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Month: January 2016

Rock Lyrics Vol. 20 – Supermans Song

A very odd song to be the first hit for a new band, but there it is. Superman’s Song was released in 1991 by the Crash Test Dummies, a Canadian band of some repute hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I think there was another rock band or two that came from Winnipeg, but it slips my mind … [joking].

The deep bass-baritone of Brad Roberts, offset by the dulcet tones of Ellen Reid, is the main draw of the band and a perfect mix for the funeral-dirge vocals of the song.

The lyrics talk of Superman in the past tense, which was odd, because this song was released in 1991 and Superman didn’t “die’ until 1992. Did Brad have some sort of precognition? Or was he tipped off? I’m sure it helped sell CDs in the USA when the comic-book series depicting the death of Superman came out.

The instrumentation is very understated, with the piano supplying the body of sound, along with guitar, bass and various orchestra instruments. The only percussion I can hear is the wooden block. The song was all about the vocals, and rightly so.

This is one of those sing-along songs. I know I did whenever I heard it. You did too, didn’t you? Come on, admit it. Sing along with the video, and read the lyrics while you’re doing it. They’re quite interesting.

 

Superman’s Song

Crash Test Dummies

Tarzan wasn’t a ladies man,
He’d just come along and scoop em
Up under his arm like that,
Quick as a cat, in the jungle.
Clark Kent, now there was a real gent,
He would not be caught sittin’ around in no jungle scape,
dumb as an ape, doin’ nothing.

Superman never made any money,
Savin’ the world from Solomon Grundy.
And sometimes I despair
The world will never see another man like him.

Hey Bob, Supe had a straight job!
Even though he coulda smashed through
Any bank in the United States.
He had the strength but he would not.
Folks said his family were all dead.
Planet crumbled, but Superman he forced himself
To carry on, forget Krypton, and keep goin’

Superman never made any money,
Savin’ the world from Solomon Grundy.
And sometimes I despair
The world will never see another man like him.

Tarzan was king of the jungle,
And lord over all the apes.
But he could hardly string together
Four words, I Tarzan you Jane.

Sometimes when Supe was stoppin’ crimes,
I’ll bet that he was tempted to just quit
And turn his back on man,
Join Tarzan in the forest.
But he stayed in the city,
Kept on changin’ clothes
In dirty old phone booths ’til his work was through.
Had nothin’ to do but go on home.

Superman never made any money,
Savin’ the world from Solomon Grundy.
And sometimes I despair
The world will never see another man like him.

And sometimes I despair
The world will never see another man like him.

Songwriter: BRAD ROBERTS
Superman’s Song lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Released: 1991

 

 

Live Long and Prosper

 

Rock Lyrics Vol. 19 – RIP Starman

Born – David Robert Jones – January 8 1947.

Died – David Bowie – January 10 2016.

“RIP Starman. To say we’ll miss you doesn’t even scratch the surface.”

You will find 3 videos below; the first is the oft-heard radio version we are all so familiar with; the second is a very rare screening of the original promotional film from 1969; and the third is a choir of ordinary people paying homage to a star. I watched all three. You should too.

Space Oddity

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Major Tom (Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six)
Commencing countdown, engines on (Five, Four, Three)
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you (Two, One, Liftoff)

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare

“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in the most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For here am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do
Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows”

Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?

“Can you hear And I’m floating around my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.”

Songwriter: DAVID BOWIE
Released: July 1969
Space Oddity lyrics © T.R.O. IN

Live Long and Prosper

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