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  #1  
Old 02-01-2017, 09:31 AM
Mixolydian Mixolydian is online now
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Fix a Broken Lyric

SMDB has had it's share of threads that point out bad lyrics:

Lyrics with a flaw
All-time laziest song lyricsLyrics that give you pause... In a bad way.
Worst lyrics in rock/pop music
etc.

Let's hear your improved versions...e.g.

For the Stones' "Mother's Little Helper"...instead of

And if you take more of those
You will get an overdose



My fix:
...
You will surely overdose
  #2  
Old 02-01-2017, 09:35 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Styx's "Come Sail Away"

I look to the sea reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we'll try best that we can to carry on

Shouldn't it be "We lived happily ever after the story's told"

The expression is "happily ever after", and "told" rhymes with "gold."
  #3  
Old 02-01-2017, 10:11 AM
x-ray vision x-ray vision is offline
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Hate it when a word is rhymed with itself. A few fixes:

But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head

But she never lost her head
Even when her legs were spread



Generals gathered in their masses,
just like witches at black masses.

Generals gathered in their masses,
wearing big Gucci sunglasses.



Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way

Never opened myself this way
Snickers, Mounds, Almond Joy, PayDay




Fixing Highway Star is gonna take a while.
  #4  
Old 02-01-2017, 01:36 PM
puddleglum puddleglum is offline
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Avril Lavigne's My happy ending:
Lets talk this over,
It's not like we're dead,
Was it something I did,
Was it something you said

Should be "Was it something you did, was it something I said."
He could be feeling guilty about something he did but why would he get mad about something he said?
  #5  
Old 02-01-2017, 01:41 PM
puddleglum puddleglum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray vision View Post
Hate it when a word is rhymed with itself. A few fixes:

But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head

But she never lost her head
Even when her legs were spread



Generals gathered in their masses,
just like witches at black masses.

Generals gathered in their masses,
wearing big Gucci sunglasses.



Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way

Never opened myself this way
Snickers, Mounds, Almond Joy, PayDay




Fixing Highway Star is gonna take a while.
Lost and giving head is wordplay. Does not need changing.
Generals with their poison gasses, just like witches at black masses. Witches and black masses is evocative and in theme with the song.
Never opened myself this way, life is ours we live for today, better aligns with message of song than candy bars.
  #6  
Old 02-01-2017, 01:50 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
Lost and giving head is wordplay. Does not need changing.
Generals with their poison gasses, just like witches at black masses. Witches and black masses is evocative and in theme with the song.
Never opened myself this way, life is ours we live for today, better aligns with message of song than candy bars.
nm see below

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-01-2017 at 01:54 PM.
  #7  
Old 02-01-2017, 01:53 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
Lost and giving head is wordplay. Does not need changing.
Generals with their poison gasses, just like witches at black masses. Witches and black masses is evocative and in theme with the song.
Never opened myself this way, life is ours we live for today, better aligns with message of song than candy bars.
Agreed on the first. I'd leave the second one alone, too. I think it's perfect as is. The third I never even noticed was an identity rhyme in the song. Just doesn't stick out to me. Though the candy bar fix does make me chuckle.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-01-2017 at 01:55 PM.
  #8  
Old 02-01-2017, 01:58 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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America, A Horse with No Name:

There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings

change to:

There were plants and birds and rocks and oases
There was sand and hills and feces


mmm
  #9  
Old 02-01-2017, 03:36 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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In "I'll be Home for Christmas", surely it should be "presents under the tree", not "presents ooo-oon the tree". Who puts presents on the tree? Especially when it means you need to stretch a two-letter word out to two syllables?
  #10  
Old 02-01-2017, 03:55 PM
Bumbershoot Bumbershoot is online now
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Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd

"Wait a minute mister
I didn't even kiss her"

I think it should be

"Wait a minute mister
I never even kissed her"
  #11  
Old 02-01-2017, 04:10 PM
cmyk cmyk is online now
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From Disturbed's Prayer:

"Living just isn't hard enough
Burn me alive, inside
Living my life's not hard enough
Take everything away"

It's not so much that it's broken, but rather, what it sounds like when listening to it. I've always parsed it as "Heaven's just not hot enough", which seems more fitting in context of the song.

Last edited by cmyk; 02-01-2017 at 04:12 PM.
  #12  
Old 02-01-2017, 07:26 PM
ekedolphin ekedolphin is offline
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Les Miserables, "Castle on a Cloud":

There is a room that's full of toys
There are a hundred boys and girls

Should be "girls and boys"!

The Jackson 5, "I'll Be There"

If you should ever find someone new
I know he'd better be good to you
'Cuz if he doesn't, I'll be there

Should be "isn't".
  #13  
Old 02-01-2017, 09:48 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray vision View Post
Hate it when a word is rhymed with itself. A few fixes:

But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head

But she never lost her head
Even when her legs were spread



Generals gathered in their masses,
just like witches at black masses.

Generals gathered in their masses,
wearing big Gucci sunglasses.



Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way

Never opened myself this way
Snickers, Mounds, Almond Joy, PayDay




Fixing Highway Star is gonna take a while.
"Generals sitting on their asses" works for me.
  #14  
Old 02-01-2017, 11:34 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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Sheryl Crow's breakout hit, All I Wanna Do

Then he lights every match in an oversized pack
Letting each one burn down to his thick fingers
before blowing and cursing them out

um...

"before cursing and blowing them out..."

because if you're cursing enough to make a match go out, that's no language to use in front of a lady.
  #15  
Old 02-02-2017, 07:49 AM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is offline
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I think we could devote a whole thread to fixing that infamously clunky line from Jessie's Girl

Ya know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I lover her but the point is probably moot

. . .I wanna tell her that I love her from her bonnet to her boot
. . .It's like my heart's an open treasure chest and she stole all the loot
. . . When I see her my heart pounds like an Alaskan Malamute


Tell me any one of those would not be better than Mr. Springfield's lyric
  #16  
Old 02-02-2017, 08:16 AM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Bobby Goldsboro's Honey attempts to rhyme "what the heck" with "hugged my neck". OK, technically it rhymes, but it is the clunkiest lyric. I don't think a fix is possible.

And, on a slightly different note, Joan Baez' Diamonds and Rust notoriously uses the term "light year" as a measure of time rather than distance.
  #17  
Old 02-02-2017, 08:47 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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Life by Des'ree, generally considered the worst song ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Lyrics
I'm afraid of the dark,
'specially when I'm in a park
And there's no-one else around,
Ooh, I get the shivers

I don't want to see a ghost,
It's a sight that I fear most
I'd rather have a piece of toast
And watch the evening news
So clearly the song is about her fears and superstitions. Not sure why the chorus is "Life" instead of something about courage, but anyways. Using the same rhyming scheme and rhythm, here are my improvements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by My Lyrics
I'm afraid of the night,
All the beasts just out of sight,
Spirits reaching for the light,
Oh, my sleep is shaken

I fear visits from the dead,
Sense the chill that fills my head,
See them crying tears of red,
Their lives left behind
  #18  
Old 02-02-2017, 09:12 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Don McLean's American Pie is a masterpiece, except for:

When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean.

The "jester" is Dylan, the "king" is Elvis, and the "coat" is the red windbreaker. But the "queen" has never been established, and I think McLean just took it for the rhyme. So to one-up him:

When the jester sang for the king and was seen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean.
  #19  
Old 02-02-2017, 12:29 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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[There] isn't any mountain high enough,
[There] isn't any valley low enough,
[There] isn't any river wide enough,
To keep me from you...
  #20  
Old 02-02-2017, 12:35 PM
GargoyleWB GargoyleWB is offline
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Journey's - Don't Stop Believin'

Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlight people
Living just to find emotion
Hiding somewhere in the night

I'd change the clunky 2nd 'night' to 'in the light' or 'in plain sight' or something.
  #21  
Old 02-02-2017, 12:37 PM
John Bredin John Bredin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
[There] isn't any mountain high enough,
[There] isn't any valley low enough,
[There] isn't any river wide enough,
To keep me from you...
Scansion trumps supersedes grammar.
  #22  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:18 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Life by Des'ree, generally considered the worst song ever.
Holy crap are those lyrics bad. I've heard that song about a gazillion times and thought it was just a nice catchy little pop ditty. Never paid attention to the words. I kind of wish I hadn't. "I'd rather have a piece of toast"?
  #23  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:20 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bredin View Post
Scansion trumps supersedes grammar.
"I Can't Get Any Satisfaction." Just doesn't quite have the same ring, eh?
  #24  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:26 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Joan Baez's Diamonds and Rust.

change:

And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I'd known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall


to:

And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I'd known
So many decades ago
Heading straight for a fall


or:

And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I'd known
I think it was eons ago
Heading straight for a fall
  #25  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:52 PM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
I think we could devote a whole thread to fixing that infamously clunky line from Jessie's Girl

Ya know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I lover her but the point is probably moot

. . .I wanna tell her that I love her from her bonnet to her boot
. . .It's like my heart's an open treasure chest and she stole all the loot
. . . When I see her my heart pounds like an Alaskan Malamute


Tell me any one of those would not be better than Mr. Springfield's lyric
...one of these days I'll punch Jessie in the snoot
  #26  
Old 02-02-2017, 04:54 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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How can she be loving Jesse? He's such a galoot

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 02-02-2017 at 04:54 PM.
  #27  
Old 02-02-2017, 05:42 PM
Trancephalic Trancephalic is offline
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I'd change "comin' at you like a dark horse" to "comin' at you like a dark force".

But I fear a generation of teeny boppers are already misinformed on what an idiomatic "dark horse" is.
  #28  
Old 02-02-2017, 08:17 PM
Cugel Cugel is offline
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Theme from Shaft
"He's a complicated man
But no one understands him but his woman"

Should be "so no one" or at least "and no one"
  #29  
Old 02-02-2017, 09:04 PM
drad dog drad dog is offline
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You should mostly be ashamed of yourselves with these "corrections". They are horrible. Did you ever consider the scansion? Or is it just about you?
  #30  
Old 02-02-2017, 09:37 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Shame, shame, shame.
Shame of fools

Last edited by John Mace; 02-02-2017 at 09:37 PM.
  #31  
Old 02-02-2017, 09:42 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray vision View Post
Hate it when a word is rhymed with itself. A few fixes:
.

One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight;
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other....


Change to:


One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead brothers had a fight;
Back to back each faced his brother,
Drew their swords and shot each other....
  #32  
Old 02-02-2017, 10:02 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is online now
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"I've been filling up the empty space
"Between you and me." (Or, Between the two of us.)


Either "I'm proud to be an American, because at least I know I'm free,"
Or "I'm proud to be in America, where at least I know I'm free," but "American" is not a location, and there is no "where" there.


"You and I march to the beat of two different drums." As written ["You and I march to the beat of a different drum"], it means that you and I march to a different drum from everyone else, but it's the same one for you as for me.
  #33  
Old 02-02-2017, 11:07 PM
NuclearBombPop NuclearBombPop is offline
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Bruce Springsteen, Glory Days. "He could throw that speedball by you" has always irritated me. "Fastball" is the correct term and works in the same spot.
  #34  
Old 02-03-2017, 12:15 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
[There] isn't any mountain high enough,
[There] isn't any valley low enough,
[There] isn't any river wide enough,
To keep me from you...
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bredin View Post
Scansion trumps supersedes grammar.
So you say. What I say is "Get grammatical, anrd work from there to find scansion. If the song resists it, write a different song."
  #35  
Old 02-03-2017, 02:33 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Holy crap are those lyrics bad. I've heard that song about a gazillion times and thought it was just a nice catchy little pop ditty. Never paid attention to the words. I kind of wish I hadn't. "I'd rather have a piece of toast"?
And it goes on. I actually went away and kept rewriting the whole rest of the song into something a bit more logical. Still lame, they only took me 20 minutes, but at least not quite so inept.
  #36  
Old 02-03-2017, 05:32 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
So you say. What I say is "Get grammatical, anrd work from there to find scansion. If the song resists it, write a different song."
Dialect/Alternative grammar is often an essential part of the song's lyrics:

Is you is or is you ain't my Baby.
  #37  
Old 02-03-2017, 07:02 AM
Smapti Smapti is offline
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Billy Mack is a Texas detective
You know he knows exactly what the facts are
He's got his eye on those two defectives
He ain't gonna let 'em get too far
  #38  
Old 02-03-2017, 07:47 AM
Sparky812 Sparky812 is offline
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I've always thought that Free's All Right Now had some of the clunkiest lyrics and silliest rhymes ever.
Quote:
There she stood in the street
Smilin' from her head to her feet;
I said, "Hey, what is this?
Now maybe, baby,
Maybe she's in need of a kiss."
Smilin'? Why not stylin', smokin', etc..
street/feet, maybe/baby, this/kiss pretty simple but I always thought she was a street walker.

Quote:
I said, "Hey, what's your name?
Maybe we can see things the same.
"Now don't you wait, or hesitate.
Let's move before they raise the parking rate."
Who talks like this, anyway?
name/same, wait/hesitate are OK I suppose, but "parking rate"!? There's nothing I'm worried about more when picking up is the parking rate but I've been missing something because apparently this can convince women to come home with you... right now!

Quote:
I took her home to my place,
Watchin' every move on her face;
She said, "Look, what's your game?
Are you tryin' to put me to shame?"
OK, sure...

Quote:
I said "Slow, don't go so fast, don't you think that love can last?"
She said, "Love, Lord above,
Now you're tryin' to trick me in love."
Now, this makes me wince every time. I can almost get past the Love/Above/Love rhyme but "trick me in love"?

How about something like:
Don't try to tell me about love
Tryin' to put me in love
Tryin to convince me of love
Don't talk to me about love
I can do tricks with a dove
It's $100 or $50 for a half, love.

Last edited by Sparky812; 02-03-2017 at 07:47 AM.
  #39  
Old 02-03-2017, 09:34 AM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paula Cole, I Don't Wanna Wait

So open up your morning light And say a little prayer for I You know that if we are to stay alive And see the peace in every I
How about:
Quote:
fucking a i really should mackdonna handheld shoehorn butterhorse.
See, it's better!
  #40  
Old 02-03-2017, 09:56 AM
SykoSkotty SykoSkotty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
I think we could devote a whole thread to fixing that infamously clunky line from Jessie's Girl

Ya know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I lover her but the point is probably moot

. . .I wanna tell her that I love her from her bonnet to her boot
. . .It's like my heart's an open treasure chest and she stole all the loot
. . . When I see her my heart pounds like an Alaskan Malamute


Tell me any one of those would not be better than Mr. Springfield's lyric
I wanna tell her that I love her like a monkey loves his fruit?
  #41  
Old 02-03-2017, 10:07 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Dialect/Alternative grammar is often an essential part of the song's lyrics:

Is you is or is you ain't my Baby.
Yeah, I can't tell if kaylasdad is joking or not. I assumed he was, but maybe not. "Ain't" is a prefect fine word for a song and reflects how people actually talk. Something like "I Can't Get Any Satisfaction" just sounds so clunky and laughable to me versus the dialectal "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." Your "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" example is perfect. Compare with "Are you or aren't you my baby?" That ain't hip, cat.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-03-2017 at 10:08 AM.
  #42  
Old 02-03-2017, 10:54 AM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GargoyleWB View Post
Journey's - Don't Stop Believin'

Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlight people
Living just to find emotion
Hiding somewhere in the night
I prefer the lyric from north Detroit - Woodward Avenue, specifically.

Strangers racing
Up and down the boulevard
Their tires turning in the night
Streetlights turn green
Punch the gas and let 'er roll
Racing somewhere in the night
  #43  
Old 02-03-2017, 10:56 AM
koeeoaddi koeeoaddi is online now
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I want Elton John's "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" to go like this:

So unless they see the sky
But they can't and that is why
They don't know if it's dark outside or light.


"know not" always struck me as stilted and annoying.

Also, the Indigo Girls could raise love to the power of two. The extra syllables in "multiply" are unnecessary to make the line scan.
  #44  
Old 02-03-2017, 02:17 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koeeoaddi View Post
I want Elton John's "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" to go like this:

So unless they see the sky
But they can't and that is why
They don't know if it's dark outside or light.


"know not" always struck me as stilted and annoying.

Also, the Indigo Girls could raise love to the power of two. The extra syllables in "multiply" are unnecessary to make the line scan.
Their degrees are in English and Religious Studies. They made a math error. It had nothing to do with the line scanning. They honestly thought they got the expression right.

Also, "by the power of two" makes their double-entendre a little clearer. "Raise love to the power of two" doesn't quite communicate the "Two people" meaning. And when two people are loving one another, love sort of does multiply.

They just need an entirely new metaphor.

Their "Galileo" song is all screwed up too, because they seem unaware of the fact that Galileo eventually recanted. They come up with a lot of good ideas like that, that don't quite match reality, but it doesn't stop them.
  #45  
Old 02-03-2017, 04:17 PM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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Fleetwood Mac, "When the rain waSHEZZ you clean, you'll know" (from Dreams).

Nothing rainy is necessary. How about something like this? (Feel free to come up with something better.)

Women, they will come and they will go
When you find yourSELF alone you'll know
  #46  
Old 02-03-2017, 04:45 PM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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WasSHEZZ reminded me of a similar one.


I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight has a weird one. The lyric is "Her diary it sits on the bedside table" but the singer pronounces it like Ms Morgendorfer: "Her Daria sits by the bedside table". Where the heck does he get that? "Diary it sits" as written doesn't fit the meter - too many syllables. "Her diary sits" does, but that isn't how he pronounciates it.
  #47  
Old 02-04-2017, 09:51 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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A Daisy a Day has this clunker: And the love that was more/than the clothes that they wore/could be seen in the gleam of his eye.

I can't begin to tell you what is wrong with that.

And the love was more/than the life they adored/would live on when they both had died.
  #48  
Old 02-05-2017, 07:14 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Posts: 9,122
"When You Get to Asheville" by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell has this lyric:
She won't sleep in the house now
She just listens for the sound
Of your old eighty-four Ford
Coming down the road


Even Edie Brickell can't rescue the awful sound of three mis-accented syllables in a row. It should say:
Of your eighty-seven Ford
  #49  
Old 02-05-2017, 04:34 PM
Clothes Clothes is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 25
Louie Louie. This beloved song was dashed off in a hurry, and sounds it.

"Louie Louie, oh oh, me gotta go" - well it's the "gotta" that's gotta go - one too many syllables. Make it "and away I go", and it fits and exudes oodles of cool.

Aside from that, one reason people thought the Kingsmen's version was filthy-dirty is no doubt due to wishful thinking, because if you could make out the real words (clearly sung by Richard Berry in his original B-side) the are frankly just too lame. Stuff like "Me see Jamaica moon above, it won't be long me see me love", done it a fake Caribbean patois, are embarrassing to contemplate, and nobody should feel obligated to stick to them.

Iggy Pop had the right idea when he sang "she got a rag on, I move above, it won't be long before I take it off ... (garbled line about a rose or something) ... her ass is black and her tits are bare". Hey, that's better. I bet you could make it even dirtier.
  #50  
Old 02-06-2017, 02:16 PM
Dead Cat Dead Cat is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 3,225
Did Douglas Adams ever find a fix for the ridiculous line in "Doe, a deer": "La, a note that follows so"? I must admit I have tried and failed with that one.
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