Monday, October 02, 2006

Huh?

Did you ever hear a song and think, “Huh?” As in, “What the heck does THAT mean?”

I was driving to work this morning listening to an oldies station. “Draggin’ the Line” came on. I knew the song. I’d heard it many times. It has a steady beat that’s catchy, and good harmony in the chorus. But I never paid any attention to the words.


Makin' a living the old hard way
Takin' and giving by day by day
I dig snow and rain and bright sunshine
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)

My dog Sam eats purple flowers
We ain't got much but what we got's ours
We dig snow and rain and bright sunshine
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)

I feel fine
I'm talkin' bout peace of mind
I'm gonna take my time
I'm gettin' the good sign
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)

Loving the free and feelin' spirit
Of huggin' a tree when you get near it
Diggin' the snow and rain and bright sunshine
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)

I feel fine
I'm talkin' bout peace of mind
I'm gonna take my time
I'm gettin' the good sign
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)...


Just what is that song saying? Was the song writer high on something and just felt peace and love and jotted down these lyrics? “My dog Sam eats purple flowers...”

Okay. So?

And what is “Draggin’ the line” all about? What line? Or, a line of what? Is it all about drugs?

Then I started thinking about other songs that were big hits in the 60s and 70s despite the fact that the words seemed to be nonsense or were completely incomprehensible.

I remember clearly all the hoopla about the “real” words to “Louie, Louie,” and whether or not they were pornographic. How about “Wooly Bully?” Remember “Iko Iko” sung by the Dixie Cups? Read this story and their lyrics.

I guess all of those songs had one thing in common: a strong, foot-tapping beat. Maybe that’s all it takes sometimes to make a hit.

Can you come up with some more examples? There must be hundreds.

8 comments:

Candace said...

"I Am The Walrus." Now THOSE were some good drugs! The words were simply not important, and the song didn't have what you'd call a good strong beat.
But, it was marvelously complex, musically I mean. It had layers upon layers upon layers in there. Listen to it sometime and focus on one instrument, then repeat with the focus on another, and another. You'll be amazed at how it's all put together. Leonard Bernstein called it Lennon's masterpiece.

Christina said...

Blinded by the Light. Very catchy, makes no sense.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Candace,

Good one. I don't mind music with nonsense lyrics (or NO lyrics) if the quality of the music itself is good (as you describe); or the blending of voices, harmonies, rhythms, and so on is something special.

Christina,

Can't comment. I'll have to find that one and listen to it. Don't know it. (I'm OLD, remember?) But I just Googled it a read the lyrics... Huh?

Faith said...

I'd hate to walk a dog that's eaten purple flowers...

Duke_of_Earle said...

Faith,
I assume you're thinking about cleaning up after the dog you walk, right? That occurred to me as well. Then I read the next line, "We ain't got much, but what we got's ours." I wondered if that included the inevitable byproducts of the digested purple flowers. One DOES wonder what the songwriter was (smoking?) thinking.

John

Shesawriter said...

I feel the same "huh" about Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. I have NO idea what that woman is singing about.

kenju said...

I know one, but I'm darned if I can think of the name of it now. I'll come back when I remember it.

You know it: Bye, bye Miss American Pie?

Christina said...

Candace, the name of the song is "American Pie." Good one. Another you shouldn't think too hard about is "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

Anyway, i came on here to comment on the post about bonuses. What happened?

I can't imagine that many people having that many complaints. They are lucky to get anything extra! (you know my boss and why I'm saying this). Tell them if they complain about one more thing it voids the bonus AND the raise and they can all kiss your a**!