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Not-So-Good Lines in Songs

Cluin 01 Feb 05 - 01:26 PM
Leadfingers 01 Feb 05 - 02:28 PM
Bert 01 Feb 05 - 02:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 05 - 03:40 PM
Charmion 01 Feb 05 - 05:14 PM
Teresa 01 Feb 05 - 05:23 PM
robomatic 01 Feb 05 - 05:25 PM
Teresa 01 Feb 05 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Gerry 01 Feb 05 - 05:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 01 Feb 05 - 05:47 PM
Teresa 01 Feb 05 - 06:05 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 01 Feb 05 - 06:06 PM
dick greenhaus 01 Feb 05 - 06:10 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 05 - 06:27 PM
Amos 01 Feb 05 - 06:41 PM
sixtieschick 01 Feb 05 - 06:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 05 - 06:53 PM
Uncle_DaveO 01 Feb 05 - 06:54 PM
sixtieschick 01 Feb 05 - 06:54 PM
DonMeixner 01 Feb 05 - 11:56 PM
Cluin 01 Feb 05 - 11:57 PM
Bobert 02 Feb 05 - 12:09 AM
goodbar 02 Feb 05 - 12:37 AM
Lin in Kansas 02 Feb 05 - 01:19 AM
Peace 02 Feb 05 - 01:21 AM
Peace 02 Feb 05 - 01:23 AM
Cats 02 Feb 05 - 04:38 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Feb 05 - 07:28 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Feb 05 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 02 Feb 05 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Feb 05 - 09:05 PM
Melani 03 Feb 05 - 12:02 AM
mg 03 Feb 05 - 12:40 AM
Teresa 03 Feb 05 - 12:47 AM
GUEST,Schoolmaster 03 Feb 05 - 12:49 AM
RobbieWilson 03 Feb 05 - 04:28 AM
BillR 03 Feb 05 - 04:40 AM
Liz the Squeak 03 Feb 05 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Richard 03 Feb 05 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 03 Feb 05 - 05:56 AM
CStrong 03 Feb 05 - 07:49 AM
robomatic 03 Feb 05 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 03 Feb 05 - 10:46 AM
GUEST 03 Feb 05 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Nancy King at work 03 Feb 05 - 07:58 PM
Little Hawk 03 Feb 05 - 08:10 PM
GUEST 04 Feb 05 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,John O'Lennaine 04 Feb 05 - 03:52 AM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Feb 05 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 04 Feb 05 - 10:31 AM
Cluin 04 Feb 05 - 10:16 PM
LadyJean 05 Feb 05 - 12:32 AM
sixtieschick 05 Feb 05 - 02:07 AM
GUEST,Wrinkles 05 Feb 05 - 07:22 AM
GUEST 05 Feb 05 - 07:39 AM
Murray MacLeod 05 Feb 05 - 12:23 PM
Michael 05 Feb 05 - 04:58 PM
YorkshireYankee 05 Feb 05 - 06:16 PM
Midchuck 05 Feb 05 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 05 Feb 05 - 08:02 PM
JWB 05 Feb 05 - 09:54 PM
YorkshireYankee 05 Feb 05 - 10:55 PM
coldjam 05 Feb 05 - 11:13 PM
coldjam 05 Feb 05 - 11:15 PM
GUEST 05 Feb 05 - 11:18 PM
emjay 06 Feb 05 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Gerry 06 Feb 05 - 08:03 PM
Peter T. 07 Feb 05 - 04:46 AM
Chris C 08 Feb 05 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 08 Feb 05 - 05:32 PM
Big Mick 08 Feb 05 - 05:37 PM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Feb 05 - 06:17 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Feb 05 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Gerry 08 Feb 05 - 08:19 PM
Bert 09 Feb 05 - 06:34 PM
MAG 09 Feb 05 - 09:25 PM
LadyJean 10 Feb 05 - 01:03 AM
Cluin 10 Feb 05 - 01:05 AM
Roger in Baltimore 10 Feb 05 - 08:03 AM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Feb 05 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 10 Feb 05 - 09:42 AM
Chris Green 10 Feb 05 - 06:28 PM
coldjam 10 Feb 05 - 08:08 PM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Feb 05 - 10:36 PM
GUEST,Guest 12 Feb 05 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 13 Feb 05 - 01:45 PM
JennyO 14 Feb 05 - 05:58 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Feb 05 - 06:30 AM
George Papavgeris 14 Feb 05 - 07:07 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Feb 05 - 07:57 AM
alanabit 14 Feb 05 - 08:02 AM
GUEST 21 Apr 06 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 21 Apr 06 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 21 Apr 06 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,Brian 22 Apr 06 - 07:39 AM
Hawker 22 Apr 06 - 09:21 AM
melodeonboy 22 Apr 06 - 11:15 AM
Cluin 24 Apr 06 - 12:27 AM
Cluin 24 Apr 06 - 12:46 AM
Cluin 24 Apr 06 - 12:47 AM
Cluin 07 Sep 07 - 07:20 PM
dick greenhaus 07 Sep 07 - 08:03 PM
TheSnail 07 Sep 07 - 08:13 PM
Cstargazy 07 Sep 07 - 09:43 PM
Joe_F 07 Sep 07 - 11:27 PM
Genie 07 Sep 07 - 11:43 PM
MystMoonstruck 08 Sep 07 - 12:19 AM
Genie 08 Sep 07 - 12:32 AM
Genie 08 Sep 07 - 12:48 AM
GUEST 08 Sep 07 - 03:56 AM
David C. Carter 08 Sep 07 - 04:59 AM
Genie 08 Sep 07 - 05:20 AM
Genie 08 Sep 07 - 05:25 AM
TheSnail 08 Sep 07 - 06:18 AM
Stringsinger 08 Sep 07 - 03:46 PM
Genie 08 Sep 07 - 07:14 PM
Cluin 08 Sep 07 - 08:55 PM
Cluin 08 Sep 07 - 09:22 PM
GUEST 09 Sep 07 - 07:24 PM
Colin Randall 10 Sep 07 - 09:33 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Sep 07 - 09:47 AM
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Subject: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 01:26 PM

Those lines which, to you anyway, jump out as being either clumsy or rough or silly or ill-advised or whatever, in an otherwise good or great song.

Examples, to me...

from Gordon Lightfoot's Mountains and Mary Ann:
There'll be hot blooded mountain love
    (Hot blooded MONKEY love??)

from Danny Boy:
It's you, It's you...
    (Gesundheit! And cover your mouth when you sneeze!)

from Mac Davis's Texas in my Rearview Mirror:
Hollywood was a lady in red, who danced in my dreams as I tossed in bed...
    (OVERSHARE! OVERSHARE!!)

from Stan Rogers' Mary Ellen Carter:
And the groan she gave, as she went down...
    (Alright! Jeez, if you really don't want to do it tonight, let's just watch some TV!)


Any more? I know there are.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 02:28 PM

Be a shorter list of Brilliant lines in otherwise good songs !!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Bert
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 02:58 PM

It happens to all of us. The other day I was singing my song "There's never a good time for leaving" and I heard the line

There's never a good time for going

In a different light.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 03:40 PM

In Hard Times:

'Tis a whale that is heard upon the shore...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 05:14 PM

In "Play Me" by Neil Diamond: "Songs she sang to me, songs she brang to me ..."


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Teresa
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 05:23 PM

Gods, that previous one bugs the heck out of me, too!

Not a folk song, but remember "Blinded by the Light" What the heck are the lyrics after "Blinded by the light" in the chorus. Sounds like "revved up like a doucher in a rumor of the night". :-P what are those called--mondegreens? (sp?)

I know there's probably a thread on this somewhere. I'll come back when I think of more.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: robomatic
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 05:25 PM

I dispute the Stan Rogers line above. It's all about context and intonation. Meanwhile, while you're on one of the great wrongliners of modern hist, towit Mr. Lightfoot:

Oh, the skyline of torONto is something you'll get ONto.....
But they say you've got to live there for awhile
And if you've got the MON-ee you can get yerself a HON-ee
A written guarantee to make you smile.

And o'course Dave Barry loves hectoring Neil Diamond:

I am I cried to no one there and no one said a word not even the

chair


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Teresa
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 05:33 PM

Ok, a nit-pick, and I'm not a gardener.:

...Far beneath the bitter snow,
Is the seed, that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose.

seed?

Or that Christmas song ... "I'll be Home for Christmas":

And presents *on the tree?

Teresa


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 05:45 PM

Stan Rogers' song, The Field Behind the Plow, is terrific - provided you can get past
the second part of the second line:

Watch the field behind the plow turn to straight, dark rows
Feel the trickle in your clothes, blow the dust cake from your nose


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 05:47 PM

"What the heck are the lyrics after "Blinded by the light"

Racked up like a deuce... another runner in the night...

What was it Jimmy Rabbit said about "Whiter Shade O Pale"?
"Poxiest bleeding lyrics ever"

*walks away singing*
'In and out of the front door rraaaaan...
12 back... door angels
Their hair was a golden-brown
they didn't see me wink my eye'

dirty old man...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Teresa
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:05 PM

Thank you, Clinton. another mystery solved. on to the next one, wherever it may be. :)

Teresa


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:06 PM

From the Christmas staple "Sleighride":

Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling "Yoohoo!"

But of course! I call "Yoohoo!" at least three or four times a day! More often than that if there's a sleigh somehwere nearby! What's the deal? Whoever wrote the thing couldn't afford a rhyming dictionary? Aren't there about 10,000 words in the English language that would make a more sensible rhyme for "you" than "yoohoo"?

But, at least he didn't totally cop out like Alice Cooper did in "School's Out":

...and we got no principals
and we can't even think of a word that rhymes!
School's out for summer...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:10 PM

WEll, there's he memorable line in some versions of "Jam on Gerry's Rocks" where "..They granted her her final wish, to be laid by young Monroe."

and the immortal line in one version of "Red River Valley"   "....can I leave her behind unprotected..."


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:27 PM

John Denver....."young Randy(?)in his pain, put a bullet in his brain"....pass the sick bag!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:41 PM

That's Vandie -- the song is Marcie Darcie, or Farsee Arrow or Dark Sea Barrow or something like that.... :)


A


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: sixtieschick
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:45 PM

Someone left the cake out in the rain....


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:53 PM

"songs she brang to me .." "Bring" for "brought" is common enough in quite a lot of dialects. And pronouncing "bring" as "brang" is not such an unusual way of doing it in some places. We don't always notice that kind of thing when it isn't written down.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:54 PM

Dick Greenhaus said, in part:


WEll, there's he memorable line in some versions of "Jam on Gerry's Rocks" where "..They granted her her final wish, to be laid by young Monroe."


That brings out that some of these line, seen as bad or awkward today, were fine when originated. It's only with modern turns of phrase and modern dirty turns of mind that they become an embarrassment to the song.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: sixtieschick
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:54 PM

Whoops, I'm not sure that's an otherwise good song.

In "Someone to Lay Down Beside Me" it always grates to hear:

"...Of a world that can be sort of heartless
Not like love that I feel in my heart
Still you know that may be all you get..."

First person? Second person? "Sort of" heartless? YOOOWWWWWWWW.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: DonMeixner
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 11:56 PM

WEll fair is fair Guest, what ever you are, and Amos, John Denver only sang "Darcy Farrow" he didn't write it. That was Steve Gillette.

And as to "Field Behind The Plow", Gerry, you never plowed a field with a tractor driving across forty acres of dust on a hot june day have you. That is a purely descriptive and accurate line.

Don


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 11:57 PM

But not so poetic an image.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 12:09 AM

Pick any line from Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey".... Absolutley the worst song ever written!!!! Makes that song about the cake baked in the rain sound like the "Gone With the Wind" song of the 20th century...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: goodbar
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 12:37 AM

alistair hulett "plains of maralinga" (sp?)

"if they'd been white you could bet your backside there'd be holy shit to pay"

who the hell says 'backside' and then goes on to say 'holy shit'???


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 01:19 AM

Someone who thinks they've just made a very funny scatological pun, of course.

Bletch...

Lin


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Peace
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 01:21 AM

Muskrat love.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Peace
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 01:23 AM

Dreamboat Annie, Dreamboat Annie, little ship of dreams.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cats
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:38 PM

'I want to wake up in the city that never sleeps' - New York, New York...eh?


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 07:28 PM

What about this verse, which brings the otherwise haunting "Teddy O'Neill" way down beyond sub-sub music hall farce (no wonder Dolores couldn't bring herself to sing it). Worse still, it's the opener:

I've seen the old cabin he danced his wild jigs in
As neat a mud cabin as ever was seen
Considerin' t'was used to keep poultry and pigs in
I'm sure it was always kept elegant clean


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 07:34 PM

PS: Don't be misled by the wee boreen and the crossroads and the rambling lane - they're a later improvement.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 08:38 PM

GUEST,Gerry says:

> Stan Rogers' song, The Field Behind the Plow, is terrific - provided

> you can get past the second part of the second line:

>

> Watch the field behind the plow turn to straight, dark rows

> Feel the trickle in your clothes, blow the dust cake from your nose

Why is the dust cake any less dignified than the trickle? Both show he's been there.

*

My nominee for the worst line that fails to ruin a good song ("All My Trials") is

"And the pilgrims call it the tree of life."

The rhyme is "paradise". The vowel in "life" is stretched out over two whole measures, during which the naive listener can wonder whether the word is going to be "lies" or "lice". But then, we come to "Too late, but never mind", and all is forgiven.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Politics is dirty business, and business is dirty politics. :||


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 09:05 PM

I could never get comfortable with Judy Collins turning "Man of Constant Sorrow" into "Maid of Constant Sorrow." "Maid" is just too cutesy. So I start it like this:

I've lived a life of constant sorrow...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Melani
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 12:02 AM

Or that Christmas song ... "I'll be Home for Christmas":

And presents *on the tree?

It was an old custom to hang small presents on the tree--19th century, and possibly 20th as well.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: mg
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 12:40 AM

I think there was almost a consensus before that the absolute worst line was from a song I forget the name of..come to your life like a warrior nothing can bore yer...actually the rest of the song is quite fine...

And for an author who consistently has about one great outstanding verse and several not great ones..Percy French...it's a shame because his good verses are so good.. mg


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Teresa
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 12:47 AM

Thanks, Melani.   I'm amazed at the things I learn on Mudcat. :)

Teresa


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Schoolmaster
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 12:49 AM

Mary,

Go to bed.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 04:28 AM

Eric Clapton sang"You talk to me in sign language, while I'm eating a sandwich", but I'm not sure that counts for this thread as it would be stretching it a bit to call that an otherwise good song. Another rhyme which has always made me cringe is from Tom Paxton's "made of sand"
As I walk down the street my thoughts are tumblin',
round and round, round and round.
Underneath my feet the subway's rumblin'
underground, under ground"

love Robbie


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: BillR
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 04:40 AM

>Or that Christmas song ... "I'll be Home for Christmas":
>And presents *on the tree?

I've always heard that line as: "And presents under tree."
Maybe I've been hearing it wrong all these years.

-Bill


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 04:40 AM

Seven long years I've been paitently waiting, for just one glimpse of my Willie-O....

Ho hum.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 04:52 AM

And of course:-
My Willie's not returning from the plains of Waterloo


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 05:56 AM

In " Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound", Tom Paxton writes " nail your shoes to the kitchen floor, lace them up and shut the door", But really those actions should surely be reversed - i.e. could you reach the door with your shoes pinned to the ground?


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: CStrong
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 07:49 AM

I'm tempted to correct Neil:

Songs she brought to me/Songs she taught to me...

But then ya need two MORE!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: robomatic
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 08:05 AM

I like the pharase of Guest, Joe's:

"worst line that fails to ruin a good song" because I really like the next two songs:

Bonepony, a wonderful rockabilly song:

"There is a sacred spot upon a mountaintop
Beside a river flows, and it don't ever stop"

Well, obviously, that river isn't flowing on the mountaintop.

I am a devotee of the work of Dan Bern. I recall that in one of his songs he reaches the end with: "I've got to go I need a shave" to get out of it.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 10:46 AM

In Kipling's "Mandalay":

"Though I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand"

If one is reciting rather than singing that, it is just barely possible, by putting enormous stress on "fifty", to deliver the intended sense (I don't care how many dates I have with Englishwomen). But that won't fit in a tune, so there he is, poor fellow, traipsing along the pavement with his train of 50 housemaids. Ah, but then we come to

"I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land"

and, once again, all is forgiven. How often, on business trips from my commune in Virginia, did I think of that line when I saw the New York women stuck in their fashionable clothes like castings stuck in their dies!

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: If you do the right thing under duress, you still get credit, but you don't have as much fun. :||


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 12:41 PM

I once saw on Country music tv a guy who was quite good and i was enjoying the song till he took it too far and sang;
"I've a burning, yearning, churning, deep inside o'me"
Try and sing that without sounding ridiculously Scandinavian!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Nancy King at work
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 07:58 PM

I think the "Cherry Tree Carol" is a lovely song, but have always been uncomfortable with the line,

   "And Mary gathered cherries while Joseph stood around."

Makes him seem like a vagrant or something.

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 08:10 PM

Mary, you've got it. The "come to your life like a warrior ('war-yah'), nothing can bore ya" is the worst. Even Shatner could not have topped that if he wrote songs.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 03:37 AM

From Lizzie Wan:

"There is a child between my two sides
Between my willy and eye."

Bit odd, like, her having a willy?


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,John O'Lennaine
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 03:52 AM

From Roy Orbison:

"Love is like a stove, burns you when its hot."

What is this thing called love?
Well, it's a bit like a stove, see?


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 07:12 AM

What is THIS thing called, Love?

But I thought a pianist was someone who plays the piano....


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 10:31 AM

Guest Nancy: "Stood around", said of one person, is a (I believe) vulgar American, and a tipoff that that stanza is a fairly recent U.S. interpolation. To me, it suggests, not vagrancy, but idle frustration, as in "She immediately chatted up a storm with her ex, while I stood around with my finger etc.". So, yes, that is a funny line; but on the other hand it is so perfectly in the spirit of the original that I have always found it charming.

*

Sometimes, a word that is not poetic diction can be not only tolerable but an improvement in the poetry. An example, IMO, is in "Angel Band":

I hear the noise of wings.

I have heard that "corrected" to "I hear the sound of wings". It is true that, in a certain mood, "noise", with its suggestion of unpleasantness, is ludicrous. But that is not the mood for even a skeptic to approach a hymn in. "Noise" makes a startling improvement in vividness. That song, after all, belongs to people who believe they are *saved*, and who know from their Bible that salvation is not pretty. If you were saved, profanely & prosaically, from some earthly misfortune, and contemplated telling about it with a sentence "I heard the blessed --- of a helicopter", would you go for "sound", or "noise", or indeed "racket"?

Another example, from "Fox on the Run":

She walked thru the cornfield and down to the river.

Her hair shone like gold in the hot morning sun.

It would have been easy to call the sun bright instead of hot -- a better link with "shone", besides being more "poetic". But "hot" takes us back to the cornfield, back to earth, and even its sexual tinge IMO is not unwelcome. After the gold, and end of romance! That one unexpected word invigorates the refrain & thus the whole song.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: You have to die of something. :||


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 10:16 PM

"Abra, Abra Cadabra... I wanna reach out an' grab ya"

Whoops, that's not an otherwise good song. The whole thing was shite.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: LadyJean
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 12:32 AM

My prep school's alma mater included the line "We vere the glory of thy name." I don't think vere is even a word.

There is a beautiful, tragic song about a man killed working in a steel mill. It was written by a Slavic immigrant, who didn't understand that "East McKeesport! This valley of fire!" is hard to sing with a straight face. Though I have heard Pete Seegar do so.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: sixtieschick
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 02:07 AM

When it's apple blossom time in Orange, New Jersey we'll be a peach of a pair.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Wrinkles
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 07:22 AM

I half remember a song where "Garden of Eden" was ryhmed with "weeding", and a Frank Sinatra gaff were "pleasure" and "leasure" would have ryhmed in the English accent of the composer but not in Frank's American accent.

Oh, and the Manfred Man "Blinded by the Light" lyric is "revved up like a duce, another runner in the night" not "racked". A good site for contemporary lyrics and tabs is

http://www.thetabworld.com/

It's got loads of links to other similar sites too ;-)

Wrinkles


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 07:39 AM

Vere is the original - Re-vere is the repeat.... hence the Ritual...

The Fooles....   ;-P


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 12:23 PM

I have always felt uneasy about the line

"I learned about life and I found a wife"

in Phil Coulter's otherwise superb song, "The Town I Loved So Well".

IMHO he should either have devoted the best part of a verse to his good lady, or else left her out of the equation completely. A throwaway half line just seems bizarre, to me.

Better by far to have written

"I learned about life, 'midst the trouble and the strife"


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Michael
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 04:58 PM

'And Joseph stood a round' makes perfect sense in the UK, it means he bought everyone a drink in the pub - whilst Mary did the work. Very traditional.
Mike


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 06:16 PM

Come to your life like a warrior/Nothing will bore ya is from Cris Williamson's "Song of the Soul". And I have to agree, it is a jarring couplet in an otherwise glorious song. But it can (with the right delivery) add a bit of humor to a song about (IMHO) getting the most out of life by not always playing it safe...

Come to think of it, Cris Williams was certainly not "playing it safe" by using those lines, so in a strange way, I guess it's appropriate (whether or not that was her conscious intention).


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Midchuck
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 06:39 PM

I like the line in "The Grave of Bonaparte," a Victorian chestnut revived by Norman Blake:

He eats not, he hears not, he's free from all pain.

Perfectly good line in print, but when you sing it...

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 08:02 PM

LadyJean says:

> My prep school's alma mater included the line "We vere the glory of thy name." I don't think vere is even a word.

It takes pioneering spirit to vere things so that the rest of us can revere them.

> There is a beautiful, tragic song about a man killed working in a steel mill. It was written by a Slavic immigrant, who didn't understand that "East McKeesport! This valley of fire!" is hard to sing with a straight face. Though I have heard Pete Seegar do so.                                          

It is an embarrassing fact about English that some of its proper names are poetic diction and some, thru no fault of their bearers, are not. Wyndham Lewis & Lee, in their preface to _The Stuffed Owl: An Anthology of Bad Verse_, remark: "The dragging of the average middle-class surname into serious verse is at all times fatal," and gives among a number of examples

Methinks of friendship's frequent fate

I hear my Frogley's voice complain.

Likewise, if East McKeesport had been Chicago, or even Wilkes-Barre, there would have been no trouble.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Some difficulties present valuable opportunities, and the rest present valuable excuses. :||


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: JWB
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 09:54 PM

Paul Simon's "Wednesday Morning, 3:00 AM" is a lovely song (the slow version, that is -- I hate the later rock and roll version). However, the line

I held up and robbed a hard liquor store

just doesn't make the grade. What was the protagonist expecting, a building made of sponge rubber?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 10:55 PM

I'm no expert, but I'd guess he meant "hard liquor" (like vodka, whisky, gin) as opposed to things like beer and wine, although I have to admit I've never heard them referred to as "soft liquor". But I *have* heard the phrase "hard liquor" before now...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: coldjam
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 11:13 PM

I immediately thought of Darcy Farrow's "bullet in the brain" line, but alas it had already been laid bare.So how about,"I have a love so deep in the PIT of my heart"? Can't remember the song title at this exact moment...got lost in the pit of my brain I think.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: coldjam
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 11:15 PM

Wait! Ain't too proud to beg, The Temptations.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 11:18 PM

You better love me all the time now
You better shove me like it's alive now

"You Better, You Bet"
The Who / Pete Townsend


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: emjay
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 05:58 PM

"You fill up my senses..."
John Denver
Always sounded to me like a stuffy nose and an unfortunate line in a lovely song.
mj


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 08:03 PM

Guest wrote,

    I once saw on Country music tv a guy who was quite good and i was enjoying the song
    till he took it too far and sang;

    "I've a burning, yearning, churning, deep inside o'me"

Sounds like someone was channelling Tom Lehrer spoofing Cole Porter.
This is from Lehrer's version of Clementine:

    ...imagine what might have happened if, for example, Cole Porter had tried writing this
    song. The first verse might have come out like this:

    In a cavern, in a canyon,
    Excava-ha-ha-hating for a mine,
    Far away from the boom-boom-boom of the city
    She was so pretty -- what a pity, Clementine.

    Oh Clementine, can't you tell from the howls of me
    This love of mine calls to you from the bowels of me.
    Are you discerning the returning
    Of this churning, burning, yearning for you...oo oo...ah ah...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 04:46 AM

In honor of the Super Bowl:

"And in this ever changing world in which we live in" (Paul, Paul, Paul)

and who could ever forget --

"The movement you need is on your shoulder" (John's favourite line).

The worst Beatle line ever? Hard to pick from so many.

"Nothing's going to change my world" is my pick for sheer wrongness.


yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Chris C
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 02:18 PM

Nice thread: There are sooo many examples of the bad or odd line mucking up a fine song.
Often it's a reach for a (bad) rhyme.
This one has been bugging me lately: on Ray Charles' last CD (Genius Loves Company), he & Bonnie Raitt do the beautiful "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind". The phrase "melancholy jailer" sticks out as kind of strange (to me).
Approx lyrics (BTW: These turn up differently, depending on the source):

Do you ever want to know
If all dreams go on endlessly
Or do they just run down
Somehow and gradually become
The custody of that melancholy jailer father time

Is it just me?
I can't think of other examples now, but there are lots!
~CC


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 05:32 PM

Sometimes I'll let a song go and not learn it---just because one line doesn't ring true or isn't what folks'd really say. Often it's a line that's obviously there just to make a rhyme with what came before.

I met Grandpa Jones back in '65 or '66 and he sang a song called "East Bound Freight Train" that I thought about learning. It was a half way passably o.k. song--not great though.---But one line in the chorus made the difference and nixed it for me. See if you know which line??!!

East bound freight train, East bound freight train,
Take me home again,
East bound freight train, East bound freight train,
Let me ride 'til the end.

Art


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 05:37 PM

Let me ride 'til the end?

Mick


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 06:17 PM

He just wanted to go all the way......


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 06:23 PM

The line that makes it impossible for me to take the other "Freight Train" seriously is the one about it running down "by the end of Bleecker Street". Since when do freight trains run through Greenwich Village? (Or am I missing something?)


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 08:19 PM

I think you'll find that in its original form Freight Train went like this:

When I die please bury me deep
Down at the end of Chestnut Street
So I can hear old Number Nine
As she goes rolling by

Maybe Peter, Paul, and Mary changed Chestnut Street to Bleecker Street,
maybe it was someone else,
but you know,
the Number 9 subway line does go by Bleecker
(and I know that when PPM did the song there was no 9 train
in the New York subway system, but that just makes PPM prophetic).


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Bert
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 06:34 PM

Don't be too hard on the Beatles Peter T. After all they are only bleedin' scousers.

Another bad line of theirs.

"I do appreciate your being round" Sounds as if they like their judies on the chubby side.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: MAG
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 09:25 PM

I agree with Tersea above (way above) about that phrase in "The Rose."

I grow roses myself and I can tell you it is the rare fanatic (breeder)who grows them from seed.

Lies the root
Lies the life
Sleeps the bush/stalk

Lies the bud is currently my favorite change, since the flower itself actually comes from a bud.

And roses only die down to the ground with a VERY hard freeze.

ok, off my soapbox ...

folk process: incremental improvements by da folk over time ...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: LadyJean
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 01:03 AM

In church we now and then sing a hymn that includes the lines, "Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me." and "Melt me, mold me, fill me, move me." Is it just me, or are those lines suggestive.

I have a terrible time keeping a straight face when I sing it.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 01:05 AM

And why are church choirs always singing about "Bringing in the Cheese"?


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 08:03 AM

I think it's the Steve Miller Band in a song called "Jack and Diane" who rhyme "Texas" and "facts is" in the same song where they rhyme "big hassle" with "El Paso".

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 09:11 AM

As a teenager I found it difficult to sing any hymn in church with a straight face after I learnt about putting "between the sheets" after every line....

Rock of Ages,
Cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee...

Trust me, it gets worse after that....


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 09:42 AM

Mention of Bob Dylan in another thread reminded me of the following spectacles of nonpoetry:

And some of us will grow up to be lawyers and things.

With sensitive instincts, she was the creative one.

and the ignorant & clumsy diction in

Trapped by no track of hours we hanged suspended.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Ten bums lay in the sun; a passer-by offered a dollar to whichever was laziest; nine jumped up to claim it. :||


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Chris Green
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 06:28 PM

When I was a kid we used to have to sing a hymn called "Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Knees". It always gave me a mental image of someone struggling with a stale French loaf.

However, the accolade for most buttock-clenchingly piss-poor lyrics ever to befoul the ears of the masses must surely go to the late Marc Bolan.

"She's my woman of gold
And she's not very old
Uh-huh-huh
She's faster than most
And she's lives on the coast
Uh-huh-huh
I don't want to be bold
But please my I hold your hand."

I hope he's up there amongst the angels. Who all have big sticks with nails in and and are saying "NOOO!!! THIS is how you wrote lyrics, you puling fop!"





Ahem. Got a tad carried away there. Sorry...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: coldjam
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 08:08 PM

Seems fair to me...!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 10:36 PM

... took all the trees and put 'em in a tree muse-um,
and they charged all the people a dollar and half just to see-um!

but all us young people thought Joni was just wunnerful!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 11:56 PM

Bert, I believe the Beatles said,

"Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate your being 'round,"

The un-hearable apostrophe replaces "a", just as in another pop oldie, also British:

"I'm leaning on a lamp,
Maybe you think I look a tramp,
Or maybe you think I'm 'round to steal your car".

When I'm down, I do like my friends to be around, or "there for me" as we say over here. At least that's how I've always heard "Help!"

--Guest Too


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 01:45 PM

Guest Guest: No apostrophe needed, especially in Britain. "Round" as an adverb & preposition is perfectly good English, but more common there than in the U.S. Saying "around" in the lines you quote (besides spoiling the meter) would stamp you as an American.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: What is fascinating in a mirror? A world I am not at the :||

||: center of.                                                 :||


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: JennyO
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 05:58 AM

"Riders on the Storm" came on the radio this afternoon, and I heard a line that I remember always grates a bit when I hear it - the next line's not all that wonderful either IMO, but I particularly don't like the "dog without a bone" bit.

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan

Riders on the storm


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 06:30 AM

... now would you be getting confused with "dog without a boner"? ...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 07:07 AM

Having learned English in later life (and because of that being always in "learning mode"), there are some things that glare at me which native English speakers take for granted. Two examples from traditional English songs:

"With a hammer in his hand he looked so clever...". Visions of a rough-looking smithy with vacant expression wielding a 7-pounder...CLEVER, for God's sake? I think not.

"She held a rose in each hand...". Are we talking about the goddess Kali here?

There are of course many (too many) corny lines in contemporary songs, and C&W has a lot to answer for in that respect. But that's been dealt with in another thread.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 07:57 AM

El Greko - English words can often change their meaning - and for instance that 'clever' may have meant something quite else in the dialect in which the song first appeared...


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: alanabit
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 08:02 AM

Roger in Baltimore, I think the song by the Steve Miller Band was "Take the Money and Run". In context I think those lines sound funny, which is what the writer intended. Apparently it was a reference to a US detective series, in which the lead character's catch phrase was, "Just the facts Ma'am." I also like "Jack and Diane", which I think is by John Cougar Mellencamp.
Didn't George Formby sing "Maybe you think I'm hanging round to steal a car?" There are wiser (and older) heads than mine on Mudcat, so I am sure the correct line will emerge.
Joe F has pulled out a couple of appalling lines from Dylan. I have also always thought that was a rotten line in the otherwise excellent "Ballad in Plain D", which is a favourite of mine. "You're a Big Girl Now" has several lines which score highly on the cringe factor scale too. I like W.Somerset Mauigham's comment,"Only a mediocre writer is always at his best."


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 07:00 PM

blinded by thelight is a springsteen song, opriginally, not manfred mann.

worst line ever, and i'm an english teacher:

live and let die--"but in this ever changing world in which we live in ...."

THREE ins!!!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 08:00 PM

For I am married to a house carpenter
   And I think he's a nice young man

Now that's what I call passionate commitment.

Doesn't sound like the devil has lot of persuading to do, does it?


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 09:40 PM

Guest Jack: I have never heard that version of the line, and suppose it is corrupt; "nice" in that sense is recent. The version I know best has "And he is a fine young man"; Child likewise quotes an American version "And a fine young man is he". Earlier versions have "And by him I have a son" or the like, which express the real point. Serious business.

*

I have since thought of another embarrassing line from Bob Dylan: "In the ovens they fried". Ick.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits. :||


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 07:39 AM

It may be a bad song from beginning to end but Ken Dodd's Happiness comes out as:

A penis, a penis
The greatest gift that I possess,
I thank the Lord that I've been blessed
With more than my share of a penis.

Now that has to be worth singing.

Part way through singing 'Eggs in her Basket' the other night,
Jacqui burst out laughing at the the line

She sat down to take her ease (E's)

Brian


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Hawker
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 09:21 AM

In the song 'Up in the North'
'He was a ships carpenters son, by his trade'
A What?

Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: melodeonboy
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 11:15 AM

"Then I met a nice urologist,
But she was always taking the piss"

(From "Psychiatrist" by Peter Buckey-Hill)

Mind you; he meant it to be cheesy!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 12:27 AM

"Bed of Roses" by Bon Jovi has a few real cringers in it:

"With an ironclad fist, I wake up and french kiss the morning..."

"I wanna be just as close as the Holy Ghost is..."

"Tonite I won't be alone but you know that don't mean I'm not lonely..."

"The barkeeper's wig's crooked and she's giving me the eye; I might have said yeah, but I laughed so hard I think I died"



(That last line from the very clumsily worded and sung bridge. )

Basically a stupid fucking song.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 12:46 AM

On a second listening to "Bed of Roses", I've decided to start a grass-roots email campaign to demand a public apology from Jon Bon Jovi for inflicting that song on us. It's really insipid and insulting at the same time... it's insipulting is what it is. I don't care if it ended up being a last-dance song at a lot of high school parties. He had a lot of nerve putting it out there, like leaving a huge steaming pile of dog poop on our collective doorstep. Damn him!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 12:47 AM

This guy's got it right too!


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 07:20 PM

James Gordon's song "Lonesome Cowboy's Lament" has the line:

He's headed west out to Lethbridge
He suspects some kind of death-wish...


I told him: "You are my songwriting hero! You had the balls to force a rhyme out of "Lethbridge" and "death-wish" and still make the song work"


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 08:03 PM

Bad lines in bad songs don't bother me a bit, but every so often one pops up in a song that I think is really good, and it infuriates me. In Keith Marsden's magnificent "Normandy Orchards", there's this bit of nostalgia: "tanks on the village green, just a fond memory.."

fond? FOND? Aw, c'mon. It scans just as well, and makes sense with "dim memory"


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 08:13 PM

It's probably blasphemous to criticise the Blessed Ewan MacColl but I don't know if I can forgive him for

Kissed her once again at Wapping, flow, sweet river, flow
After that there was no stopping, sweet Thames, flow softly

Sweet Thames Flow Softly


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cstargazy
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 09:43 PM

remember a couple of wicked extracts from my days in Scotland, but the songs weren't what you'd call 'otherwise great or good': .....'Oh ho ho Idaho, but I'd rather be back in Kirkcaldy'.........and 'Heaven can't be far away, From the Town Hall in Stornoway'


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 11:27 PM

"It was his career or mine" -- "Mary Magdelen"


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Genie
Date: 07 Sep 07 - 11:43 PM

Gordon Lightfoot: Cotton Jenny

"In the hot sunny South, where they say, "Well, shut my mouth! ... "


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: MystMoonstruck
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 12:19 AM

from Sammy Hagar's "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy":
Lead me to forbidden doors You know I'm yours Yeah you've got it, yeah I want it Don't you know it babay

Right on time, a tight fit right on the money So sublime, hot sweet cherries on the vine.

Every time I hear it on the radio, I shout, "Cherries don't grow on vines!" I'm not sure why that irritates me so much. I need to learn to switch to another station or turn down the volume. Actually, the rest isn't all that good either, but that line BUGS me!

As for this Paul Anka hit, I can't imagine the girl being too flattered by the "so old":
Diana
by Paul Anka

I'm so young and you're so old
This, my darling, I've been told
I don't care just what they say
Cause forever I will pray
You and I will be as free
As the birds up in the trees
Oh, please, stay by me, Diana

Can we excuse him because he was very young? I don't think so. Yet, we Baby Boomers made it a hit!

I've always heard "I'll Be Home for Christmas" sung as "presents under the tree". Perhaps somewhere along the line, the lyrics were tweaked to change the "on".

I love playing "Madereine Rue", which has a lively tune, but slang lends a different interpretation to the fox's theft, so I hesitate to sing it. Maybe it could be "nicest rooster in Erin"? (Teasing! I think... Perhaps I'll just stick with the melody. After all, there's that "fine fat..." bit, isn't there?) The only person I've heard sing this subversive little song is Peg Clancy on one of her brothers' albums. Now, if I could sing it as adorably as she does, perhaps I'd do it.

Unfortunately, "Leezie Lindsay" tends to draw laughter from crowds as the fellow reveals his identity as Ronald McDonald (or MacDonald in some versions). Every performer I've seen develops a rather sheepish grin before saying the surname, fully aware that at least part of the audience will break into giggles.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Genie
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 12:32 AM

Yeah, Cluin, but given Anka's age when he wrote "Diana," she was probably just 2 or 3 years older than he.   (I think, in fact, the songs was written for a slightly older girl he had a crush on.) When you're a lad of 17, a 21-year-old female is "an older woman."


======
GUEST(21 Apr 06),

I originally 'heard' McCartney's lyric the way you did, and I cringed too. But the actual lyric is:
"but in this ever changing world in which we're livin' ..."

Perfectly grammatical, just a case of underenunciation -- common in everyday speech.

=====

Foolestroupe, Joni M is, indeed, wunnerful!   
And, at the risk of being nit-picky, it's
" ... they charged all the people a dollar and half just to see 'em!" (as in "see them"), not "see-um" (as in "Tonto see-um heap big horse).   Again, most of us probably say "see 'em" a lot more often than we say "see them."

==

LadyJean, in the hymn "Spirit Of the Living God," the original lyric is "melt me, mold me, fill me, USE me." I guess to some our minds that's still suggestive, but in the context of the Bible, it's pretty straightforward with no double-entendre.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Genie
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 12:48 AM

Much as I love Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah," he does have a few groaner lines in that song, e.g.,

[Now maybe there's a God above
but all I ever learned from love
Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya
..." - with that last bit being a rhyme for "Hallelujah."

And, of course, this next one not only stretches the rhyme but is rife with double-entendre - which I really don't think was intentional:

"There was a time you let me know
What's really going on below,
but now you never show it to me, do ya?
... "


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 03:56 AM

The chorus of "Dumbarton's Drums" is

"Dumbarton's drums, They sound sae bonny
And they remind me o' my Johnny
Such fond delights they steal upon me
When Johnny comes and kisses me."

Presumably followed by a cigarette?

Somebody somewhere decided to change the last line to-

"When Johnny kneels and kisses me."

My question is, where did he kiss her? It might give us a hint if she then had a cigarette!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: David C. Carter
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 04:59 AM

I do believe Dylan wrote "Sign Language"mentioned above.


His song "Highlands"contains a ligne about "Boiled eggs"
I believe he made it up while recording it.I can't get past that ligne.
But I don't lose any sleep over it!

Good thread Cluin.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in otherwise good Songs
From: Genie
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 05:20 AM

A couple of people have decried Amanda Bloom's botanically incorrect lyric to "The Rose," but, in truth, while I realize roses seldom, if ever grow from seeds and usually survive snow, that bit of poetic license has never bothered me any more than do lyrics about "feeling" things "from the heart" -- which we all know is not the part of the body wherein emotions lie, either.

And, Teresa, if anyone wants to nit-pick about "The Rose," the last verse ends:

Just remember, in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snowS, (rhymes with "rose,")
LIES the seed that, with the sun's love,
In the spring becomes the rose.
========

[[ McGrath of Harlow -

"songs she brang to me .." "Bring" for "brought" is common enough in quite a lot of dialects. And pronouncing "bring" as "brang" is not such an unusual way of doing it in some places. We don't always notice that kind of thing when it isn't written down.]]

Hey, that line irked me like chalk on a blackboard the first time I heard it. And I don't think I've actually ever seen it written.   
Harry Belafonte sings the lines:
"Songs she sang to me,
Songs she brought to me,
Words that rang for me,
Rhymes that sprang from me ... "

And it sounds just fine. Far better than the way Neil wrote and sings it.

==================================

[[GUEST - 03 Feb 05 -
I once saw on Country music tv a guy who was quite good and i was enjoying the song till he took it too far and sang;
"I've a burning, yearning, churning, deep inside o'me" ...]]

That really does sound like he was singing Cole Porter's "Night and Day" or some spin-off from it.
"Night and day, under the hide of me,
There's an oh, such a hungry yearning, burning inside of me ... "

==
[[GUEST,Joe_F - 4 Feb 05-

Sometimes, a word that is not poetic diction can be not only tolerable but an improvement in the poetry. An example, IMO, is in "Angel Band":

I hear the noise of wings. ... ]]

For what it's worth, the version of that "Angel Band" lyric I like best is "I hear the rush of wings."

======

[[YorkshireYankee - 5 Feb 05

Come to your life like a warrior/Nothing will bore ya is from Cris Williamson's "Song of the Soul". And I have to agree, it is a jarring couplet in an otherwise glorious song. But it can (with the right delivery) add a bit of humor to a song about (IMHO) getting the most out of life by not always playing it safe...

Come to think of it, Cris Williams was certainly not "playing it safe" by using those lines, so in a strange way, I guess it's appropriate (whether or not that was her conscious intention).]]

Poor Chris!   If you listen to her recording of the song, it's really not all that forced a rhyme. She doesn't enunciate "warrioR." Rather, she pretty much sings "Come to your life like a warriah, Nothing will bore ya ... ."
Still not the most eloquent rhyme in the world, but it does approximate how an American might normally pronounce both "warrior" and "you," and the rhyme does work that way.

What made the lyric seem really awful was my seeing lyric sheets printed up that had the lines as "Come to your life like a warrior; nothing will bore yer ... "   Aarrgghh!

===


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Genie
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 05:25 AM

The first time I heard Paul Stookey's "The Wedding Song," this couplet stood out like a sore thumb for me and kind of ruined the whole song:

"As it was in the beginning, is now unto the end,
Woman draws her life from man and gives it back again."

The line made me think of the one version (of two) in Genesis of the creation of humans, in which Eve is taken from Adam's rib.

Later on, I realized it can be interpreted differently.   He could just as easily have said it the other way around, but it wouldn't have scanned as well. It's an ongoing circle of reciprocity (codependence?).

Still, I think that line is the weakest part of the song.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: TheSnail
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 06:18 AM

Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets comin' out of my ears.


Maybe the greatest love poet of the twentieth century was having an off day.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 03:46 PM

"Feeeeeelings! Nothing more than feeeelings!" (whatever they are)

A nice mixup although not intended in the song. The Riddle Song performed by a novice folkie. "I gave my love a baby that had no end". Someone called out, "That's the only way to have 'em."

Times change: "I feel so gay in a melancholy way".....................

Ol' John Jacob Niles might have mixed his styles up in his Olde English ballad,
"Lass From The Low Countree" by proclaiming at the end of the song, "He ain't got no soul, nor no sympathy."

Now here's a conundrum. "I hate to wake you up to say goodbye. So kiss me and smile for me." This after "I'm standing here outside your door". (walking through walls?)

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in otherwise good Songs
From: Genie
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 07:14 PM

One of the dumbest, most nonsensical lines I've ever heard is in Rod Stewart's song that goes "You're In My Heart, You're In My Soul ... "   
In one verse he sings:
"You're (something), you're glamour,
Please pardon the grammer
But you're every schoolboy's dream."

Absolutely nothing wrong with his grammar in the song - so the line is an inane, feeble rhyme.

Similary -- Neil Diamond (again). From "I Am, I Swear" (again):

"I'm not a man who likes to swear,
But I never cared for the sound of being alone."

What's the point of saying "I don't like to swear" except to force an internal rhyme?

But other songs also avail themselves of cheap, pointless rhymes too.

In "Walking After Midnight" Patsy Cline sings,
"I stop to see a weeping willow
Crying on his pillow."

Pillow???

(And Neil Diamond - again - also uses the trite, unimaginative "willow"/"pillow" rhyme in his song "Song Sung Blue.")

(Sorry, Neil. I really do love some of your songs, but you come up with some real lyric groaners from time to time.)


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 08:55 PM

"Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb"

"Baby, you're the ginchiest!"



Ah, never mind... the WHOLE song was stupid beyond belief.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 08 Sep 07 - 09:22 PM

Then there was this gem by Clarence Carter:

(but you know, you can't help but like it, cheesy and fairly crude as it is... especially when the DJ plays it at a wedding recpetion and your elderly relatives are up on the dance floor and they think he's singing "Smokin'")


Strokin'

When I start makin' love, I don't just make love...

I be strokin'
That's what I be doin'
I be strokin'

I stroke it to the east
And I stroke it to the west
And I stroke it to the woman that I love the best
I be strokin'

Lemme ask you somethin'...
What time of the day do you like to make love?
Have you ever made love just befo' breakfast?
Have you ever made love while you watch the late, late show?
Well, lemme ask you this...
Have you ever made love on a couch?
Well, lemme ask you this...
Have you ever made love on the back seat of a car?
I remember one time I made love on the back seat of a car
And the police came and shined his light on me, and I said:

I'm strokin'
that's what I'm doin'
I be strokin'

I stroke it to the east
And I stroke it to the west
And I stroke it to the woman that I love the best
I be strokin'

Lemme ask you something...
How long has it been since you made love? huh?
Didja make looooove yesterday?
Didja make love las' week?
Didja make love las' year?
Or maybe it might be that you plannin' on makin' love tonight
But just remember
When you start making love
You make it hard, long, soft, short

And be strokin'
I be strokin'

I stroke it to the east
And I stroke it to the west
And I stroke it to the woman that I love the best
I be strokin'

Now when I start making love to my woman
I don't stop until I know she's sassified
And I can aaaaaaalways tell when she gets sassified
Because when she gets sassfied, she start caaallin' my name
She say: 'Cla'ence Carter, Cla'ence Carter, Cla'ence Carter, Cla'ence Carter
Oooooooo SHIT! Cla'ence Carter!'
The other night I was strokin' my woman
And it got so good to her, you know what she told me?
Lemme tell you what she told me
She said, 'Stroke it Cla'ence Carter, but don't stroke so fast
If my stuff ain't tight enough, you can stick it up my... WOO!

I be strokin'
Ha ha ha ha!
I be strokin'

I stroke it to the east
And I stroke it to the west
And I stroke it to the woman that I love the best
I be strokin'
I be strokin' ha ha ha ha!
I be strokin' yeah!
I be strokin'

I stroke it to the north
I stroke it to the south
I stroke it everywhere
I even stroke it with my... WOO!

I be strokin'
I be strokin' ha ha
I be strokin'


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 07 - 07:24 PM

mg, Yorkshire Yankee, and Genie:

I've loved chris Williamson's "Song Of The Soul" since i first heard it, but the "...warrior...bore ya" lines are awful no matter how you pronounce them. For years, I've been singing "Come to your life like a lover, soon you'll discover...." It makes as much sense and is a lot less jarring.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Colin Randall
Date: 10 Sep 07 - 09:33 AM

Pop not folk, but I have always thought these - from Elton john's Candle in the Wind, lyrics by Bernie Taupin - were among the worst lines ever written, if only because they are so sloppy


Even when you died
The press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude


It is sloppy because of one word: WAS

If Taupin had written:

Even when you died/The press still hounded you/All the papers had to say/That Marilyn was found in the nude

...he would have been making the point he intended, ie that the evil press gleefully added that the body was naked. Instead, he suggests – absurdly of course – that the papers said ONLY that she was found in the nude. The reports of MM's death would, in those circumstances, have been very short indeed.

But then, maybe only a journalist would care.


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Subject: RE: Not-So-Good Lines in Songs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Sep 07 - 09:47 AM

"Born a poor young country boy, Mother Nature's son...."

...and the rest of the words to it don't do a lot better!


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