard-working rural lifestyle.

'I'm a Country Boy', cowritten by Ronnie van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd's lead vocalist) and Allen Collis (their guitarist) was the fourth track on the first side of 'Nuthin' Fancy'. The band's third album, it was the first to reach the top ten in the album charts. It included 'Saturday Night Special' (the only single release from the album), an anti-gun violence song.
7. "Day is night in New York City. Smoke, like water, runs inside. Steel, idle trees to pity every living thing that's died." These are the opening lyrics of a song on the self-titled debut album of which of these performers?

Answer: Boston

'Boston' was released in August of 1976, after being recorded in the studio Tom Scholz had set up to record the songs he wrote over several years, and compile a demo tape of the product. When Epic showed an interest, he assembled a full band so they could perform live the material he had recorded on his own and in conjunction with some friends. The album was essentially a remix of that demo tape, with almost all of the tracks written by Scholz. That includes 'Hitch a Ride', the song whose lyrics were sampled in the question.

The song reflects the depressing atmosphere of an icy midwinter in a large city of grey buildings. The winter is made explicit in verse 2, and the song's title is taken from the chorus, where the singer declares:
"Going to hitch a ride
Head for the other side
Leave it all behind
Never change my mind
Going to sail away
Sun lights another day
Freedom on my mind
Carry me away for the last time
Oh yeah."
8. "Nose is runny, losing my connection. We're losing money, getting no affection. New York City blues. Eastside, Westside news. Throw me in the slam. Catch me if you can." What band, originating in Boston, was responsible for these lyrics?

Answer: Aerosmith

Here's yet another cheery ditty about the glamour of life in the Big Apple. Or not. In his book 'Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?', Steve Tyler wrote that it was about how his life felt at the time: "Things were coming apart, sanity was scurrying south, caution was flung to the winds, and little by little the chaos was permanently moving in."

'Rats in the Cellar' was included on Aerosmith's 1976 album 'Rocks', their fourth album. It has been described as one of their hardest-rock albums, and was a commercial success, going platinum (a million sales) almost immediately, and later reaching the status of quadruple platinum. As well as 'Rats in the Cellar', the album contained some of their best-selling single releases: 'Last Child', 'Home Tonight' and 'Back in the Saddle'.
9. "New York City took me with the tide, and I nearly died from hospitality. Left me stranded, took away my pride. Just another no-account fatality." Who sang these lyrics in a 1977 release?

Answer: Climax Blues Band

Originally known as The Climax Chicago Blues Band, this British group took their name from their musical style, not their place of origin. Membership has been fluid over the years, and the current (2024) lineup has no remaining members of the original group formed in 1968. While various incarnations of the group have released around 20 albums, their only two hit singles were 'Couldn't Get it Right' (used in the question) and 'I Love You', released four years later.

'Couldn't Get it Right' was a last-minute addition to the band's ninth album, 'Gold Plated', written specifically because the studio felt there wasn't a track that was suitable for single release. It is about being on the road in the USA, with references to "looking for a sign in the middle of the night, but I couldn't see the light" a reference to trying to find the lit-up sign of a Holiday Inn - which meant the end of the day's work and travel. Only two cities are mentioned: aside from the lines about New York used in the question, an earlier verse told us, "Philly's fever made me feel alright, But I must admit it got the best of me."
10. Which of these songs could be used as the subject of a question that fits with the theme of this quiz?

Answer: New York, New York

With any luck, you noticed that every set of lyrics included a mention of New York, so 'New York, New York', recorded by multiple artists but especially associated with Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra, could have been included. The lyrics begin:
"Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it: New York, New York".

The song was originally written by Kander and Ebb to be the theme song for a Martin Scorsese film of the same name.

There is another song with the same title from the musical 'On the Town'. The two are usually distinguished by including the name of the show in brackets after the song title when referring to this one, which had music from Leonard Bernstein and lyrics from the team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It includes the line "New York, New York, it's a helluva town. The Bronx is up but The Battery's down."

Other songs that could have been included abound. Some of my favourites that didn't make the cut include "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City" by Nilsson, "A Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues and "New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel.
Source: Author looney_tunes

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor agony before going online.
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