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Old 02-03-2016, 11:09 PM
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"Pompatus", "Shamone", etc.


There's a line in the Foo Fighters' "Big Me" that made me recently search for the lyrics...

When I talk about it
Aries or treasons
All renew


Although the rest of the song is practically undecipherable as well, at least it appears to me to have meaning to the the author (Grohl?)...but "Aries or treasons all renew"?

The Master speaks of "The Pompatus of Love" here, and Michael Jackson's "shamone" line in "Bad"is fairly well documented...looking for other examples of throwaway words or lines that are supposed to sound as if they mean something, (so "Shama-Lama-Ding-Dong" and the like are not good examples), but really point to the lyricist's lack of effort or imagination, and is trying to put one by the listener.


Also, stream of consciousness lyrics ("Blue Jay Way", "I Am the Walrus") or works by Captain Beefheart don't count either. Different animal. I'm talking about songs that are supposed to appear to make sense.

Got any good ones?

Last edited by Mixolydian; 02-03-2016 at 11:13 PM.
  #2  
Old 02-03-2016, 11:39 PM
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"If there's a bustle in your hedgerow..."

The queen-mother of the subject at hand.
  #3  
Old 02-04-2016, 09:14 AM
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Well, here is the first verse of "Niki Hoeky":

Down in Louisiana, down in Cajun land
Folks got something goin', goes something like
Folks come an git'cha tootsie, I wants to t'tie ya puppe'tame me
Gonna dig ya on a scoobydoo, gonna gitcha on'a scubadie
Ooh boog-a-boo you, you, ooh boog-a-boo you, little boy
Get hip to the consultation of the boolawee

This is, however, most likely an example of something different than what you're looking for -- lyrics that are mostly in standard English, but include words that are in a different language, dialect, or idiolect that most listeners wouldn't know.

One example that might fit your definition is the line "The movement you need is on your shoulder" from "Hey Jude". When Paul McCartney first played the song to John Lennon, the story goes, he apologized for that line, saying it was just a placeholder and he would take it out when he thought of something better. Lennon replied, "You won't, y'know. It's the best line in the song."

Last edited by cjepson; 02-04-2016 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:22 AM
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I've always thought the verses of "Surrender" by Cheap Trick sounded like they were written via Mad Libs or an algorithm.

Whatever happened to all this season's
Losers of the year?
Every time I got to thinking
Here'd they disappear?
But when I woke up, Mom and Dad
Are rolling on the couch
Rolling numbers, rock and rollin'
Got my KISS records out
  #5  
Old 02-04-2016, 09:22 AM
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There's another lyric that the Master spoke to, in Muddy Waters' Hoochie Coochie Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddy Waters
I got a black cat bone
I got a mojo too
I got the Johnny Concheroo
I'm gonna mess with you
[Bolding mine]

I believe Cecil said it referred to a hex/charm/mojo bag that could be used against people in a voodoo/santeria sort of way, but it still sounds out there to a listener who doesn't know the Straight Dope!

ETA: for that matter, being a "Hoochie Coochie" Man kinda fits the OP. It clearly means he is a Playa with the ladies, but has a few other boasts, too, but the phrase itself is not common.

I will have to think of others.

Last edited by WordMan; 02-04-2016 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:29 AM
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I think Ima gonna dust my broom.
  #7  
Old 02-04-2016, 09:32 AM
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Bush. From Fireball:

Quote:
Hot fire rising
Inferamin creatures dodging mudslides
Trying to stay alive
Picture your cell phone
Find cover in time
To marry yourself
Before you die
I've searched around the web several times and "inferamin" seems to be a made-up word.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Mixolydian View Post
The Master speaks of "The Pompatus of Love" here, and Michael Jackson's "shamone" line in "Bad"is fairly well documented...looking for other examples of throwaway words or lines that are supposed to sound as if they mean something, (so "Shama-Lama-Ding-Dong" and the like are not good examples), but really point to the lyricist's lack of effort or imagination, and is trying to put one by the listener.
Well, that certainly testifies to Steve Miller's lack of effort or imagination, but the word in the lyric he ineptly ripped off of Vernon Green, "puppetutes," turns out to very much mean something ("a secret paper-doll fantasy figure"). That and "pizmotality" are great poetic coinages.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salad Smell View Post
I've always thought the verses of "Surrender" by Cheap Trick sounded like they were written via Mad Libs or an algorithm.



Whatever happened to all this season's

Losers of the year?

Every time I got to thinking

Here'd they disappear?

But when I woke up, Mom and Dad

Are rolling on the couch

Rolling numbers, rock and rollin'

Got my KISS records out

Isn't this verse the crux of the song? His parents seem square but after dark they're partying to his Kiss records.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:43 AM
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John The Conqueror Root.


http://www.luckymojo.com/johntheconqueror.html
  #11  
Old 02-04-2016, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
Isn't this verse the crux of the song? His parents seem square but after dark they're partying to his Kiss records.
Sure, it makes sense contextually but it reads like it was translated from Klingon.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:57 AM
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Well, the end credits song for "WKRP In Cincinnati" surely win this award, because of course they are gibberish.
  #13  
Old 02-04-2016, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bobot View Post
Yep. I know what he was saying, and I know that the Google Lyrics I pasted in don't get the spelling right. My only point is that it is one of those terms you don't hear and jump out if you take the time to understand the lyrics.

One that does not apply to the OP but I thought it did for years is Loser by Beck. I never cared enough to look up the lyrics, but the first line of the chorus was gobbledy-gook to my ears. It was until much more recently that I looked it up and saw it was "Soy un perdedor" which is "I'm a loser" in Spanish.

Last edited by WordMan; 02-04-2016 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:04 AM
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Was it ever established that "colitas" is a word? As in "warm smell of colitas"? Also, is "reet" a slang word I never learned? Is "new skank, so reet" too hip for my lame brain?
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:23 AM
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Also, is "reet" a slang word I never learned? Is "new skank, so reet" too hip for my lame brain?
"Reet" is old jazz-age slang. It's simply a corruption of "right," as in "All right!" A zoot suit had to have a "reet pleat." Solid, Jackson.
  #16  
Old 02-04-2016, 10:26 AM
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I think Ima gonna dust my broom.
Not sure why one would dust their broom (unless they're taking it with them?), but I always took this as a poetic way of saying "I'm leaving for good". Wiki confirmation...
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:28 AM
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Was it ever established that "colitas" is a word? As in "warm smell of colitas"?
Thought I read that it referred to "colas", or marijuana buds.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:10 AM
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Ditto -- "colitas" = "little buds". They're smoking weed.

Last edited by GrumpyBunny; 02-04-2016 at 11:12 AM.
  #19  
Old 02-04-2016, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
There's another lyric that the Master spoke to, in Muddy Waters' Hoochie Coochie Man



[Bolding mine]

I believe Cecil said it referred to a hex/charm/mojo bag that could be used against people in a voodoo/santeria sort of way, but it still sounds out there to a listener who doesn't know the Straight Dope!

ETA: for that matter, being a "Hoochie Coochie" Man kinda fits the OP. It clearly means he is a Playa with the ladies, but has a few other boasts, too, but the phrase itself is not common.

I will have to think of others.

Yes, when you get into the blues, you encounter a lot of odd words and phrases that are not standard English. Like "nation sack" (a mojo bag used by women to dominate men) and "drylongso" (various definitions including "nothing unusual") in "Come On in My Kitchen".

Another good place to find stuff like this is in the lyrics of Dr. John.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:42 PM
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It's a normal, if rare word, but I am amused that I have heard at least 3 songs that use the word "sacroiliac."
Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
There's another lyric that the Master spoke to, in Muddy Waters' Hoochie Coochie Man
Cecil and Wikipedia on John the Conqueroo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mixolydian View Post
Thought I read that it referred to "colas", or marijuana buds.
Yeah, also from the Master.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:49 PM
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The words to "Iko Iko" are supposed to mean something, but no one is sure what. The chorus is a mixture of creole, cherokee, and who knows what else, complicated by the fact that it's been going through over 60 years of what is essentially "telephone."

"Talk-in' 'bout, Hey now ! Hey now ! I-KO, I-KO, un-day
Jack-a-mo fee-no ai na-na. - Jock-a-mo fee na-na"
  #22  
Old 02-04-2016, 04:20 PM
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I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna,
I wanna really really really wanna
Zigazig ha.


-- "Wannabe," Spice Girls
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:23 PM
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Zigazig, of course, being a euphemism for anal sex.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
It's a normal, if rare word, but I am amused that I have heard at least 3 songs that use the word "sacroiliac."

Ha! Too timely. I was playing Blondie's "Rapture" for my kids tonight, and realized I didn't know as many of the lyrics as I thought I did. Turned out that was an internal rhyme near the end of the song. :/
  #25  
Old 02-05-2016, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
Yep. I know what he was saying, and I know that the Google Lyrics I pasted in don't get the spelling right. My only point is that it is one of those terms you don't hear and jump out if you take the time to understand the lyrics.

One that does not apply to the OP but I thought it did for years is Loser by Beck. I never cared enough to look up the lyrics, but the first line of the chorus was gobbledy-gook to my ears. It was until much more recently that I looked it up and saw it was "Soy un perdedor" which is "I'm a loser" in Spanish.
Oddly enough, at times it sounded to me (when the song was popular) as though they were saying "Soy un ganador" which has the opposite meaning. Always bugged me.
  #26  
Old 02-05-2016, 01:51 AM
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Ha! Too timely. I was playing Blondie's "Rapture" for my kids tonight, and realized I didn't know as many of the lyrics as I thought I did. Turned out that was an internal rhyme near the end of the song. :/
That was one of them. I looked it up and they actually have a list of several songs, none of which were the ones I was thinking of!
  1. Roy Milton and His Solid Senders, “The Hucklebuck” (1949)
  2. Jerry Lee Lewis, “Lewis Boogie” (1956)
  3. Frank Sinatra, “The Man in the Looking Glass” (1965)
  4. Ike & Tina Turner, “Tinaroo” (1963)
  5. Parliament, “Ride On” (1975)
For the record, my songs were:
  1. Rapture
  2. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - The Message
  3. Mission of Burma - Nancy Reagan's Head
So 8 songs.

Heh, on the Rapture page, they link to a SDMB thread.


BTW, another WTF lyric is "Gunter gleiben glauchen globen" from Def Leppard's Rock of Ages and later sampled in the Offspring's "Pretty Fly for a White Guy."
  #27  
Old 02-05-2016, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
The words to "Iko Iko" are supposed to mean something, but no one is sure what. The chorus is a mixture of creole, cherokee, and who knows what else, complicated by the fact that it's been going through over 60 years of what is essentially "telephone."

"Talk-in' 'bout, Hey now ! Hey now ! I-KO, I-KO, un-day
Jack-a-mo fee-no ai na-na. - Jock-a-mo fee na-na"
I heard a story decades ago that it was left over from a slave song and that it had meant "I go, I go one day." This is one of those pre-internet rumors, so it was probably something my sister heard on the radio during a brief period when the song was in circulation again in the popular culture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
It's a normal, if rare word, but I am amused that I have heard at least 3 songs that use the word "sacroiliac."
I've also heard it as sac-ro-SI-li-ac, although the spelling you give seems to be the actual medical term. It turns up in songs about dancing, presumably dancing that involves the spine, like the Sacroiliac Swing.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:20 AM
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Oh, here's one that gave me fits for a while:

In the Classics song Cinderella I though I distinctly heard the term "Galeb duhr" which is a creature in Dungeons & Dragons. The song dates well before D&D, but I couldn't find any evidence that any such name was given to any creature before then. All roads led back to D&D. So, why this reference from the 50's? Arrrgh!

One day, when the song was playing without me concentrating on it, I heard the line as "gay laughter". They had shifted the stress to the last syllable to make it scan. GAY-laugh-TER.
  #29  
Old 02-06-2016, 07:56 PM
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Well, the end credits song for "WKRP In Cincinnati" surely win this award, because of course they are gibberish.
If you're going to count humorous ones like that you also have to count "It's hard to bargle nawdle zouss" from Smells Like Nirvana.
  #30  
Old 02-12-2016, 08:58 AM
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The Sir Douglas Quintet's "She's About A Mover".

The general consensus is that this is either a "cleaned up" version or misheard interpretation of someone's comment that "she's a body mover".
  #31  
Old 02-10-2020, 12:53 PM
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Jus' wonderin...


Would "Pompatus" be a proper ancient Roman name?
  #32  
Old 02-10-2020, 01:52 PM
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Would "Pompatus" be a proper ancient Roman name?
Pompatus of Love +1: Gives +1 Attraction to bearer.
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:54 PM
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I've always wondered if the lyrics to The Beatles "Come Together" really mean anything, or if they just sound like they do.
  #34  
Old 02-10-2020, 01:58 PM
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Duran Duran lyrics seem like complete gibberish most of the time to me.
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:01 PM
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Would "Pompatus" be a proper ancient Roman name?
I don’t know what made you bring this old thread up but keep on chooglin’
  #36  
Old 02-10-2020, 02:23 PM
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Would "Pompatus" be a proper ancient Roman name?
Only for a zombie.
  #37  
Old 02-10-2020, 02:46 PM
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"If there's a bustle in your hedgerow..."

The queen-mother of the subject at hand.
Don't see what's so opaque about this one - a flurry of activity in the hedgerows indicates that the denizens of it - i.e. the fairy folk - are doing a bit of spring cleaning in anticipation of the arrival of their queen.
  #38  
Old 02-10-2020, 03:08 PM
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Lennon’s #9 Dream from the Walls and Bridges album (1974).

Quote:
Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé
He said it came to him in a dream and has no meaning.
  #39  
Old 02-10-2020, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
[*]Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - The Message
While reading this zombie I too was thinking of this and it brought up another line in the song, which apparently is:

Quote:
She went to the city and got so so seditty
She had to get a pimp, she couldn't make it on her own
Some sources have it as "so so so kitty", but none of them have it as "She went to the city and got 'social security'", which seemed like a euphemism for getting a pimp (i.e. as in you could tell the cops you were on disability which would explain the lack of a job, in addition to whatever physical security a pimp supposedly provides.)

Last edited by Ludovic; 02-10-2020 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:11 PM
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I'll just go ahead and mention "Yellow Ledbetter" from Pearl Jam.....
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  #41  
Old 02-10-2020, 10:51 PM
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Some sources have it as "so so so kitty", but none of them have it as "She went to the city and got 'social security'", which seemed like a euphemism for getting a pimp (i.e. as in you could tell the cops you were on disability which would explain the lack of a job, in addition to whatever physical security a pimp supposedly provides.)
Saditty.
  #42  
Old 02-11-2020, 11:44 AM
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There's the Elton John song "Solar Prestige a Gammon":

Oh ma cameo molesting
Kee pa a poorer for tea
Solar prestige a gammon
Lantern or turbert paw kwee

Solar prestige a gammon
cool kar kyrie kay salmon
Hair ring molassis abounding
Common lap kitch sardin a poor floundin


It goes on like that for the whole song.
  #43  
Old 02-11-2020, 04:21 PM
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(BTW, why did someone call this a zombie thread? Elsewhere it'd just be resurrecting a thread on the same subject rather than starting a new one).

Tears for Fears Mad World has a good one. The last line is usually, in covers, sung as enlarging your world, but in the original it was a made-up word that nobody could make out.

Quote:
With Mad World's again-resurgent popularity, I'm getting asked more frequently about the last line on the album version from The Hurting, a line which I occasionally also sing in concert. The actual line is: "Halargian world." (Not "illogical world", "raunchy young world", "enlarging your world", or a number of other interesting if not amusing guesses.) The real story: Halarge was an imaginary planet invented by either Chris Hughes or Ross Cullum during the recording of The Hurting. I added it as a joke during the lead vocal session, and we kept it. And there you have it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_World
  #44  
Old 02-11-2020, 04:23 PM
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(BTW, why did someone call this a zombie thread? Elsewhere it'd just be resurrecting a thread on the same subject rather than starting a new one).
Well, I did so that people wouldn't feel the need to "correct" me by pointing out that I was responding to a very old post. But now at least there is someone coming in to "correct" me on the correct thread nomenclature, so there is that.
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