Monday, January 14, 2008

the sweet smell of success

One thing Merritt Martin and I have in common - well, aside from enthusiasm for her kickin' robot dance abilities - is a love of song lyrics horribly misinterpreted. One of my all-time favorites is one I think I provided to her blog...possibly my own, I can't remember. But it was my directing attention to the fact that for much of the song, rather than singing "Eyes Without a Face," it totally sounds like Billy Idol is singing "I'll Supply the Fish." Nobody else to my knowledge has ever seconded this notion, but I'm telling you...just listen.

Then a few weeks ago, I was listening to Black Sabbath's "A National Acrobat." One particular line - keep in mind, please, this was written in the mid-70s - is, "I crept inside my embryonic cell." However, Ozzy was at his most nasally back then and, as the song was functioning as background music for the hell that is my workplace, I heard, "I crapped inside my embryonic cell." Which may possibly change the entire meaning of the song, except for the fact that all the Sabbath guys were so droned out on acid back then there was probably no real identifiable meaning to begin with.

But then today I had a delightful flashback to what is without a doubt my greatest lyric misinterpretation ever. I've been a vegetarian for almost twenty years, but it's rare when the smell of some type of meat really grosses me out; I usually just recognize the aroma as something I know I ain't eatin' with the other folks. But every once in a while, a whiff of something will hit me like a brick wall and I'll damn near fall backward, it's so gross. As you might guess, today featured one of those moments. I still have no idea what was being served...just that it smelled fucking nasty. Just greasy and ooky and...just picture my facial expression whenever I see Ann Coulter and that will give you a clue to the look I'm sporting right now just thinking about it. My first response to the unwelcome and very unexpected aroma of fleshy gruel was a sarcastic, "Mmmm...carcass."

Taking that ball and running with it the way my mind usually does, I was immediately humming an old Siouxsie and the Banshees nugget called, yes, "Carcass." It's a great, rockin' little ditty from their debut record when they were Sex Pistols wannabes, and the chorus was, as best I can remember...

Be a carcass
Be a dead...(something)

Limblessly in love...

I don't claim to have ever understood what "limblessly in love" could possibly mean. But the line my brain invented for me, before I saw it on a lyric sheet years later:

Let me smell your love...

As with all bungled lyrics, the incorrect ones are always by far superior. But I swear this gem o' mine stands out, I think (and with all humility), as quite possibly the greatest misheard lyric ever.

Be a carcass...
Let me smell your love...

If I'd been exposed to Siouxsie and the Banshees just four years earlier, I guarantee that would have been on the inside of every compulsory Valentine's Day card I exchanged with my sixth grade classmates. Hell, if I ever get married, I may write the shit into my vows. Silly, romantic fool that I am...

The theme of odoriferousness among the three examples above was purely unintentional, I promise. Like many moments of genius in one's life, it was just a happy, smelly accident. And I just had to share. Because I am a giver, after all...

Happy early Valentine's Day, all. Let me smell your love.


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Blogger nerver said...

"dribble off those spider-proof pants and do what i please"
--"Jack & Diane"...or at least how I will always remember it.

4:22 PM  
Blogger rama666 said...

I was poking around in a Pier 1 just last night and they were playing a Police song over the sound system. For whatever reason - it wasn't intentional and I can only imagine what might be read into this - I distinctly heard, "A year has passed since I broke my nose..."

If I'd been trying to do that, it would've never happened. And that's what I'll hear henceforth.

6:43 PM  

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