Friday, May 11, 2007

Weekend Listomania

Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means. Yes, once again my Asian houseboy Kato and I will be donning black masks, reving up the Simelsmobile, and searching for crimes to foil.

As a result, posting will necessarily be sporadic until Monday, but in the meantime here's a fun project:

Most Memorable Opening Line to a Pop/Rock Song!!!

[arbitrary rule: It doesn't have to be a good song]

My completely top of my head Top Two:

1. "I really don't mind if you sit this one out" -- Jethro Tull, Thick as a Brick

2. "It's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore." --CSN, Suite Judy Blue Eyes

Join in, won't you?


Thers said...

I never meant to be so bad to you.

CyFlorist said...

"She came from Greece, she had a thirst for knowledge." Pulp, Common People

Anonymous said...

Too sleepy to make my own selection just now, but Greil Marcus is very fond of Jonathan Richman's "long count" at the start of "Roadrunner."

Most singers are content with "1 2 3 4" but JR goes to 6, cheerfully squandering time in a song about aimlessly cruising around the suburbs

"Roadrunner" would have been a good choice for last week's list of car songs. But it's really more a driving song, if you get the distinction. You don't learn anything about the car except that it has a radio.


refinnej said...

Oh well I woke up tonight and said I I'm gonna make somebody love me - Franz Ferdinand, Do You Want To

It was Christmas Eve babe, in the drunktank - The Pogues, Fairytale of New york

Kid Charlemagne said...

"You're always dancing down the street, with your suede blue eyes."

The Cars, "My Best Friend's Girl"

Kid Charlemagne said...

"Roadrunner" to my knowledge is also the only song that mentions Mattapan and Roslindale, MA!

Anonymous said...

Exits to freeways twisted like knots on the fingers, jewels cleaving skin between breasts.

-Soul Coughing, Screenwriter's Blues.

Anonymous said...

"The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves" - Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen

"If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?" - Free Bird, Skynyrd

"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day" - My Girl, The Temps

The Kenosha Kid said...

Well she was just seventeen, and you know what I mean...

The Kenosha Kid said...

D'oh! I just thought of a two-fer:

Is she really going out with him?

The Shangri-La's, Leader of the Pack
The Damned, New Rose

dave™© said...

I don't mind other guys dancin' with my girl!

steve simels said...

ave™© said...

I don't mind other guys dancin' with my girl!

5/11/2007 7:54 PM

Well, that one kills me.

steve simels said...

It was Christmas Eve babe, in the drunktank - The Pogues, Fairytale of New york

5/11/2007 8:36 AM


We have a winner!!!!!!!!

refinnej said...


We have a winner!!!!!!!!

Whoo HOO!!!

Anonymous said...

I see dave beat me to "The Kids Are Alright," which I once cited in an undergrad linguistics paper on "performative speech," i.e. speech which achieves its function by the act of being spoken.

In their simplest form, performatives are self-narrating verbs like "I agree" or "I promise to...." or "I confess that...." etc.

They can also be restricted to those endowed with certain powers, as in a bailiff's "The court is now in session" or a priest's "I absolve you of your sins." Those aren't performatives coming from just any schmuck. "Let there be light" is only a performative if you're YHWH or have a voice-activated lamp.

Performatives needn't be comprehensible. A witch doctor can "cast a spell" and a holy roller can "speak in tongues" with gibberish.

Sometimes performatives are determined by musical context. The line "I'm in tune" (from "Getting In Tune") is a performative with Roger Daltrey singing. But if Neil young covered the song, it might not be. When James Brown sings some variation on "I'm gettin' funky" it's almost certain to be a performative. But Elton John's "Sad songs say so much" is disputable for both sadness and saying very much.

The opening to "The Kids Are Alright" is a great performative. When Daltrey sings "I don't mind..." it's not clear musically whether we have a dance song. Then the dance beat kicks in for "...other guys dancing with my girl." Both the singer and the music grant the briefly withheld permission.


CyFlorist said...

Love 'Fairytale.'God Bless Kirsty.

I can't leave off-

"Until Sally I was never happy..."
'Sally Cinnamon,' The Stone Roses

Anonymous said...

An obscure one comes to mind: "Remorse Code" by Fingerprintz:

Too bad I disturbed your cigarette smoke, I'm sorry I was born

I know, this next is disqualified for being an entire first verse, but I've always loved "Talent is an Asset" by Sparks:

Albert is smart, he's a genius
Watch Albert putter, an obvious genius
Someday he will reassess the world
And he'll still have time for lots of girls

Gardner said...

"Get your motor running...."

"I've been thinking 'bout our fortunes, and I've decided that we're really not to blame...."

"Sometimes I wish I was a pretty girl" (Robyn Hitchcock)

"Takin' my time, choosin' my rhymes, trying to decide what to do"

"I'm getting bugged driving up and down the same old strip"

"Well you're dirty and sweet"

"Forgot my six-razor, and hit the sky"

Gardner said...

Filthy Internet:

That should be, "Forgot my six-string razor, and hit the sky"

of course....

shrimplate said...

Originally Paul wrote "She was just seventeen, never been a beauty queen" but after singing it for John they changed it to "you know what I mean" as John suggested. That was 1961.

I'm sure that now it means something rather different.


jas said...

I'm fond of "I'm your only friend I'm not your only friend but I'm a little glowing friend but really I'm not actually your friend but I am" from Birdhouse in your Soul by TMBG.