Questions About Lyrics

sadchild

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In the Dropkick Murphys song "The Queen Of Suffolk County", he sings:

She was a stunner in Gazelles
Yeah, she rung all ten bells
She was fire, she was lust
She was the devil with a bit of angel dust


Evidently Gazelles are a brand of Adidas sneakers.

But what does it mean to "ring all ten bells"? Here are some potential pieces to the answer that I've found so far:

* Westminster Abbey has ten bells which are rung on church festivals and for royal and other occasions.

* In professional wrestling, a ten-bell salute is given to honor a wrestler who has died.

* Rex Stimers, a junior hockey broadcaster, coined the phrase “A 10-bell save” when describing a great stop.
 

scotchandcigar

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In the Dropkick Murphys song "The Queen Of Suffolk County", he sings:

She was a stunner in Gazelles
Yeah, she rung all ten bells
She was fire, she was lust
She was the devil with a bit of angel dust


Evidently Gazelles are a brand of Adidas sneakers.

But what does it mean to "ring all ten bells"? Here are some potential pieces to the answer that I've found so far:

* Westminster Abbey has ten bells which are rung on church festivals and for royal and other occasions.

* In professional wrestling, a ten-bell salute is given to honor a wrestler who has died.

* Rex Stimers, a junior hockey broadcaster, coined the phrase “A 10-bell save” when describing a great stop.
These things seem to go up to 10

1652974643421.png
 
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Channel98

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The numbers go up to ten but there is only one bell. And of course I thought of this 1950 song by Guy Lombardo and Kenny Gardner. It was the B-side of their #10 hit All My Love.

 
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sadchild

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Heard this one on the way into work today (my 90s mix). That 3rd line makes no sense to me. Shouldn't it be "off the rails"? And doesn't "off the rails" fit the theme of the song better?

Who cares about tomorrow
Let the wind fill your sails
A runaway train ridin' on the rails


 

Channel98

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Yes, "off the rails" would make more sense – but, depending on its speed and how many sharp curves there are, a runaway train
will not always go off the rails. Now can anyone explain the meaning of this verse in Soul Asylum's Runaway Train?

Call you up in the middle of the night
Like a firefly without a light
You were there like a blowtorch burning
I was a key that could use a little turning

Speaking of runaway trains.......

 
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scotchandcigar

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Here's a big hit song, one of my favorites from MJ. But when he gets to the "vegetable" thing, he loses me. WTF is he talking about?

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
Song by Michael Jackson

I said you wanna be startin' somethin'
You got to be startin' somethin'
I said you wanna be startin' somethin'
You got to be startin' somethin'

It's too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You're stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
It's too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You're stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)

I took my baby to the doctor
With a fever, but nothin' he found
By the time this hit the street
They said she had a breakdown

Someone's always tryin'
To start my baby cryin'
Talkin', squealin', lyin'
Sayin' you just want to be startin' somethin'

I said you wanna be startin' somethin' (hee!)
You got to be startin' somethin'
I said you wanna be startin' somethin'
You got to be startin' somethin'

It's too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You're stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
It's too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You're stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)

You're a vegetable (you're a vegetable)
You're a vegetable (you're a vegetable)
Still they hate you (still they hate you)
You're a vegetable (you're a vegetable)
You're just a buffet (you're just a buffet, you're a vegetable)
You're a vegetable (you're a vegetable)
They eat off of you (they eat off of you, you're a vegetable)
You're a vegetable, ow!
 
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Channel98

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Here is an essay by someone who wrote a lot without really saying much. He also refers to Michael Jackson as "them," treats "media" as a singular instead of a plural and gives the plural of "sister-in-law" as "sister-in-laws." No wonder he didn't give his name!

Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ lyrics meaning

One moment, please...
 

scotchandcigar

All I wanted was some steak
Feb 13, 2009
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Here is an essay by someone who wrote a lot without really saying much. He also refers to Michael Jackson as "them," treats "media" as a singular instead of a plural and gives the plural of "sister-in-law" as "sister-in-laws." No wonder he didn't give his name!

Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ lyrics meaning

One moment, please...
Remember when we thought the internet would elevate and enlighten us all?

Anyway, he does make a useful point about "vegetable" being a reference to being stepped-on, or put down. It just seems like an odd analogy.
 
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sadchild

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Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ lyrics meaning
Wow. This dude's speculations have speculations.

"That track is about Michael's brothers' wives and how they were always creating trouble - that was his inspiration."
- Bruce Swedien (Engineer on Thriller)

But as for the vegetable line, I've always thought it was bizarre too.

"They eat off of you, you're a vegetable." Feels like a weird way of saying "they feed off of you". 'They' being the tabloids.

But who thought 'vegetable' was a good word to sing in a disco song? Bit of a mouthful.

And who thought think people wouldn't assume he was talking about this:

Vegetable (noun) informal + sometimes offensive : a person whose mental and physical functioning is severely impaired and especially one who requires supportive measures (such as mechanical ventilation) to survive.

Lastly, when the song stops and he says, "hee haw oo!" - that always sounded dumb to me.
 

scotchandcigar

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This song is on the 70s countdowns a lot. I always found it haunting, done in minor chords. But it's about getting married; so despite the depressing melody, it must be an uplifting song, right?

Well, no. Here are the lyrics to That's The Way I Always Heard It Should Be by Carly Simon:

My father sits at night with no lights on
His cigarette glows in the dark.
The living room is still;
I walk by, no remark.
I tiptoe past the master bedroom where
My mother reads her magazines.
I hear her call sweet dreams,
But I forgot how to dream.

But you say it's time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me -
Well, that's the way I've always heard it should be:
You want to marry me, we'll marry.

My friends from college they're all married now;
They have their houses and their lawns.
They have their silent noons,
Tearful nights, angry dawns.
Their children hate them for the things they're not;
They hate themselves for what they are-
And yet they drink, they laugh,
Close the wound, hide the scar.

But you say it's time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me -
Well, that's the way I've always heard it should be:
You want to marry me, we'll marry.

You say we can keep our love alive
Babe - all I know is what I see -
The couples cling and claw
And drown in love's debris.
You say we'll soar like two birds through the clouds,
But soon you'll cage me on your shelf -
I'll never learn to be just me first
By myself.

Well O.K., it's time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me -
Well, that's the way I've always heard it should be,
You want to marry me, we'll marry,
We'll marry.
 

sadchild

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I never listened closely enough to realize how apathetic it is. Join the squad of zombies, right....

Evidently written by a man though:

A journalist/screenwriter named Jacob Brackman wrote the lyrics. He and Simon met when they were counselors at a summer camp in 1967.
 
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sadchild

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I've never understood what he's talking about in the second verse of "West End Girls"

Too many shadows, whispering voices
Faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what?
How much have you got?
Have you got it, do you get it, if so, how often?
And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?
 

scotchandcigar

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I've never understood what he's talking about in the second verse of "West End Girls"

Too many shadows, whispering voices
Faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what?
How much have you got?
Have you got it, do you get it, if so, how often?
And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?
Clearly, he's talking about eating eggs.
 

sadchild

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Before looking them up, I thought the lyrics were

"Have you got it together? If so, how often?" - which is a much better line IMO

and

"Which do you choose, a hard or soft lotion" - which I assumed was masturbatory
 
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