« Slippery Slopes | Main | Not Even a Single Metaphor! »

More Indecency Please

I didn't actually watch the basketball games last night, so for a non-politics post we will instead turn to the realm of music. You've heard, perhaps, the Killers song "Mr. Brightside." Lyrics go like this:

Now I'm falling asleep
And she's calling a cab
While he's having a smoke
And she's taking the drag
Now they're going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it's all in my head
But she's touching his chest
Now
He takes off her dress now
Let me go
Shouldn't she be touching his, well, his something that rhymes with "sick?" You know what I mean. Am I just listening to some kind of censored radio edit? Either way, this seems to me a clear error, a victory for the decency police but a loss for art, or at least for the art of rhyme schemes.

April 27, 2005 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8345160fd69e200d83458786a69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference More Indecency Please:

» Shaving cream / Be nice and clean / Shave every day and you’ll always look keen from yesh omrim
Is there some technical lit-crit name for poetry that uses its rhyme scheme to allude to taboo words without actually including them? [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 29, 2005 12:02:13 PM

» Shaving cream / Be nice and clean / Shave every day and you’ll always look keen from yesh omrim
Is there some technical lit-crit name for poetry that uses its rhyme scheme to allude to taboo words without actually including them? [Read More]

Tracked on May 1, 2005 12:28:00 AM

» Shaving cream / Be nice and clean / Shave every day and you’ll always look keen from yesh omrim
Is there some technical lit-crit name for poetry that uses its rhyme scheme to allude to taboo words without actually including them? [Read More]

Tracked on May 5, 2005 6:09:33 AM

Comments

I took the important rhyme to be "chest now..." "dress now..."

Might be wrong though.

Posted by: Gregorus | Apr 27, 2005 2:10:24 PM

This is why I read this blog a lot and TAPPED not so much. Awesome.

Posted by: Al | Apr 27, 2005 2:10:50 PM

Jeebus, Matthew, my 14-year-old might be reading this blog. On the other hand, it's much more likely he's listening to the uncensored version of the song.

Posted by: LowLife | Apr 27, 2005 2:12:27 PM

I agree with Gregorus. They're breaking into the bridge after the stomack is sick, so 'chest now' is the first line of the bridge...

Posted by: Tim | Apr 27, 2005 2:12:32 PM

Is this song an intentional homage to David Bowie's "Queen Bitch," or just a ripoff?

So I lay down a while
And I look at my hotel wall
Oh the cot is so cold
It don't feel like no bed at all
Yeah I lay down a while
And I look at my hotel wall
But he's down on the street
So I throw both his bags down the hall
And I'm phoning a cab
'Cause my stomach feels small
There's a taste in my mouth
And it's no taste at all

Posted by: Hank Scorpio | Apr 27, 2005 2:16:15 PM

Doesn't look like there's much of a consistent rhyme scheme in that song. And I think Gregorus is almost certainly right about "chest now" and "dress now."

Posted by: JakeV | Apr 27, 2005 2:18:23 PM

More 'n likely it works like those playground games that steer away from an indecency at the last moment. You're thinking he'll go for one rhyme, then he switches and makes for another rhyme.

Posted by: The42ndGuy | Apr 27, 2005 2:19:57 PM

The part near the end of that song where the guitarist busts out a variation on Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' melody is SO awesome...

Posted by: RC | Apr 27, 2005 2:21:55 PM

Miss Lucy had a steam boat
The steamboat had a bell,
Miss Lucy went to heaven and the
Steamboat went to...
Hello operator
Please give me number nine
And if you disconnect me
I will chop off your...
Behind the 'fridgerator
There was a piece of glass
Miss Lucy sat upon it
And she cut her little...
Ask me no more questions
I'll tell you no more lies
The boys are in the bathroom
Pulling down their...
Flies are in the meadow
The bees are in the park
Miss Lucy and her boyfriend
Are kissing in the D. A. R. K.
Dark!

Posted by: cleek | Apr 27, 2005 2:24:53 PM

More 'n likely it works like those playground games that steer away from an indecency at the last moment. You're thinking he'll go for one rhyme, then he switches and makes for another rhyme.

the *classic* example of that, which is one of the best things ever

Shaving Cream
Benny Bell

[Written by Benny Bell] 

I have a sad story to tell you
It may hurt your feelings a bit
Last night when I walked into my bathroom
I stepped in a big pile of

Shaving cream, be nice and clean
Shave everyday and you`ll always look keen

I think I`ll break off with my girlfriend
Her antics are queer, I`ll admit
Each time I say, darling, I love you
She tells me that I`m full of

Shaving cream, be nice and clean
Shave everyday and you`ll always look keen

Our baby fell out of the window
You`d think that her head would be split
But good luck was with her that morning
She fell in a barrel of

Shaving cream, be nice and clean
Shave everyday and you`ll always look keen

An old lady died in a bathtub
She died from a terrible fit
In order to fulfill her wishes
She was buried in six feet of

Shaving cream, be nice and clean
Shave everyday and you`ll always look keen

When I was in France with the army
One day I looked into my kit
I thought I would find me a sandwich
But the darn thing was loaded with

Shaving cream, be nice and clean
Shave everyday and you`ll always look keen

And now, folks, my story is ended
I think it is time I should quit
If any of you feel offended
Stick your head in a barrel of

Shaving cream, be nice and clean
Shave everyday and you`ll always look keen

Posted by: Martin | Apr 27, 2005 2:31:28 PM

Old Hick'ry said we could take 'em by surprise,
If we didn't fire our muskets till we looked 'em in the eyes,
We held our fire till we seen their faces well,
Then we opened up with squirrel guns and really gave 'em...well
We fired our guns...

Posted by: SamChevre | Apr 27, 2005 2:31:52 PM

I think the chest now/dress now explanation one is correct (I mean think how dick now would sound if you put in there, not well). As for radio edit, their full album has the same version as the radio.

So I think she really was touching his chest.

Posted by: Matt Singer | Apr 27, 2005 2:39:21 PM

it strikes me as the Benny Bell thing, certainly suggestive of what Matt is wishing for (pining for, prefers, etc.), combined with the ability to match it with a later rhyme. Rather clever.
Keep in mind that I was more impressed by the censored Adam Sanndler song... "my name is Steve Mother Truckin’ Polykronopolis, rather than the more obvios version used in the uncensored song.

Posted by: theCoach | Apr 27, 2005 2:41:53 PM

In terms of rhythm, "Chest" falls on the 1, so it sounds better if it rhymes with "Dress", which also falls on the 1.

Plus, touching the guy's chest is a more intimate picture, and does a better job of capturing the guy's moody jealousy. We can assume she'll be touching sicker spots later, anyways.

Posted by: StJoe | Apr 27, 2005 2:43:01 PM

I haven't heard the song, so I could be off, but if you take each line to be a part of the verse, theres an ODD number of lines, 11. Take the first 'now' and put it on the line before it, But she's touching his chest, now. But while you now have an even number of lines, there still is a 5 part ODD pairing. That means that something has to not rhyme. Its either that chest line, or its the last line. Is this one full verse? Does it lead into the chorus? I'd have to hear it I suppose.

Posted by: Adrock | Apr 27, 2005 2:45:12 PM

SlightlyOT: i've always wondered why my copy of A Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory has radio edits on some of the tracks, but not the others. did they bleep the masters for songs they thought they'd release as singles, but leave the rest untouched ?

Posted by: cleek | Apr 27, 2005 2:45:49 PM

Obligatory Simpsons Reference:

"Instead of 'What I got, you gotta get & put it in ya," how about, 'What I'd like, is I'd like to hug & kiss ya.?'"

Posted by: Grumpy | Apr 27, 2005 2:48:45 PM

'You've got a chemistry class,
I want a piece of your mind.'

- D.P.A. McManus

Posted by: Mrs Tilton | Apr 27, 2005 2:57:43 PM

I always took the pause before "chest" as the guy having a mental image of his ex cheating on him and pulling back on the vision when it gets too bad for him to imagine. Like, he pictures her touching him more intimately and then changes the image in his mind to just touching his chest because, while bothersome, it's not as bad of an image as her touching him somewhere else. And a clever "Miss Suzy had a steamboat" play on words as well.

Posted by: Rebecca | Apr 27, 2005 2:59:19 PM

Obligatory Simpsons Response:

Flea: "Wow. That's much better."
Arik: "Yeah, everyone can enjoy that!"

-----------------------
I agree with the chest/dress thing.

Posted by: Ricky Barnhart | Apr 27, 2005 3:04:19 PM

It's not censored... it's just that the Killers are bad songwriters.

Posted by: Dylan | Apr 27, 2005 3:09:23 PM

Anyone remember the MAD TV skit about American folkhero "Honeydipper Dan," the 20-foot-tall outhouse-cleaner? Everytime they were about to say a bad word, the back-up singers would just sing "Honeydipper Dan!"

Not the exact lyrics, but something like this:

Others would use gloves,
he wouldn't one bit,
He loved to put his hands in,
and fell all of the ...
HONEYDIPPER DAN!

Posted by: Glaivester | Apr 27, 2005 3:13:05 PM

Actually, I always thought it was ‘she’s touching his face now'... anyway, the next lines are:

‘He takes off her dress now/ Let me go / I just can’t look/ It’s killing me/ and taking control / Jealousy...’

The song is about a guy who is driven crazy by the thought of his ex fucking someone else, but yet can’t stop himself from obsessively imagining it. The lines about the shared drag on the cigarette and the chest-touching are meant to show the level of detail in his visual images, and also how he imagines the whole excruciating scenario in head from start to finish.

Posted by: RC | Apr 27, 2005 3:28:00 PM

I think it's clever, kind of like a deceptive cadence.

Posted by: praktike | Apr 27, 2005 3:32:50 PM

Izabella Miko is such a hottie (the blonde chick in the video).

Posted by: fling93 | Apr 27, 2005 3:34:05 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.