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Quiz about Anatomy of a Song Signs
Quiz about Anatomy of a Song Signs

Anatomy of a Song: "Signs" Trivia Quiz


Just how much do you know about The Five Man Electrical Band's classic "Signs"? Pit yourself against 10 questions about the song and/or associated facts. Song #37 in the 'Anatomy' series, and the first since February 22, 2009.

A multiple-choice quiz by FussBudget. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
FussBudget
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
392,278
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
343
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The sign said that certain people "need not apply". What sort of people were these? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. What item of clothing does the singer remove? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The chorus of the song goes: "Signs, Signs, Everywhere are signs
Blocking out the ____, breaking my mind
Do this! Don't do that! Can't you read the signs?"

What is the missing word from these lyrics?

Answer: (One Word)
Question 4 of 10
4. There is a sign in the song that issues a foreboding warning to trespassers. What nature does the warning take? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. According to the song, if God was here (there), he would tell the sign-maker that they were what? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. If you aren't wearing a shirt and tie, what can you not do? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Because "...you ain't supposed to be here...", what two other activities can you not partake in? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What does the sign say you need to get inside? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In the last verse of the song, what sort of place does the singer enter? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The singer turns the tables at the end of the song and creates his own sign. Who is the subject of his sign? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jul 06 2024 : PurpleComet: 8/10
Jun 29 2024 : Jane57: 8/10

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The sign said that certain people "need not apply". What sort of people were these?

Answer: Long-haired freaky people

"And the sign says, "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why"

I think the scene gets set for this song brilliantly in the first two lines. Got to love a song that makes you laugh in the first verse! Intriguingly, the hair under the hat line is repeated, almost verbatim ("I stuffed my hair up under my hat") by The Charlie Daniels Band in their 1973 song "Uneasy Rider". This author thinks that is way too much of a coincidence not to be an homage to the earlier song.
2. What item of clothing does the singer remove?

Answer: His hat

"And the sign says, "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"
So I tucked all my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said "You look like a fine, upstanding young man - I think you'll do"
So I took off my hat and said, "Imagine that! Huh... me, working for you!"

The lyrics highlight how appearances can be deceiving, as the hippy was able to pass himself off quite easily as the "fine, upstanding young man". The class distinction sham would have worked, if it were not for the intentional hat fail!
3. The chorus of the song goes: "Signs, Signs, Everywhere are signs Blocking out the ____, breaking my mind Do this! Don't do that! Can't you read the signs?" What is the missing word from these lyrics?

Answer: scenery

"Signs, Signs, Everywhere are signs
Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this! Don't do that! Can't you read the signs?"

We can all relate to this. Visual pollution is an ever-increasing blight in our modern world. In 2013, I came across a sign in Tasmania, Australia, that instead of saying "Keep off the grass", it said "The grass is currently resting". Save me!

The song was written by Les Emmerson after he noticed an over-abundance of roadside signs and billboards, "blocking out the scenery" on a trip through California.
4. There is a sign in the song that issues a foreboding warning to trespassers. What nature does the warning take?

Answer: You will be shot

"And the sign says, "Anybody caught trespassing will be shot on sight"
So I jumped on fence and I yelled at the house,
"Hey! What gives you the right?"

Author: As a boy, when we would take our Christmas holidays, during the journey we would drive along a road named Camp Cable Road (so named after the U.S. Army training base located there in World War II), and we would pass by a gate which had a sign proclaiming "Trap Gun Set". Don't go in there to ask for help if your car breaks down!

On 22 August 1972, "Signs" reached number three (for one week) and spent 18 weeks in total on the U.S. Top 100. That week, it was number three behind "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" by the Bee Gees (number one) and "Take Me Home, Country Road" by John Denver (number two).
5. According to the song, if God was here (there), he would tell the sign-maker that they were what?

Answer: A sinner

"Hey! What gives you the right
To put up a fence to keep me out, and to keep Mother Nature in?
If God was here, he'd tell it to your face
Man, you're some kind of sinner"

Presumably, the singer didn't defy a sign saying "Do not climb on fence" to do his yelling. Have a think about the "sinner" line: was the writer talking about the sign owner, or man as a whole? The author of this quiz is undecided.
6. If you aren't wearing a shirt and tie, what can you not do?

Answer: Get a seat

"Oh, say now mister, can't you read?
You got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat"

A shirt, I understand. But a tie? What sort of place is this?

"Signs" was a track on the band's second album in 1970, but their record label did not consider it worthy of being a single in its own right.
7. Because "...you ain't supposed to be here...", what two other activities can you not partake in?

Answer: Watch and eat

"Oh, say now mister, can't you read?
You got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
You can't even watch, no, you can't eat
You ain't supposed to be here!"

Watch? I repeat, from the last question, just what sort of place is this?

The "you ain't supposed to be here" line resonates with all people - we have all been in a similar situation - and often find ourselves thinking why? Just because a sign tells me that I am not welcome?
8. What does the sign say you need to get inside?

Answer: Membership card

"Oh, say now mister, can't you read?
You got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
You can't even watch, no, you can't eat
You ain't supposed to be here!
The sign says "You gotta have a membership card to get inside"

Aha! Members only huh? What if you had 'enough' cash? I wonder if that would get you access (assuming you had the pre-requisite shirt and tie, that is)?

"Signs" was released in 1970 as the flip side to "Hello Melinda Goodbye". Disk jockeys preferred "Signs", and started playing it instead, which subsequently led to its own release in 1971.
9. In the last verse of the song, what sort of place does the singer enter?

Answer: A place of worship

"And the sign says "Everybody's welcome, come in, kneel down and pray"
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all
I didn't have a penny to pay"

I always thought it was fitting in the way that this song led the singer to a happy place, following his tormented first few verses. It is interesting to note, that even in church, something was required (the donation) - inferring that there is very little/nothing in this life which is truly free.
10. The singer turns the tables at the end of the song and creates his own sign. Who is the subject of his sign?

Answer: His Lord

"So I got me a pen and paper and I made up my own little sign
I said "Thank you Lord for thinking about me. I'm alive and doing fine."

A well-crafted conclusion to a short song which gives a broad insight into that which we are surrounded by each and every day, to the extent where we rarely give it a second thought.

Tesla recorded an acoustic version of "Signs" in 1990, and included on their album entitled "Five Man Acoustical Jam" - a clear shout out to the original singers.
Source: Author FussBudget

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