Nonsense lyrics

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Kory
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Nonsense lyrics

Post by Kory » 16 Aug 2017, 12:54pm

A discussion over in the "This is England lyrics" thread got me thinking about Joe's penchant for inscrutable lyrics during CTC, his wilderness years, and even into the Rock Art days. I suppose it's true that they were such a turnoff to people because Joe had a reputation as a more incisive lyricist. But what do you think of nonsense lyrics in general? Lennon clearly had a habit, and a lot of those songs are considered classics, if not masterpieces. Is your aversion because of what I surmise, or do you more basically dislike surrealism in lyric writing?
Inder:
Absolutely. Here's another collection of words:

Table salt (spoon hinge)
Octopus (Ukraine)
St. Petersburg (arms)
Ginger beer (cauliflower)
Pat Sajak (PSak)
Lamp post (self evident)
Florida Timeshare (ditto)
Heraclitus (EMI)
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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by Dr. Medulla » 16 Aug 2017, 1:22pm

I'm pretty tolerant of even pretty banal "let's fall in love, wouldn't that make the world wonderful" lyrics if the music is strong enough. I have a bit of an aversion to stuff that is overly earnest or preachy—a stereotypical Gen X allergy to sincerity that I'm still trying to break—but that's about it.
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Heston
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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by Heston » 16 Aug 2017, 1:32pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 1:22pm
I'm pretty tolerant of even pretty banal "let's fall in love, wouldn't that make the world wonderful" lyrics if the music is strong enough. I have a bit of an aversion to stuff that is overly earnest or preachy—a stereotypical Gen X allergy to sincerity that I'm still trying to break—but that's about it.
I agree with Doc, lyrics are just a bonus for me. I like loads of "falling in love" songs. To me it's all about the tune or I would just read poetry. Don't get me wrong though, I love a great lyric.
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

Inder
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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by Inder » 16 Aug 2017, 2:10pm

There's often a poetry to the images and sounds of good "nonsense" lyrics. The opening to Mondo Bongo is a great example —
I was patrolling a Pachinko
New nude noodle model parlor
in the nefarious zone
Hanging out with insects
under ducting
The CIA was on the phone

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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by eumaas » 16 Aug 2017, 2:47pm

Heston wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 1:32pm
Don't get me wrong though, I love a great lyric.
Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember
We built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by Dr. Medulla » 16 Aug 2017, 2:49pm

eumaas wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 2:47pm
Heston wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 1:32pm
Don't get me wrong though, I love a great lyric.
Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember
We built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll
Heston takes one in the chest!
Image
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Heston
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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by Heston » 16 Aug 2017, 2:55pm

eumaas wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 2:47pm
Heston wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 1:32pm
Don't get me wrong though, I love a great lyric.
Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember
We built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll
Now I'll take a dig for the song itself but the lyrics are great, on paper they could be a Strummer song. Didn't the Clash II have a song called Rock and Roll City? Not too far away.

Who rides the wrecking ball into rock guitars?
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by matedog » 16 Aug 2017, 3:23pm

Heston wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 1:32pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 1:22pm
I'm pretty tolerant of even pretty banal "let's fall in love, wouldn't that make the world wonderful" lyrics if the music is strong enough. I have a bit of an aversion to stuff that is overly earnest or preachy—a stereotypical Gen X allergy to sincerity that I'm still trying to break—but that's about it.
I agree with Doc, lyrics are just a bonus for me. I like loads of "falling in love" songs. To me it's all about the tune or I would just read poetry. Don't get me wrong though, I love a great lyric.
This is pretty much where I stand. I'm actually notoriously bad about even noticing lyrics and generally only do when they are egregiously bad. Nonsense lyrics are usually neutral and occasionally pleasantly evocative (see: The Killers) which can give them a sort of pseudo weight.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by Kory » 16 Aug 2017, 4:08pm

So then why all the criticism of Strummer?
Inder:
Absolutely. Here's another collection of words:

Table salt (spoon hinge)
Octopus (Ukraine)
St. Petersburg (arms)
Ginger beer (cauliflower)
Pat Sajak (PSak)
Lamp post (self evident)
Florida Timeshare (ditto)
Heraclitus (EMI)
Developers (Developers Developers)
Boogie With Your Children

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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by Dr. Medulla » 16 Aug 2017, 4:26pm

Kory wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 4:08pm
So then why all the criticism of Strummer?
We hate The Clash. (Plus I just hate that line in "This Is England.")
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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by matedog » 16 Aug 2017, 4:35pm

Kory wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 4:08pm
So then why all the criticism of Strummer?
Because he had the ability to be an amazing lyricist and chose to not be.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by Spiff » 16 Aug 2017, 5:04pm

Ca plane pour moi is the greatest song ever...

Wham
bang
mon chat "Splash" gite sur mon lit a bouffe
Sa langue en buvant trop mon whysky
Quand a moi peu dormi
vide
brime
J'ai du dormir dans la goutiere
Oil j'ai un flash
ouh
ouh
ouh.
En 4 couleurs
allez op
un matin
Une louloute est v'nue chez moi
Poupee de cellophane
cheveux chinois

Sparadrap
une gueule de bois
A bu ma biere dans un grand verre en caoutchouc
(Ouh
ouh
ouh) comme un indien dans son igloo

Ca plane pour moi
ca plane pour moi

Moi
moi
moi
moi
ca plane pour moi
(Ouh
ouh
ouh) ca plane pour moi

Allez hop
la mama
quel panard
quelle vibration
De s'envoyer sur le paillasson
lime
ruine
vide
comble
You are the king of the divan
qu'elle me dit en passant
(Ouh
Ouh
Quh) I'm the king of the di - van

Ca plane p6ur mai
ca glane gour moi
. . .

Allez hop
t'occupes
t'inquietes
touches pas ma planete
It's not today que le ciel me tombera sur la tete
Et que la colle me manquera
(Ouh
Ouh
Ouh) ca plane pour moi

Ca plane pour moi
ca plane pour moi
. . .

Allez hop
ma nana s'est tiree
s'est barree
Enfin c'est marre
a tout casse
l'evier
le bar
Me laissant seul comme un grand connard
(Ouh
Ouh
Ouh) le pied dans le plat

Ca plane pour moi
ca plane pour moi
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by eumaas » 16 Aug 2017, 5:06pm

matedog wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 3:23pm
I'm actually notoriously bad about even noticing lyrics and generally only do when they are egregiously bad.
Hoy was a Skrewdriver fan for two years.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by Flex » 16 Aug 2017, 5:16pm

eumaas wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 5:06pm
Hoy was a Skrewdriver fan for two years.
"Man, loved that gritty sound when they reformed in '84" - Hoy
"I live inside my own heart, Matt Damon." - Prince

Sous les pavés, la plage.

Pex Lives!

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Re: Nonsense lyrics

Post by eumaas » 16 Aug 2017, 5:23pm

Flex wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 5:16pm
eumaas wrote:
16 Aug 2017, 5:06pm
Hoy was a Skrewdriver fan for two years.
"Man, loved that gritty sound when they reformed in '84" - Hoy
he writes a paragraph about snare drum techniques
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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