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Change Of Perspective

When doing the Rock Music Lyrics series of posts, I have been doing just that … concentrating on the lyrics alone. Upon reflecting over the summer, I’ve decided that a change of perspective is in order, especially with the addition of the Seminal category.

“seminal” – highly original, influential, and important – highly original and influencing the development of future events

As well as commenting on and displaying the lyrics of a song, I’m going to also comment on the use of the music construction and the instruments used, which put together, add interpretation to the meaning of the lyrics. Which upon reading back, is really really confusing. I know what I want to do, however I’m finding it difficult to explain. I am far FAR from a music expert. I can only write down what I feel in my gut and my brain. Please bear with me as I move forward.

I believe there is a way to “pin” this post at the top of the main page. If I succeed in doing that, please use the Categories link to explore the various posts.

Thanks very much for dropping by. Cheers!

Rock Lyrics Vol. 17 – Rockstar

I’m going to end off the Rock Star Life category (for now) with a Canadian band of some repute. Yes, it’s Nickelback. I know. I KNOW! Don’t hit me.

They have struck the right note with this song, as far as describing the Rock Star Life. Or rather, those who DREAM about being having rock star lives, so I have to include it in the list.

The lyrics are long, which is very unusual for rock lyrics, but it covers everything. Which is more than I can say about most of the young ladies in the video.

Here’s a fun exercise for you – after you’ve played the video while reading the lyrics, replay the video and write down the names of all the celebrities that appear in it. Some are normal, everyday people, but there are a lot of stars of film, TV, music and sports making cameos. Let me know how many you spot!

So, as much as it chagrins me, here is Nickelback from 2005 performing Rockstar. Keep dreaming, people!

ROCKSTAR

Nickelback

I’m through with standing in line
to clubs we’ll never get in
It’s like the bottom of the ninth
and I’m never gonna win
This life hasn’t turned out
quite the way I want it to be
(Tell me what you want)

I want a brand new house
on an episode of Cribs
And a bathroom I can play baseball in
And a king size tub big enough
for ten plus me
(So What You Need)

I’ll need a credit card that’s got no limit
And a big black jet with a bedroom in it
Gonna join the mile high club
At thirty-seven thousand feet
(Been there, Done that)

I want a new tour bus full of old guitars
My own star on Hollywood Boulevard
Somewhere between Cher and
James Dean is fine for me
(so how you gonna do it)

I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I’d even cut my hair and change my name

‘Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat
And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger’s
Gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny
With her bleach blond hair
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels
Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes
Sign a couple autographs
So I can eat my meals for free
(I’ll have the quesadilla on the house)

I’m gonna dress my ass
with the latest fashion
Get a front door key to the Playboy mansion
Gonna date a centerfold that loves to
blow my money for me
(so how you gonna do it)

I’m gonna trade this life
For fortune and fame
I’d even cut my hair
And change my name

‘Cause we all just
wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses
driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and
the drugs come cheap
We’ll all stay skinny
’cause we just won’t eat
And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger’s
gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny
with her bleach blond hair
And we’ll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and
today’s who’s who
They’ll get you anything
with that evil smile
Everybody’s got a
drug dealer on speed dial well
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

I’m gonna sing those songs
that offend the censors
Gonna pop my pills
from a pez dispenser
get washed-up singers writing all my songs
Lip sync em every night so I don’t get ’em wrong

Well we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hillltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat
And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger’s gonna wind up there
Every playboy bunny with her bleach blond hair
And we’ll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today’s who’s who
They’ll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody’s got a drug dealer on speed dial
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

 

 

Live Long and Prosper

Rock Lyrics Vol. 7 – Money For Nothing

In this case, the dissing of the “easy living” rock star life comes from some blue collar workers and is all wrapped up in the first few lines:

Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free

That theme runs throughout the song and probably aptly represents the view of most ordinary people – money for nothing.

This song was not without controversy, though. I can remember quite clearly hearing the news reports and radio DJs talking about the original lyrics, which got this song banned almost everywhere, until they re-released it with the lyrics changed. This is the offending original verse:

See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy that’s his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he’s a millionaire

I am showing the original lyrics, because that is how they were written and copyrighted at the time, but you’ll notice when playing the video that Mark Knopfler uses different lyrics during this live performance at the Knebworth Festival in Hertfordshire, England, June 30th 1990.

He does play a mean guitar! The guy in pink isn’t too bad either. And the fella on tambourine sure looks like Rick Neilson …

Money For Nothing

Dire Staits

Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free
Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s

See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy that’s his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he’s a millionaire

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchens deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s

I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin’ in the camera
Man we could have some fun
And he’s up there, what’s that? Hawaiian noises?
Bangin’ on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Get your money for nothin’ get your chicks for free

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s, Lord

Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free

Live Long And Prosper!

Rock Lyrics Vol. 3 – The Weird

Here is another of my rock anthems that set my head to bobbing, especially when Rick starts windmilling on his guitar. But when you dig into the lyrics, well, it’s just weird.

Like, just what the hell does this mean:

Well just the other day I heard of a soldier’s falling off
Some Indonesian junk that’s going round.

It seems to be an early Boomer telling his girlfriend what advice his World War 2 parents are giving him. But then he catches his parents rockin’ & rollin’ on the couch. And they mention KISS albums?? Too weird for me.

It all sounds good when you’re rockin’ to the beat. Maybe it’s best to just ignore the lyrics altogether and allow yourself to get lost in the music.

Surrender

Cheap Trick

Mother told me, yes, she told me I’d meet girls like you.
She also told me, “Stay away, you’ll never know what you’ll catch.”
Well just the other day I heard of a soldier’s falling off
Some Indonesian junk that’s going round.

Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird.
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away, ay, aaaaaaaay.

Father says, “Your mother’s right, she’s really up on things.”
“Before we married, Mommy served in the WACS in the Philippines.”
Now, I had heard the wacs recruited old maids for the war.
But mommy isn’t one of those, I’ve known her all these years.

Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird.
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away, ay, aaaaaaaay.

Whatever happened to all this season’s losers of the year?
Every time I got to thinking, where’d they disappear?
When I woke up, Mom and Dad are rolling on the couch.
Rolling numbers, rock and rollin, got my Kiss records out.

Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird.
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away, ay, aaaaaaaay.

Awaaaaaaay.
Awaaaaaaay.

Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away.
(Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright)
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away.
(Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright)
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away.
(Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright)
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away.
(Bun E’s alright, Tommy’s alright, Robin’s alright, Rick’s alright)
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away.
(Were all alright, Were all alright, Were all alright, Were all alright!!!)
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away.
(Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright)

 

This is another live video. I’m pretty sure it’s at Budokan, Japan, circa 1978. Good stuff!

Live Long And Prosper

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