Compo

Musing on song lyric quality

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I was listening to Radio Caroline North this morning when the song 'Elenore' by The Turtles came on. I was musing on how pathetic the lyrics were. for example:

 

Chorus ".....Elenore gee I think you're swell
And you really do me well
You're my pride and joy et cetera"

 

That awful song was then followed by The Days of Pearly Spencer. just take a look at the lyrics - what a difference in quality:

 

A tenement, a dirty street
Walked and worn by shoe less feet
Inside it's long and so complete
Watched by shivering sun
Old eyes in a small child's face
Watching as the shadows race
Trough walls and cracks and leave no trace
And daylight's brightness shuns


The days of Pearly Spencer
The race is almost run


Nose pressed hard on frosted glass
Gazing as the swollen mass
On concrete fields where grows no grass
Stumbles blindly on
Iron trees smother the air
But withering they stand and stare
Trough eyes that neither know nor care
Where the grass is gone


The days of Pearly Spencer
The race is almost run


Pearly where's your milk white skin?
What that stubble on your chin?
Buried in the rot gut gin
You played and lost not won
You played a house that can't be beat
Now look your head's bowed in defeat
You walked too far along the street
Where only rats can run


The days of Pearly Spencer
The race is almost run
The days of Pearly Spencer
The race is almost run

 

Comments welcome.......

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Brilliant Compo. Check out some Frankie Miller song lyrics on Long Way Home CD. Awesome.

Bob Segar stuff too.

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Love looking up 'Song lyrics'..........especially from the 60s.........nearly every sentence we utter......is a 'Lyric' in a song,,,,..........just sayin.............

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Two of my favourites, although very sad are .... Sea of Heartbreak by Don Gibson, and Always on my Mind by Willie Nelson.

Also, The Rose, by Bette Midler !

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Sorry chaps, I'm getting pee'd of with the use of 'just sayin'. It's become very prevalent lately......... Just f*****g saying !

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Always on my mind...........brilliant lyrics Fly

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Right.......I used the phrase "Just Sayin'" at the end of my opening post. It seems that the term is meant to be used as an expression of being fed-up with someone or something. So, I apologise firstly for using a catchphrase and secondly for misusing the term. I have modified the originall post to remove the offending phrase.

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Love being silly with ladies i don't know,,,by using a line from a song........amazing how many respond in the same way,,,

        ''Used this one the other day in the coffee Queue at Wethers,,,

Its just knowing that your door is always open''''...........after being a bit shocked by my odd voice,,.......she laughed and said......''yes and my path is free to walk'''.............conversation then led to the merits of Locarno v Palais............and Mike Sarne singing ''come outside''......better than just standing there in the Queue moaning,,,.............its good to talk.........

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12 minutes ago, Compo said:

Right.......I used the phrase "Just Sayin'" at the end of my opening post. It seems that the term is meant to be used as an expression of being fed-up with someone or something. So, I apologise firstly for using a catchphrase and secondly for misusing the term. I have modified the originall post to remove the offending phrase.

 

You sure you not ''Just sayin''' that'  Compo............lol

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By Ralph McTell

Streets of London 

The Ferryman

England 

 

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda - Eric Bogle

 

By Gordon Lightfoot

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Canadian Railroad Trilogy

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1 hour ago, Compo said:

I was listening to Radio Caroline North this morning when the song 'Elenore' by The Turtles came on. I was musing on how pathetic the lyrics were. for example:

 

Chorus ".....Elenore gee I think you're swell
And you really do me well
You're my pride and joy et cetera"

 

I've always thought Elenore is one of the best song lyrics ever.   It's irony; sarcasm; sending up the whole "I love you, you love me" syndrome. Probably the only pop song which includes the words et cetera. 

 

The next verse is "I really think you're groovy; let's go out to a movie". If that's not tongue in cheek, what is. Not for one moment are they serious.

 

Whereas Pearly Spencer comes across as O-level school boy poetry. (And I've got a compilation CD of David McWilliams material, and he doesn't get any better in his other stuff).

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Couldn't resist rewriting the lyrics for our most famous grocer's lad.

 

PARK TAVERN SONG

 

Once upon a time there was a Tavern, where our Ben played footie for the team.
With his shorts and muscled Granville-bike legs, women thought he was the perfect dream.

 

Those were the days, my friend.
Ben thought they'd never end.
He'd flirt and play for ever and a day.
The ladies formed a queue,
Their husbands never knew
For Ben was young and kept it up all day.

 

Then one night outside the Lyons Cafe, in the alley right beside the bins,
Ben came face to face with Mr Nasty. Was it time to pay for all his sins?
Flashing knives, they glinted in the moonlight! Many blokes in terror would have fled.
Not our Ben. It was a debt of honour.

It involved a budgie in a shed!  :blink:

 

Those were the days, my friend.
Ben thought they'd never end,
In such demand, so debonair and gay!!! :blink:
As at the break of dawn,
His clothes all ripped and torn,
Slides down the drainpjpe,
Keen to get away!

 

Now the years are flying, Ben grows older. Footie at the Tavern long since passed.
Bones too stiff for jumping out of windows. Fractured pelvis landing on the grass!
Conquests of the past still shout "Ay up, Ben!"
Outside Gregg's in Bulwell, or the doc's.
Donna knows her husband's in his 70s...but he's still as wily as a fox!

 

These are the days, my friend
And Ben's will never end,
Dressed in his Guccis, twinkle in his eye.
He's lived a life so full, 
No day was ever dull
And now his tales are wowing you and I.

 

He's worked in every town,
Flogged sugar by the pound,
Wrapped up in greaseproof butter from the tub.
And after closing time,
Made good each chat-up line.
Our Ben's a legend...
Dammit..life's been good!  

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Great job. Well done Jill

Are you thinking about standing in for our late poetry legend - Chulla

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10 Likes for that Jill.................brilliant.....I'm lost for words ,let alone Lyrics..................

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Totally agree with Kev on this one. The Turtles were a 'good time' band who wrote some great pop songs.  There's no requirement for the lyrics to be erudite, or otherwise 'classy'.  If I recall correctly.. the Turtles had some sort of association with Frank Zappa and his ilk, as well as many of the well known US West Coast bands of the time.  They also worked with Ray Daviies of the Kinks. Those guys spent much of their musical lives satirising anything and everything.

 

Also agree about Mc Williams.  All pretty obvious stuff.. in similar vein to 'Excerpt From A Teenage Opera' by Keith West.  Sort of low level 'social conscience/commentary' stuff.. done better IMHO by the Beatles.. (Eleanor Rigby/Penny Lane..etc.,etc.  And more poetically.. though still rather 'twee..ly'  by Ralph McTell.  'Streets of London'

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Strange how songs bring memories instantly to mind, isn't it?  I've never had any interest in pop music but my sister used to watch Top of the Pops every week.  I can remember Mary Hopkin appearing on that programme and singing that song while my sister was packing her suitcase for her first trip to Spain. At the time, 1968, she worked for Horizon Travel on Parliament Street, just up from where the Victoria Centre was being built. She and her best friend, Su Pollard, went to Estartit for 2 weeks. Every time I hear the song, I think of them and that holiday. She came back loaded up with loads of dark wood candlesticks for mum and dad, a black lace shawl and a wooden fan with Spanish dancers painted on it for me. Still have all of them.

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Cant say I ever really listen to the lyrics of a song, it's more the melody/tune I like, I very often prefer the instrumental version. There used to be some groups (Baron Knights were one IIRC) that made up funny lyrics to pop songs: one that made me laugh was a take on 'Tossing & Turning' by the Ivy League, it went "What's that funny smell something is burning." Us Trent Bridge school kids turned it into "What's that funny smell someone has farted." Most of the last 10 years stuff leaves me cold, though I like some of George Ezra's songs; Paradise being one, we do a line dance to that, I usually mess it up though as it's a bit fast, lol...

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Came in late on this one.  You missed your calling, Jill..  Perfect description of our Ben.  ;)

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'Those were the days' is based on a traditional Russian folk song, and a version of it in that style appears in a 1953 film with Alastair Sim.

 

 

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I didn't know that, CT, but it doesn't surprise me. The chorus sounds almost like a Russian/Jewish melody.

 

By the way, is that Big Maude, Ben's former terrifying landlady, in the photo?

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I'm more of a Bowie fan but this is superb. Sammy brings the lyrics to life...

 

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Nice one WB,,,The great 'Sammy''     Mr Bojangles...........Black,,Jewish,,One-eyed,,,Rat Pack man............

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I wasn't blaming you in particular  Compo, but it's become rather infuriatingly prevalent lately. Also rather tedious is the unnecessary habit of ending a post with ones name, when we can all see the coloured disc or avatar. Just what's the point ?

Keep it simple without the need for over familiarity. 

 

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Maybe that's over simple Den ! LOL

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