These ‘weird­est ever’ lyrics are re­ally noth­ing to freak out about

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - OPINION - [email protected]­times.com

Anew poll by a mu­sic stream­ing ser­vice has de­tailed the “weird­est ever song lyrics”. The funny thing is, there’s noth­ing weird about any of their top 10 choices. There are some (un­in­ten­tion­ally) Dadaesque lyrics out there in the pop­u­lar mu­sic canon – see Aero­smith’s song Pink, which con­tains the stun­ning apercu: “Pink, it’s like red but not quite” – but none of them fea­ture in this new mon­ster rav­ing loony rock lyric poll.

For the Blinkbox stream­ing ser­vice, the weird­est song lyric in the world is the “Are we hu­man or are we dancer?” line from The Killers’

Hu­man. This is ac­tu­ally a re-work­ing of a Hunter S Thomp­son quote wherein “dancer” is be­ing used as a cat­e­gory of be­ing, as a par­al­lel to “hu­man”. The divi­sion re­ferred to is sim­ply be­ing used in a rhetor­i­cal sense. It’s not weird at all.

The sec­ond weird­est lyric ever is from The Bea­tles’ I Am The Walrus: “I am the eg­gman, they are the eggmen, I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob”. First, this was recorded in 1967 when The Bea­tles were do­ing a lot of drugs; sec­ond, it’s a mat­ter of pub­lic record that Lennon de­lib­er­ately wrote these lyrics as a joke, to an­noy crit­ics who were con­stantly analysing the band’s work.

And on the poll goes, with a high en­try for The Black Eyed Peas’ “Beats so big I’m step­ping on lep­rachauns”. That’s not a weird lyric, in the Syd Bar­rett style. It’s just dull and unimag­i­na­tive. A bit like The Black Eyed Peas.

Even the clas­sic weird lyric songs are omit­ted here. These in­clude Jimmy Webb’s MacArthur Park: “Some­one left a cake out in the rain; I don’t think that I can take it, be­cause I took too long to bake it, and I’ll never have that recipe again”. That’s proper weird. As is Neil Di­a­mond’s “I am, I said, to no one there, and no one heard at all, not even the chair”.

There’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween lyrics that have been hastily as­sem­bled to meet a record­ing dead­line and the de­mented dog­gerel em­a­nat­ing from song­writ­ers labour­ing un­der the il­lu­sion that they are the po­ets of their gen­er­a­tion.

Take the big Cold­play hit Yel­low, named af­ter the Yel­low Pages. Chris Martin needed a word to fill in the blanks on the song and the first thing he saw in the stu­dio was a copy of said di­rec­tory. Not that this stops Cold­play fans pon­der­ing about the mean­ing of yel­low in the song.

Des’ree’s num­ber one song from 1998, Life, has the im­mor­tal lines: “I don’t want to see a ghost, It’s the sight that I fear most, I’d rather have a piece of toast, watch the evening news ”. That’s some­body scrib­bling down the first thought that comes into their head in order to make clos­ing time at the pub.

And don’t for­get an ut­ter lack of lit­er­ary abil­ity. On Du­ran Du­ran’s Is

There Some­thing I Should Know, they de­cided to go for a sim­ile. They came up with “Don’t say you are easy on me be­cause you’re about as easy as a nu­clear war”. Peo­ple have been stoned to death for less.

Top of the pops, though, is the clever re­ver­sal tech­nique, as em­ployed by Johnny Bor­rell on Ra­zor

light’s Some­where Else: “And I met a girl. She asked me my name. I told her what it was.” Ge­nius.

Aero­smith: “Dadaesque”

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