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Rock Lyrics Vol. 21 – Same As It Ever Was

I have always liked this song, with its’ off-beat style. And I use “off-beat” not just as a saying, but because it was recorded ‘off-beat’. Brian Eno, a composer and producer (also a member of the band Roxy Music), had some of the members of Talking Heads start the song on the ‘1’ beat (as normal) and the rest started on the ‘3’ beat, giving the song “a funny balance within it. It has really two centers of gravity: their ‘1’ and my ‘1.’”

Once In A Lifetime “was named one of the 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century by National Public Radio and is also included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”  Does that seem surprising to you? It does to me. I always viewed this tune as a simple, fun song to do the Egyptian dance to, never having been aware of its’ importance.

I remember it most from Much Music, who played the video often. Which is odd, because Much Music didn’t come on the scene until late 1984, and this song was recorded in 1980, released in 1981 as the first single on Talking Head’s 4th album, Remain In Light. The video I am including in this post is the full-length version of the song, a full minute longer than the promoted version you will find elsewhere on YouTube. You can read more about the song here.

Having just turned 65 today, I have chosen this tune as my song of the day: Once In A Lifetime, Same As It Ever Was.

Enjoy.

Once In A Lifetime

Talking Heads

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself
Well…How did I get here?

Letting the days go by
Let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by
Water flowing underground
Into the blue again
After the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime
Water flowing underground

And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife

Letting the days go by
Let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by
Water flowing underground
Into the blue again
After the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime
Water flowing underground

Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…

Water dissolving…and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Under the water, carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean

Letting the days go by
Let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by
Water flowing underground
Into the blue again
Into the silent water
Under the rocks and stones
There is water underground

Letting the days go by
Let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by
Water flowing underground
Into the blue again
After the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime
Water flowing underground

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself
My God!…What have I done?!

Letting the days go by
Let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by
Water flowing underground
Into the blue again
Into the silent water
Under the rocks and stones
There is water underground

Letting the days go by
Let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by
Water flowing underground
Into the blue again
After the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime
Water flowing underground

Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…

Look where my hand was
Time isn’t holding up
Time is an asterisk

Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…

Yeah, the twister comes
Here comes the twister
Same as it ever was…

Songwriters
BYRNE, DAVID/FRANTZ, CHRISTOPHER/WEYMOUTH, TINA/HARRISON, JERRY/ENO, BRIAN PETER GEORGE

Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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

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. 16 – American Band

This song has long been one of my favourite tunes (you’ll see how long in a minute), but it never occurred to me that it was a song about Rock Star Life. It is! The main theme is partying while travelling, “tear the hotel down“, and about groupies. Except, they don’t call them groupies. As the lyric says: “Four young chiquitas in Omaha“, who were waiting for the band in the hotel lobby intent on meeting the boys in the band. And they did!

They make special mention of a super-groupie, Connie Hamzy, who claims to have ‘had’ Don Brewer, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Huey Lewis, Peter Criss, and Bill Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas, among others, I’m sure.

The other person they reference is Freddie King, a renowned blues player hailing from Texas. Freddie opened for the band during one tour and would hold poker games after the concerts. Freddie usually won.

Recorded in Florida on June 12, 1973 (42 years ago!), produced by Todd Rundgren, here is one of the best-named bands in all of rock – Grand Funk Railroad – performing We’re An American Band live in 1974. Shirtless. Rock on, dudes!

WE’RE AN AMERICAN BAND

Grand Funk Railroad

Out on the road for forty days
Last night in Little Rock, put me in a haze
Sweet, sweet Connie was doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact

Up all night with Freddie King
I got to tell you, poker’s his thing
Booze and ladies, keep me right
As long as we can make it to the show tonight

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

Four young chiquitas in Omaha
Waitin’ for the band to return from the show
A feelin’ good, feelin’ right and it’s Saturday night
The hotel detective, he was outta sight

Now these fine ladies, they had a plan
They was out to meet the boys in the band
They said, “Come on dudes, let’s get it on!”
And we proceeded to tear that hotel down

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

[ubiquitous guitar solo]

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band (whooo)
We’re an American band (whooo)
We’re an American band (whooo)

 

 

Live Long and Prosper

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