July 13, 2002

SOME PEOPLE WANNA FILL THE WORLD WITH SILLY LOVE SONGS :

HEY, BABE, IT'S THE FOURTH OF JULY (Alex Whitlock, 7/04/02, RAW Observations)
Last year, the 4th of July came and went without my much noticing. In fact, if someone were to mention the day, I would have been as much likely to think about the stellar Robert Earl Keen song (written by Dave Alvin). It's not that I wasn't proud to be an American, but, you know, there were more important concerns.

If you'll just bear with me a second, I doubt it will be worth it, but I'll get to my point. I was over perusing Alex Whitlock's blog and found this reference to a great song that I forgot to list in all my myriad Independence Day links. Dave Alvin's 4th of July is an absolute anthem of morosity. It is one of the great tunes to play when you're having romantic difficulties, but, like all rock tunes, it's effective only if you're a guy :
Fourth Of July (Dave Alvin)

She's waiting for me when I get home from work
But things just ain't the same
She turns out the light and cries in the dark
Won't answer when I call her name

(chorus)
On the stairs I smoke a cigarette alone
The Mexican kids are shooting fireworks below
Hey, baby, it's the Fourth of July
Hey, baby, it's the Fourth of July

She gives me her cheek when I want her lips
And I don't have the strength to go
On the lost side of town in a dark apartment
We gave up trying so long ago

(repeat chorus)

Whatever happened, I apologize
So dry your tears and baby, walk outside
It's the Fourth of July

(repeat chorus)


Now that's just ideal for queueing up about thirty times on your record player and getting stinkin' drunk.

But more than that, I realized that the week of the 4th, a bunch of bloggers were talking amongst ourselves (see what we're reduced to when y'all go on vacation and stop reading us?) about the notion that while comedy is inherently and exclusively conservative, pop music is dominated by liberals and the tunes, what with their messages of rebellion and sex and drugs and what not, aren't exactly stolen from scripture. I argued then, with woeful inadequacy, that we at least had Elvis, who is the greatest Rock and Roll figure of all time. But 4th of July got me thinking that one of the themes that unifies many of the best rock songs is that they are misogynistic screeds against the duplicity of women--it's as if they were all being sung by Adam to Eve.

So here are a few more in the same vein--they would all appear on my personal list of best rock songs ever :
Rambling on My Mind (Robert Johnson)

I got ramblin'
I got ramblin' on my mind
I got ramblin'
I got ramblin' all on my mind
Hate to leave you baby
But you treats me so unkind

And now babe
I will never forgive you anymore
Little girl, little girl
I will never forgive you anymore
You did not want me
baby, why did you tell me so?
And I'm runnin' down to the station
catch that first mail train I see spoken: I hear her comin' now.

And I'm running down to the station
catch that old first mail train I see
I've got the blues about Miss So-and-So
and the child got the blues about me
An' they's de'ilment
she got devilment on her mind
She got devilment
little girl, you got devilment all on you rmind
Now I got to leave this mornin'
with my arms a-fold'up and cryin'

I believe
I believe my time ain't long
I believe
I believe that my time ain't long
But I'm leavin' this mornin'
I believe I will go back home

Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley)

We're caught in a trap
I can't walk out
Because I love you too much baby
Why can't you see
What you're doing to me
When you don't believe a word I say?
We can't go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can't build our dreams
On suspicious minds

So, if an old friend I know
Drops by to say hello
Would I still see suspicion in your eyes?
Here we go again
Asking where I've been
You can't see these tears are real
I'm crying
We can't go on together
With suspicious minds
And be can't build our dreams
On suspicious minds

Oh let our love survive
Or dry the tears from your eyes
Let's don't let a good thing die
When honey, you know
I've never lied to you
Mmm yeah, yeah

Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay (Otis Redding)

Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evening comes
Watchin' the ships roll in
Then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away
Just sittin on the dock of the bay
Wastin' ti-hi-hi-hi-hime

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco Bay
I have nothing to live for
Look like nothings gonna come my way, yeah

So I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away
Yes I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' ti-hi-hi-hi-hime

Look like nothin's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So, I guess I'll remain the same

Sittin' hear resting my bones
And this lonliness won't leave me alone, yeah
But two thousand miles I roam,
Just to make this dock my home, yeah

Now I'm sittin' at the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away, yeah
I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wasting ti-hi-hi-hi-hime

Train in Vain (The Clash)

Say you stand by your man
Tell me something I don't understand
You said you love me and that's a fact
Then you left me, said you felt trapped

Well some things you can explain away
But my heartache's in me till this day

CHORUS
Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way

All the times
When we were close
I'll remember these things the most
I see all my dreams come tumbling down
I won't be happy without you around

So all alone I keep the wolves at bay
There is only one thing that I can say

CHORUS

You must explain why this must be
Did you lie when you spoke to me

Did you stand by me
No, not at all

Now I got a job
But it don't pay
I need new clothes
I need somewhere to stay
But without all these things I can do
But without your love I won't make it through

But you don't understand my point of view
I suppose there's nothing I can do

CHORUS

You must explain why this must be
Did you lie when you spoke to me?

Did you stand by me
Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way
Did you stand by me
No, not at all
Did you stand by me
No way

Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew her
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Smoking Gun (Robert Cray)

I get a constant busy signal when I call you on the phone
I get a strong uneasy feeling you're not sitting there alone
I'm having nasty nasty visions and baby you're in every one, yeah
And I'm so afraid I'm gonna find you with a still hot, smokin gun

Maybe you want to end it, you've had your fill of my kind of fun
But you don't know how to tell me and you know that I'm not that dumb
I put two and one together and you know that's not an even sum
And I know just where to find you with a still hot, smokin gun

I'm standing here bewildered, I can't remember just what I've done
I can hear the sirens whining, my eyes blinded by the sun
I know that I should be running, my heart's beating just like a drum
Now they've knocked me down and taken it, that still hot, smokin gun

Yeah still hot, smokin gun
Yes they've taken it
Still hot, smokin gun
Oh they've taken it
Still hot, smokin gun
Knocked me down, taken it

No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley)
No woman no cry
No woman no cry
No woman no cry
No woman no cry

Cause I remember when we used to sit
In a government yard in Trenchtown
Observing the hypocrites
Mingle with the good people we meet
Good friends we have, Oh, good friends we have lost
Along the way
In this great future,
You can't forget your past
So dry your tears, I seh

No woman no cry
No woman no cry
Little darling, don't shed no tears
No woman no cry

Said I remember when we use to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown
And then Georgie would make the fire lights
I seh, log would burnin' through the nights
Then we would cook cornmeal porridge
Of which i'll share with you
My feet is my only carriage
And so i've got to push on thru,
Oh, while i'm gone
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright

No woman no cry
No woman no cry
I seh little darlin'
Don't shed no tears
No woman no cry.

Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff)

There's so many rivers to cross
and I can't seem to find my way home.
Wandering, I'm lost
as I travel as I travel along, the White Cliffs of Dover

Many rivers to cross
and it's only my wind that keeps me alive.
I've been hurt, washed up for years
and it's only my pride that lets me survive.

And this loneliness won't leave me alone,
it's such a drag to be on your own
my baby left, and she wouldn't say why,
Now all I do is cry...

I've got many rivers to cross
and it's only my wind that keeps me alive
I've got so many rivers to cross,
oh, so many rivers to cross...
As it happens, I'm now happily married, so I've no need for such dour fare. But, man, when you're an angst ridden youngster... Anyway, if you've got other suggestions, please feel free to add them in the comments section.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2002 6:08 AM
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