Tag Archives: Lyrics

It Can’t Happen Here. Can It?

Rainbow’s Apocalyptic Song 36 Years Later –

It’s Easy To Believe That Someone’s Gonna Light The Fuse

Hard rock band Rainbow’s lyrics, usually evoke the mystical or tongue in cheek double entendre imagery.

But one song, Can’t Happen Here from the album 1981 Difficult To Cure still resonates with issues that are as relevant today as the day the song was written in 1981.

With music by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and lyrics by bass player Roger Glover, Can’t Happen Here asks the ultimate question: Is it possible someone will push the button and bring on Armageddon?

The lyrics:

Can’t Happen Here
(Blackmore, Glover © 1981)

Contaminated fish and micro chips
Huge supertankers on Arabian trips
Oily propaganda from the leaders’ lips
All about the future
There’s people over here people over there
Everybody’s looking for a little more air
Crossing all the borders just to take their share
Heading for the future

And we’re so abused and we’re so confused
It’s easy to believe that someone’s gonna light the fuse

Can’t happen here, can’t happen here, all that you fear they’re telling you, can’t happen here

Supersonic planes for a holiday boom
Rio de Janeiro in an afternoon
There’s people out of work but there’s people on the moon
Looking for the future
Concrete racetracks nationwide
Juggernauts are carving up the countryside
Cars by the million on a one way ride
Using up the future Continue reading

Prince’s Cause of Death Revealed

Prince’s Death, No Surprise To Vet

A Look Back At Prince and His Career

Prince the famous pit bull, was just a little over the age of eight (57 in dog years) when he died suddenly last week, shocking the entertainment world. His longtime veterinarian, Dr. Hugo Z. Clydell in a news conference said today that he was “not surprised by Prince’s death” and revealed the likely cause of his demise.

“Although Prince seemed to be in good health,” Dr. Clydell stated, “he had been secretly battling the mange for quite a while. Prince was also suffering from distemper, so it was just a matter of time before he died of natural causes or had to be put down.”

Prince in one of his famous costumes

Prince in one of his famous costumes

The intensively private pooch also had some bad habits which few on the outside knew about. Dr Clydell told reporters that for the past few years Prince had been drinking out of the toilet bowl.

“It was something he was ashamed of, but couldn’t stop,” said Dr. Clydell. Frequently after drinking from the toilet, Prince would chew on a shoe and then pee on the rug.

“Prince tried all sorts of therapy to stop this behavior,” Dr Clydell added, “but it never worked. It was only after the fact that he realized that he may have been doing something wrong. He was then made clear of his transgressions when he was hit on the snout with a rolled up newspaper and yelled at by humans, ‘Bad dog! Bad dog!'”‘

Some of Prince’s playmates were also aware of his maladies, weaknesses and recent changes in behavior.

Snoopy, a beagle owned by C.M. Schulz of St. Paul, MN knew that Prince was not himself when they met last week at Perkins Hill Park. When Snoopy greeted Prince in his usual fashion, Prince did not reciprocate and sniff longtime pal Snoopy’s testicles. “Something is wrong,” thought Snoopy who retreated to lay on the top of his doghouse.

Below: video of Prince playing and singing at home.

A Career In Retrospect
Prince gained prominence as a precocious puppy by finishing second in the Westbrook, MN dog show in 2008. After the show, Prince was signed to a long term contract by Weaning Bros. Records, a deal Prince later regretted and growled about as his fame grew. Prince put out numerous albums and appeared in dozens of television commercials, music videos and a feature film over a seven year span.

Prince’s first television commercial for Alps dog food, was a smashing success, spurring the catchy Alps theme song Let’s Go Gravy on to the Billboard semi-hot 100 music chart. Let’s Go Gravy remained on the charts for 41 weeks peaking at number four and made Prince a household name at least in his home state of Minnesota.

From there Prince went on to star as the dog who chased (always without success) a car with shiny hubcaps in a series of Chevrolet ads for the failed re-launch of the Corvair. The song to these commercials written and barked by Prince was also a top ten hit with its catchy lyrics:

“Hubcaps so shiny, / Car that can explode / Make you all miney / Chase you down the road / Little red corvair, / slow down, / you’re….wooof, much…. wooof…. too…. woooofff, ……fast.” Continue reading

When Lyrics Meant Something – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and “Ohio”

May 4th Marks the Anniversary of Four Kent State University Students Murdered For Protesting The U.S. Invasion of Cambodia and the Vietnam War

Do today’s songs have meaning?

One of the things I am confronted with in the 21st century is the degraded state of music today, especially lyrically. Do people really listen to the lyrics of songs and give them any serious thought?  Or are the majority of songs being written not worthy of deep examination?

In the 1960’s and 70’s music listeners certainly did pay attention to the words being sung. They pored over lyric sheets which were inserted into LP albums with artwork that was meant to be contemplated, pondered, discussed, interpreted and argued over. Beginning with the shift to CD’s in the late eighties with their micro-printing of lyrics Continue reading

Subway Song

“I Saw It in The BRT”

An ode to the subway.

This 1917 ditty was written about the BRT (Brooklyn Rapid Transit System), which was the former name to the BMT (Brooklyn Manhattan Transit System).  The words which extoll the virtues of the advertising you would see on the train were written by Charles H. Willich and the music by George A. Sumner.

It is amazing how many products mentioned in the song are still around from almost 100 years ago: Grape Nuts, Wrigley’s Gum, Cracker Jacks, Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix and many others.

New Yorker’s have no more BRT, BMT, IND (Independent) or IRT (Interboro Rapid Transit). Now we just call it the subway, run by the oligarchal fiefdom called the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority).  And most of the ads you see are for acne treatments, learning English, and filing lawsuits.

Lyrics can be read here (click to enlarge):



Who is Strider? The Bron-Y-Aur Stomp Dog

Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant With His Dog Strider

For those of you who are big Led Zeppelin fans you already know that the song Bron-Y-Aur Stomp off of Led Zeppelin III is about Robert Plant’s dog Strider. Here’s a photo of the pooch in question with his somber companion. Interestingly the song was misspelled on the original album: it was supposed to read Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp.

Listen to: Bron-Y-Aur Stomp live from the Led Zeppelin live album How The West Was Won

Lyrics: Continue reading

Did That Song Just Make Fun of Stuttering?

Speech Impediments Were Fair Game For Early Songwriters

Forget The Who with “My Generation” or David Bowie with “Changes.” Stuttering lyrics were once blatant and over the top. Unlike today where some songs contain stuttering verses,  100 years ago, the stuttering was in the title or subtitle.

In 1907 an imaginative songwriter said to himself, “Hey. I’ve got an idea, I’ll write a song about stuttering, it will be a smash!” But he thought it over, “Hmmm,  that’s been done already. What if I added something about having a lisp?”Maybe that is the way the smash hit, The Boy Who Stuttered and The Girl Who Lisped by Louis Weslyn came to fruition.  Two speech impediments are better than one.

Today it seems politically incorrect (and in bad taste.) If songs like this were being produced today, protesters would be lining up to have the songs banned.

Back then, nothing was thought of it; a stutter or lisp would make perfectly acceptable lyrical content. The more outrageous the lyric, the better. Click here to listen to the song performed in 1908 by Billy Murray and Ada Jones.

The unusual thing is that Billy Murray seemed to be very good at fake stuttering and recorded one of the most popular stuttering songs of all-time, K-K-K-Katy “the sensational stammering song success” written by Geoffrey O’Hara in 1917. When you hear Murray’s rendition of K-K-K-Katy in the vocal break towards the end, you will be reminded of Mel Blanc, the famous Warner Brother’s cartoon voice of Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck etc. etc.) . You can be sure Blanc took a page from Murray to create Porky’s stammer as Blanc later recorded his own version of K-K-K-Katy.  Click here to listen to Murray’s K-K-K-Katy.

And while Murray was an accomplished early recording star and performer, and could sing in other styles, he recorded another stuttering song in 1922, You Tell Her I S-T-U-T-T-T-E-R which was written by Billy Rose and Cliff Friend. Continue reading

What Goes Around Comes Around – Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!


Sometimes the songs of yesteryear are apropos for today.  The lyrics of a song from the 1920’s or 30’s can translate very well in today’s economic tumult, with millions of Americans still out of work in the midst of our “economic recovery.”  I see many of the same things happening today that transpired during the Great Depression.

Bread Line 1930’s Brooklyn, NY

Current events played a bigger role in the writing of songs back then, including this gem from composers Wesley and Mischa Portnoff and lyrics by Norman Anthony, performed by Eddie Cantor in 1931, Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz! The song was featured in the 2005 film Cinderella Man.

Eddie Cantor was one of the great entertainers of all time. He was a humanitarian and optimist.  His rags to riches story is one that I shall elaborate on at another time.  He was usually among the first choices for many songwriters to showcase their work.

Is the current recession over? I don’t believe it.

And what does nertz mean? — nonsense or nuts or (a polite way at the time of saying) B.S.

Here for your listening pleasure an mp3 with lyrics below of Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!

Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!

Cheer Up, Smile, Nertz!

Sure, business is bunk,
And Wall Street is sunk,
We’re all of us broke, and ready to croak.
We’ve nothing to Continue reading