Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Anti-Dylan

You often see lyrics to classic songs analyzed to glean their every meaning. We want to know what the musical poets were trying to say with their words as much as feeling the notes of the music.

But what about bad song lyrics? No one ever analyzes those. Until now.

This is the chorus to "Everybody Wants Some" by Van Halen

Everybody wants some
I want some too
Everybody needs some
how 'bout you

Judging by the first verse what everyone wants is a sexual encounter on a subway and I don't think it means sloppy kisses between bites of a six inch sweet onion chicken teriyaki sub either. Why you'd want your junk touching bacteria-infested subway seats I don't know but in Van Halen's alcohol-induced haze it must be like a room at the Ritz Carlton. The narrator says "everybody" wants some, but follows it up with telling us he wants it also. The collective "everybody" would encompass the narrator as well so the entire second line is superfluous. He proceeds to tell us "everybody" needs some, but follows by asking us, the listeners, if we want some as well. Again, we would be included in the "everybody" of the previous line so why ask us? The answer of course is the band had the music written and then needed some words that rhymed to call them "lyrics". A few minutes later the song is done and David Lee Roth is combing his chest hair.

This is the chorus to "Working for the Weekend" by Loverboy

Everybody's working for the weekend
Everybody needs a new romance
Everybody's going off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance
You want a piece of my heart
You better start from the start
You want to be in the show
Come on baby let's go

I can't argue with the first line since I spend most work-days wool gathering about anything and everything. The second line uses the collective "everybody" but this discounts people who are happily married as well as those in common law marriages, long term relationships, civil unions or just blissfully "shacking up". None of these people are looking for a new romance. The next line is specious at best again because of the use of the collective "everybody". I know plenty of people who are losing it at any given time, but I also know many who are stable so don't lump them all in together like a Freud-Jung bouillabaisse. I won't argue with the ‘second chance’ line in general terms although what it has to do with working for the weekend, I don't know. A second chance to say no to overtime? Another shot at asking out the girl in accounting?

'You want a piece of my heart'? Is this literal or figurative? I need more context on whether the band is singing to a young lady or a serial killer with an internal organ fetish. 'You better start from the start'. Sorry, but where else would you start from except the 'start', which grammatically should be 'beginning'. Then some mythical show is mentioned and apparently all you have to do to be in it is 'go'. The take-away from all of this is much like Van Halen, Loverboy had written the music but needed lyrics so the singer had something to do. They threw darts at a dictionary and wound up with this hit song.

So there you have installment 1 of a 1,287 part series of bad song lyrics interpreted pedantically.

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