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These lyrics ain't for keepin'

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When it came out in 1971, The Who's album "Who's Next" was a staple in the record collections of just about everyone I hung around with. People talked about it with a tinge of reverence, and perhaps rightfully so, because the album contains songs that still sound good today: "Baba O'Reilly" (which I've heard referred to more than once as "Teenage Wasteland"); the underrated "Bargain"; John Entwistle's "My Wife"; and "Behind Blue Eyes" top my list.

Through the earphones of time, though, many of the album's songs sound dated: "Baba O'Reilly" is saved only by the fiddle solo at the end; "The Song is Over" should have ended sooner; "Getting in Tune" and "Going Mobile" are weak tea; and "Won't Get Fooled Again" has the skeleton of a great song, but there's too much synthesizer fat on the bones. Even it's "meet the new boss" climax can't save it.

One song in particular jumped into my brain jukebox a couple of weeks ago, and for the first time, I actually paid attention to the lyrics. It's "Love Ain't for Keeping," and here's how the vocals by Roger Daltrey start:

Layin' on my back
In the dewy morning grass
Rain's coming down
But I know the clouds will pass

That sounds really comfortable. Nonetheless, the singer has one thing on his mind:

Lay down beside me
Love ain't for keeping

To recap: the singer is lying in wet grass, it's raining, "black ash from the foundry hangs like a hood," and the singer thinks this is a good time and place for his loved one and him to share something other than a towel.

In the haze of the '70s, the lyrics might have made sense. Today? Not so much.

Go take a shower and dry off, Roger.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2013 03:06 pm (UTC)
Eight miles high
And when you touch down
You'll find that it's
Stranger than known

Aug. 17th, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
I can't get no
No no no
Hey hey hey
That's what I say
Aug. 17th, 2013 05:40 pm (UTC)
Well, you don't know what we can find
Why don't you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride

Aug. 17th, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
I've got no problems with Steppenwolf. "Born to be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride" were, and remain, great songs.
Aug. 18th, 2013 01:32 am (UTC)
I contend that the Beatles created some of the worst lyrics.
I wanna hold your hand.
She loves you yeah yeah yeah.
Na Na Na nananana hey Jude. Na nee Na Nee naneenanee.

Not that they are all bad... Eleanor Rigby (wearing her face that she keeps in a jar by the door. Who is it for?) That is poetry. But I think they cranked out far more junk than poetry. Why they were so revered was and is still a mystery to me.
Aug. 18th, 2013 02:19 am (UTC)
I always come down "Stones" on the "Beatles or Stones?" question.

Aug. 19th, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
Well, I don't think he's gained a whole lotta wisdom with age. I wanted to poke my eyes out with a sharp stick during their 12/12/12 benefit concert performance. I even offered to make another donation if he'd button his shirt back up.

Aug. 19th, 2013 02:21 am (UTC)
Among the aged rockers, Clapton seems to carry himself the best—or, at the very least, has done well distancing himself from this:

Aug. 22nd, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
EC hasn't done anything of relevance since Derek and the Dominos. His music since 461 Ocean Boulevard is MOR -- it puts me to sleep. His politics are also way too far to the right. Way too far.

Read up on the history of how this organization came to be.

Aug. 22nd, 2013 02:28 am (UTC)
Re: Clapton
Thanks for the link. I did not know that about Clapton's politics. With those beliefs, how could he play "Crossroads" (to name just one blues song) without his brain exploding from cognitive dissonance?

And although I've got quite a bit of his work in my CD collection, I never seem to listen to anything after his first solo LP. And I never liked Layla (the LP or the song).

We were talking about the way old rockers look, though, and in that regard, Clapton at least dresses in age-appropriate garb. If he's lucky in his later years, he'll have the style of this guy:

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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