Sunday, November 24th, 2013

My brother plays this game with me where he texts me a line from a pop song, sometimes familiar, sometimes obscure, and I try to guess what it is.

He’s much better at this game than I am. The other day he texted, “He says his name is William, but I’m sure he’s Bill or Billy or Mac or Buddy,” while the best I’ve ever been able to do is stump him by quoting the first few lines of Elton John’s Benny and the Jets:

Hey, kids, shake it loose together
The spotlight’s hitting something that’s been known to change the weather
We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight, so stick around
You’re going to hear electric music, solid walls of sound

“I got nothin’,” was his best guess. When I told him it was Benny and the Jets, he said, “I didn’t know that song had words.”

I never knew the words to Bennie and the Jets either until I looked it up on the internet one day and even then they didn’t make sense until I put a recording of the song on a loop and listened to it with the words in front of me. To this day, only the first verse makes any sense to me, by which I mean that I can sort of sing them with the song, not that they make any actual sense. I couldn’t ever manage to make the second verse scan very well at all so I don’t remember what it is even after listening to it a couple hundred times.

Songs Without Words would be the name of my a capella tribute band, made up entirely of singers with awesome voices singing in flawless harmony who would nonetheless know none of the lyrics to the songs they were singing. All the songs would be pop tunes from my youth that I pretended to know the words to but didn’t. I would make my best attempt to write the words down after a single pass over a recording. For instance, here’s what I heard when I listened to Brass In Pocket by The Pretenders just now:

Got brass in pocket
Goat fly dell
I’m gonna use it
Intention
I feel in my tab
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice
Got motion
Listen demotion
Been diving detour leaning
No visa
Just seems so pleasing
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice
Gonna use my arms
Gonna use my legs
Gonna use my style
Gonna use my sad sail
Gonna use my fingers
Gonna use my, my, my imagination
Cause I’m gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here, no one like me
I’m special, so special
I’ve got to have some of your attention
Give it to me
Got rhythm, I can’t miss a beat
I got you, skank, sooo reeks!
Got something, when can I tell
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice
Gonna use my arms
Gonna use my legs
Gonna use my style
Gonna use my sad sail
Gonna use my fingers
Gonna use my, my, my imagination
Cause I’m gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here, no one like me
I’m special, so special
I’ve got to have some of your attention
Give it to me

This is in fact the first time I’ve ever tried to write out the words to Brass In Pocket, and I believe it turned out so well that I’m never going to look up the lyrics on the internet. I’m just going to stay with these for the rest of my life. If you make any attempt to inform me of the actual words I will delete your comment without reading it and never speak to you again.

no words | 3:39 pm CST
Category: entertainment, music, play
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