Friday, August 28, 2009

California Dreamin'

This post is inspired by one of the songs on Kym's recent play list post.

One of these days, if it ever comes to fruition that I rule the world and education is no longer held hostage by bureaucrats, I am going to introduce into the curriculum for incoming Freshman, a class called Rock as Poetry. Don't get me wrong, I loves me my Donne and Shakespeare and Yeats and Plath as much as the next person. But I contend some of the best poetry that's been written in the past fifty years or so has been written as a rock and roll lyric.

Don't believe me? How about this, from Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box"?

Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet
Cut myself on angel's hair and baby's breath
Broken hymen of your highness I'm left black
Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back.

Take that, Anne Sexton.

Here's another song that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it (thanks, Kym, for reminding me!):



What's your favorite piece of rock and roll poetry?

25 comments:

Basho's Punk Rocker Ghost said...

Sonic Haiku beats
back bluff and strips it nekkid.
3 chords and a Tude.

Milk River Madman said...

One of my fav's is from Seven Mary Three's "Cumbersome"

I'd like to believe we could reconcile the past

Resurrect those bridges with an ancient glance

But my old stone face can't seem to break her down

She remembers bridges and burns them to the ground

Pam said...

I might have a lot of these as the day goes on ... but will start with this all-time fave:

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe

Pools of sorrow, waves of joy
are drifting through my open mind
Possessing and caressing me

moi said...

Basho: I bow to you. But I have to ask, Strat or Gibson?

Milk River: One of my favorite songs. I have to say, it's hard to beat nineties rock all the way around.

moi said...

Pam: The Beatles would be an entire class in and of themselves. If not for the psychedelic amusement alone.

kmwthay said...

OHHH! Cumbersome. Another one of my all time faves.

I relate to music mostly through lyrics. Sometimes the music, but most often the lyrics. I think the lyrics are the soul of the song and this alone is why I appreciate all types of songs in all different genres.

Here are two that come directly to mind that I hold on tightly too, for several reasons.


The world's a rollercoaster
And I am not strapped in
Maybe I should hold with care
My hands are busy in the air
(Wish You Were Here, Incubus)

and

And it's hard to tell what's true compassion
When it's dressed up in hair and nails and fashion
And the tabloids all rush to cash in on what we should believe
And I hope I never see the day
When there's nothing left on the planet left to save
And oxygen is the designer crusade
As we all fight to breathe.
(Beautiful Life, Edwin McCain)

chickory said...

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to play around in.

In their sties with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking.


same as it always was. same as it always was.

Doris Rose said...

oh, there are many. And what about " McArthur Park"? ;]

Basho's Punk Ghost said...

Basho steals guitars
and pours acid on labels.
Rock is Anarchy.

moi said...

kym: My fave Incubus album is S.C.I.E.N.C.E., fave song, "Vitamin."

Chicory: Letting the days go by/water flowing underground.

Doris Rose: Hah! . . . I recall the yellow cotton dress/Foaming like a wave/On the ground around your knees.

moi said...

Basho: Well, alrighty, then. Next up: A Play List Por La Revolucion.

TROLL Y2K said...

I liked the Metal-Head Russian Cousin in "Clerks" and his song "Berserker".

"Do you want to make some fuck? Berserker!"

Onlooker One: Did he just sing "make some fuck"?

Onlooker Two: I don't know man, I don't speak Russian.

Viceroy of La Revolution said...

London Calling, but don't look to us.
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust.
Londong Calling, and we ain't got no swing, except for the ring of the truncheon thing.

moi said...

Troll: On our first date ever, S.B. took me to see "Clerks." Right then, I knew he was the man Por Moi :o). This never fails to make me laugh my butt off until I cry.

Viceroy: And I, live by the river.

Boxer said...

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
(It's Time I had some time alone)

Pam said...

Well, I'm not surprised London Calling makes it to your quest here especially with the badge of honor for the album on your front page!

Here's partial lyrics from an obscure Duran Duran song (love).

Came in from a rainy Thursday
on the avenue
thought I heard you talking softly
I turned on the lights, the TV
and the radio
still I can't escape the ghost of you

What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some'd say
Where is the life that I recognize?
gone away

But I won't cry for yesterday
there's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
and as I try to make my way
to the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

czar said...

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

moi said...

Boxer: Bwahahahahahaha! Good one. Definitely going on the Revoluciones album.

Pam: Huh. I don't know the song. Google time! If I had to choose the album that comes closest to being a personal anthem – if not always in the leftie-leaning lyrics, most certainly in the kick ass TONE – I'd choose London Calling, followed closely by Combat Rock.

Czar: I KNEW Dylan would have to show up here at some point, and you're just the man to have done it. But, what, no Velvet?

czar said...

Moi: Don't you rule the universe? Don't you know I'm married? You asked for one, I gave you one. I follow the rules, regardless of how arbitrary. If you want to give me a pass, though, I'll take it:

Some kinds of love
Marguerita told Tom
Between thought and expression lies a lifetime
Situations arise because of the weather
and no kinds of love
are better than others

Some kinds of love
Marguerita told Tom
like a dirty French novel
the absurd courts the vulgar
and some kinds of love
the possibilities are endless
and for me to miss one
would seem to be groundless

I heard what you said
Marguerita heard Tom
And of course you're a boy
but in that you're not charmless
cause a boy is a straight line
that finds a wealth in division
and some kinds of love
are mistaken for vision

Put jelly on your shoulder
Let us do what you fear most
That from which you recoil
but which still makes your eyes moist

Put jelly on your shoulder
lie down upon on the carpet
between thought and expression
let us now kiss the culprit

I don't know just what it's all about
But put on your red pajamas, baby, and let's find out

moi said...

Czar: Hey, I was looking for that lyric the other day – Situations arise because of the weather – and now I found it! Pass given.

Milk River Madman said...

Just drinking some Crown and jammin to tunes. Here's a good one from Level 42. All musicians are poets.

If ever our love
Was concealed
No one can say that
We didnt feel
A million things
And a perfect dream of life
Gone
Fragile but free
We remain
Tender together
If not so in love
And its not so wrong
Were only human after all

moi said...

Is that like drunk dialing, only with music :o)?

kmwthay said...

She rings like a bell throu the night
And wouldnt you love to love her
She rules her life like a bird in flight
And who will be her lover

Aunty Belle said...

From the EARLY annals of prophetic lyrics




Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester stole his thorny crown.
The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.
And while lennon read a book of marx,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died.

.........

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan's spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died...

Bye Bye....

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn't play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;

.........

moi said...

Kym: Haunting and lovely song. Great pick.

Aunty: But of course! Thanks for reminding us.