Tropic of Sir Gallahad

This lyric, from an oldie by “America” has always bugged me. What does this mean?
“The Tropic of Sir Gallahad”? {I understand “Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t already have…”}

“They’re coming to take me away ha-ha, ho-ho, hee-hee, to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time… :)” - Napoleon IV

Don’t expect anything from the band America to make sense. They also talk about “alligator lizards in the air” and “the ocean is a desert with its life underground.”

They also spewed this gem: “And there ain’t no-one for to give you no pain.”

Pfui. They sucked then; they suck now, and forever shall they suck. The only thing good about them is that they finally had the decency to go away! Now, if that twit Steve Miller would only do the same…

Bad news, Rysdad–they didn’t go away. America reformed several years ago, released a new album, and are currently on tour.

Jinx, you got me. The full line is:
And Cause never was the reason for the evening
Or the tropic of Sir Galahad.

The closest I can come is that “tropic” is used for one of its more obscure meanings–moving (as in phototropic, “moving towards light”). So Cause (who or whatever that is) was no excuse for Sir Galahad to move. Or something.

It’s my duty; my duty as a complete and utter bastard.–Arnold J. Rimmer.

This must not be! No! Jesus H. Tonedeaf, what’s next, a Boyce & Hart, America and 1910 Fruitgum Company Crapapalooza Tour?

1910 Fruitgum Factory is, hands down, my favorite dumb name for a musical group. Thanks, Mystery Science Theatre 3000!

Hey, if the Monkees can get back together for a tour, anything is possible.

I always interpreted that, and most of the rest of the song, to mean “the lyricist is under the effects of a Controlled Substance, or at least wants to sound as if he were.”

OK, what you got against Steve Miller Band?
…beyond the egotism in the “The Joker”?

“They’re coming to take me away ha-ha, ho-ho, hee-hee, to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time… :)” - Napoleon IV

Steve Miller: “Billy Joe is a detective down in Texas. You know he knows just exactly what the facts is.”


I hate that fucker.

I may have gotten the detective’s name wrong, but the sentiment still applies.

I thought it was “the TOPIC of Sir Galahad”. Still don’t know what they mean…something about purity and achievement of goals?

I mis-wasted my youth.

It’s “tropic”. We talked about this exact question in MPSIMS some time ago and I answered pretty definitively that it doesn’t mean a thing. They just thought it sounded purty. I’d find the link to the thread, but I’m really, really lazy.

“I guess one person can make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Making up nonsense sentences because they sound good isn’t much different than, “Shh Boom Shh Boom… Falalalalalala Shh Boom Sh Boom…”

Then there was “Hooked on a Feeling”, which was a minor hit when it first came out, but a monster when it came out in a version almost identical, with the addition of a bunch of guys going, “OOGAH CHAKA OOGAH OOGAH!”

Back in '87 and '91, a local radio station used the ‘oogah chaka’ part of that song to “voodooize” the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves. It worked. The Twins won the World Series both years.

In a lot of music from the Beatles era to the present the lyrics are either nonsensical or incomprehensible. Many of the fans do not even know what the “artists” are singing. I always thought that such music was allowed to be widely disemminated because it is safe-it has no political or social content to give unpalatable ideas to rebellious youth.

Let the tumbrils roll!!

Oh great, y’all. Now, having read this thread from top to bottom, I have a mental picture of the dancing baby in a dies-galon sombrero dancing to America singing Horse With No Name while Sir Galahad sips Margaritas on a beach in the tropics…
And I used to think being caught up in Sesame Street songs was bad…

I always heard that as:
And cause never was the reason for leaving,
for the tropic of Sir Galahad

Still don’t know what it means though…

“Sometimes I think the web is just a big plot to keep people like me away from normal society.” — Dilbert

Here’s the MPSIMS thread. Not that it’s any help at all.

  1. If you’re cringing at the poor grammar, don’t act like he’s the first artist to do so! And, I ain’t referring to artsists’ usage of “ain’t”!

  2. You imply these lyrics refer to some specific incident…do they? Please enlighten!

“They’re coming to take me away ha-ha, ho-ho, hee-hee, to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time… :)” - Napoleon IV

The line I quoted was from “Take The Money And Run,” one of S. Miller’s songs.

I know he’s not the only, ahem, artist to use poor grammar, but his use of lousy lyrics is worse than most.

The aforementioned song reads as if it was written by a poorly-schooled seventh grader.

Originally posted by Jinx:

Well, there is that line about “The pompatus of love.”

There there’s accusations he ripped off - I mean, was heavily influenced by a lot of other artists.