There've been many funny columns written about mis-heard song lyrics. (i.e., “Then I saw her face, and now I'm gonna leave her” (actually “Now I'm A Believer”).
This is not one of them.
This section is about hit songs with lyrics that are Just. Plain. Shtoopid.
The author's wife hears them. The band hears them. The sound engineer at the record company hears them. The janitor out in the *hall* hears them. And NOBODY MENTIONS that they are UTTERLY STUPID.
I'm not talking about Neil Diamond's utterly stupid “Songs she sang to me, songs she brang to me” in his hit *Play Me*. That one is BEYOND STUPID, because Neil Diamond KNOWS better. And it's DELIBERATE!
He is a good lyricist. This is a serious song, not Roger Miller's *Dang Me*.
[By the way, I met Neil Diamond when he was deeply upset-- the tape he was making for his new album was almost finished, and SOME TURKEY HAD JUST STOLEN IT. He had put a lot of work into it, was on the verge of tears, but was wonderfully gracious and kind. I don't know if it was ever recovered.]
No... I am talking about dumb to the fifth power. I'll give you a few examples, and you and your friends can probably burn a whole afternoon on the hammock coming up with many more.
Let's start with the (rather elderly) *Paul Bunyan*. The shtoopid part goes, “Hey Paul, Paul Bunyan...he's 63 ax handles high, with his feet on the ground and his head in the sky.”
REALLY? THAT'S how they found out how tall he was? Put his feet on the ground and let his head occupy sky-space? IS THAT NOT HOW WE FIND OUT HOW MOST PEOPLE ARE MEASURED?
*This* belongs in his song, to honor him forever and ever?
Another oldie. *There's No Tomorrow*. The man is speaking to someone he wants to, shall we say, get physical with. Here's his big argument: “Tomorrow will be too late. It's Now or Never-- my love won't wait.”
Rather self-serving, don't ya think? This reasoning is supposed to make her cave in like a wet taco shell?
This is their only chance? Is she going on a one-way trip to Uranus?
Dude, this is all about YOU.
How about *Up On the Roof*? “On the roof, the only place I know... where you don't have to wish to make it so..”
What are you wishing for? An umbrella? A parachute?
*What have you been smoking?*
Rod Stewart's *Hot Legs*. Guy tells a libidinous 17-year-old, “Gonna need a shot of vitamin E by the time you're finished with me.”
Um... you need to have taken the Vitamin E first. I'm just saying.
*El Paso*. Two cowboy types in a cantina.
“.... I challenged his right for the love of this
maiden. Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat;
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.”
The speaker challenged the handsome young stranger TWICE? Or the H.Y. Stranger went for his gun twice? (Could be fixed by changing it to “that challenge,” but NOOOOO.)
Okay. My favorite. *That's Life*. Sung with PERFECT expression by Frank Sinatra, with all we know of his being a scrapper, a bully, a master performer, the head of the Rat Pack. The Chairman of the Board!
He goes on and on about all the experiences he's been through-- he's been up and down and over and out...but! ... each time he finds himself lying flat on his face, he picks himself up and gets back in the race.
I mean, this guy is an inspiration!
So the LAST thing he says-- the picture he LEAVES you with-- is “But if there's nothin shakin come this here July... I'm gonna roll myself up in a big ball.... annnnnd *die*.”
Mr. Tough Guy? Rolling up like a baby hedgehog?
The SECOND THING I am going to do when I finish building my time machine is to go throttle his record producer.
YOU LET IT GO OUT LIKE THAT?
[The FIRST thing I am going to do is go back to 1959 and invest heavily in the new invention, pantyhose.]
The center of our galaxy was being checked out for signs of amino acids. Amino acids mean “life” to astrophysicists. In a dust cloud in Sagittarius B2, they found ethyl formate. Ethyl formate is the dominant flavor in raspberries, and a dominant one in rum. It's halfway to making a My Sharona!*
I admit I'm a purist (aka, “hardnose”) when it comes to the Periodic Table. Any Adult Reasonable Person (hereafter known as “AARP”) should be ready to Take Up Arms” (otherwise known as a pen and paper) and send a Sternly Worded Rebuke to the US-based International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, the global organisation that governs chemical nomenclature... when scientists try to shoehorn artificially-created elements into the Periodic Table.
I mean, there should be standards, there should be rules, and an element created in the lab that lasts a lousy quarter of a second should NOT have a place on a VERY exclusive thing like the Periodic Table! When there are theoretically REAL elements boogying around all over the place, with their PEDIGREES dangling from lanyards around their necks.
*“I am a real element. Not made in a lab. Place me!”*
In January 2016, for example, Russian, and/orAmerican, and/or Japanese scientists announced that they had created 4 new elements, temporarily named: ununtrium, (Uut or element 113), ununpentium (Uup, element 115), ununseptium (Uus, element 117), and ununoctium (Uuo, element 118). Whoop-de-doo, we can now fill out the last row of the Periodic Table!
Nobel Prize, here we come!
I shall devote no more space to these interlopers.
THIS year, Russian scientists announced that a meteorite (Yorgi! You guys got ANOTHER swell meteorite?!) had smashed into-- you guessed it-- Siberia. Siberia seems to get more than its share of meteorites. Based on my memory and nothing else.
Gold hunters found it. It had what looked like gold areas. Part of its composition, says *The Guardian*, was a windfall:
“ And then there's the **uakitite**. Its inclusions were just 5 micrometres in size. For reference, the average human hair is 99 micrometres in diameter, and a healthy red blood cell is between 6 and 8 micrometres.
“These little bits of mineral are tiny. A little bit too tiny for direct analysis."
"Unfortunately," the researchers wrote in their summary, "we failed to obtain all physical and optical properties of uakitite because of the very small sizes of the grains."
“But that doesn't mean they got nothing!
The researchers were able to determine that uakitite has some structural similarities in common with two other space-forged minerals, carlsbergite and osbornite, both of which are nitrides, containing nitrogen.”
This mineral is light gray, with a pink tint in reflected light, and has a hardness a little softer than a diamond's.
Naturally-occurring, the uakitite can legitemately claim a place on the PT. There's so little of it on that meteorite, though, that until we get *another* such meteorite, we can't learn much more about it.
Is this a great galaxy, or what? Huge, mystifying, beautiful, with a center that smells great, and …yes, a bit of a tease.