Analyze the Lyrics!

All Right, time for a new topic. Since so many of us have questions about song lyrics, I thought I’d start a new topic for discussion. Is there any significance to the lyrics of the Barenaked Ladies’ “It’s All Been Done”, appearently about time-traveling lovers? Is it based on a story, or is it just a good example of songwriting?

BTW, I only discovered this messageboard a few days ago, and I would like to say that I am now suffering from insomnia. Thank you very much. :slight_smile:


BTW, I don’t want to reserve this topic just for one specific issue about that song… use this board to post questions about any weird or misheard lyrics you might want cleared up. Or make it a discusion about Spam, I don’t care, I’m not a moderator…

Don’t forget to eat, SM. Or change yer undies.

ok, I don’t have the lyric sheet in front of me, but are you sure that it is, literally, about time-travelling lovers?

the line “I met you, before the fall of rome” could easily be BNL clever-lyric shorthand for “I met you a long time ago.”

There are the guys that brought us “You Can be My Yoko Ono.” I don’t think that was bout being John Lennon. See what I’m sayng?

Theorize away.

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If I knew what the song was about, I wouldn’t need the Teeming Millions to analyze it, would I? :slight_smile:

I don’t have the CD or anything, just an MP3 of “It’s All Been Done”. I thought maybe it was also a statement on how relationships haven’t changed much in 2000 years, but maybe you’re right, rmariamp, it’s just a clever lyric. I jsut wondered if it was connected to some story or something

OK, this topic seems to be lagging. So answer me this: How many parodies has Weird Al Yankovic done since his debut? Has anyone gotten mad at him? [saying this while listening to *Amish Paradise[\I] I realize that this has very little to do with lyrics, but…
who cares?

Dang, I was sure I had that UBB code right! What did I do wrong?

Yes, in fact with the song you were listening to. It is Al’s policy to get permission from whoever he is parodying. Apparently, though, Coolio had said no, but his record company gave the permission anyway. When asked about it, Coolio said “I hope they make a lot of money, just stay away from me.”

Saint Eutychus

Wrong slash, sanibelman

How’s This?

Note that though Yankovic’s policy is to ask permission to use the music, he is under no legal obligation to do so. You can add your own lyrics to an existing tune and record it, so long as you pay the usual licensing fees. The Supreme Court upheld this a couple of years ago (Acuff Rose vs. 2 Live Crew).

I have to agree with rmariamp. The song isn’t about time travel. The “before fall of rome” and “before the west was won” lines are hyperbole, or poetic metaphore. The song is basically about a relationship that’s gotten so stale that there are no surprises left. The two lovers are just going through the motions. The main clue is in the bridge:

If I put my fingers here,
and if I say “I love you, dear”
And if I play the same three chords,
Will you just yawn and say…

Interestingly enough, this is pretty much the same theme as “One Week”. Hmmmm…

Interestingly, despite their typically peppy & upbeat sound, BNL have a large number of songs that are about the lead singer acting like a jerk in relationships.

Like that song that goes:

“A is for asshole…A is for Acting A is for Abhorrently” etc etc.


Huh, I haven’t heard that one. I don’t think I will.

I love the Barnaked Ladies “Stunt” album! I find their lyrics and musicmanship to be quite ingenuitive. Just a personal taste thing.

And i share in agreement that “It’s All Been Done” is speaking in analogous hyperbole. I personally like “Alone and bored on a 30th century night/Will I see you on The Price is Right?/Will I cry?/Will I smile?/As you run down the aisle…”

Meanwhile, the final CD cut of “One Week” is apparently missing a few lyrics (they appear on the lyric sheet, but not on the song). Reading them, I think I understand: “like Andrew Lloyd, I’ve got a big show/Mine’s about a back-hoe/There’ll be a big sound from the pavement” then it breaks into the “Gonna make a break and take a fake…” Later, after the “Samuri” line, it shows “Like Skywalker, got a big hunch/Hey, that’s my lunch/Yoda’s a really, really old guy.” Umm…okay…

“Me fail English? That’s unpossible!”

“English? Who needs that? I’m never going to England.”

ANYWAY…I have a lyric for ya’ll to analyze, too…I asked about it a year or so ago, but will try again…(it may just be one that no one gets):

From Alanis Morissette’s “Not the Doctor:”
Visiting hours are nine to five
But if I show up at ten past 6, well I
Already know that you’ll find someway to let me in, and Oh,
Mind the empty bottle with the holes along the bottom
You see, it’s too much to ask for and I am not the doctor

What the hell is the bottle line about?? For context–The rest of the song is about her breaking free from basically a waaaay too dependent, Mommy me/Doctor me/Fix me relationship. I’ve had one of those, so I particularly love this song. :slight_smile:

Any ideas what a bottle with holes along the bottom is??

I have that CD from Alanis Morrisette, and I have no idea what a bottle like that is. Also, I know now that the BArenaked Ladies are not nearly as… deep as I would have liked in their songs. I just thought that it might have been a reference to a story or something, but appearently it’s just another reference to a bad relationship… [sigh] :wink:

Your mother was a hamster, and your father smells of elderberry!

Also, I certainly hope that “The Price Is Right” doesn’t last until the 30th century. My 2¢

Your mother was a hamster, and your father smells of elderberry!

Also, I certainly hope that “The Price Is Right” doesn’t last until the 30th century. My 2¢

Why the hell not? Can you imagine the Dice Game with about 30 digits?

Are White Zombie’s lyrics supposed to be incoherant, or do I just not get it?

All I mean is I hope that in 1000 years, our culture has advanced significantly that we no longer need entertainment such as The Price Is Right, or for that matter, The Straight Dope Message Boards :wink:

Your mother was a hamster, and your father smells of elderberry!