Thursday, 10 February 2011

Your bones on my bones.

Honestly, why cant people write proper song lyrics anymore? What is the matter with:

a) artists and song writers;

b) fans who let them get away with moronic words, singing along and clapping like a bunch of idiots?

I have noticed recently that there are a few very bizarre songs out there, which you might not be familiar with, but as an XFM radio station listener I get to enjoy on regular basis…

Just look at these sentences.

1. You say, ‘I love you, boy’. But I know you lie. I trust you all the same. I don’t know why. Biffy Clyro. (I don’t know why, either. Maybe you are a stupid looser.)

2. I’ve got soul but I am not a soldier. The Killers. Oh, I see what you tried to do here. Very interesting. NOT.

3. Don’t you wanna feel my bones… on your bones? It’s only natural. The Killers again. (There is just something about those words that makes me cringe.)

4. Are we humans? Or are we dancers? The Killers again. No comment.

Hmm....Clearly, looking at this list, The Killers are the absolute winners of the moronic lyrics contest.

Listening to the radio this morning made me remember how beautiful some song lyrics are. Just think of Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division. Or, The Mad World by Gary Jules…Or, my other old favourite The Man Who Sold the World by David Bowie...(I prefer the Nirvana version)

But, maybe? I am simply a product of a different culture, as well as the different generation. I am the girl whose musical education was based on the old Soviet rock bands. Boris Grebenshikov, Victor Tsoi…. When, in the times when nobody spoke the truth, every word in a song meant so much, and was so important.

Or maybe, I just love words, and what can be done with them. Someone recently sent me this (quite a nice one, actually) azeri food blog; and there I saw this:

For if I do not burn

And if you do not burn

And if we do not burn

who else

is here to dispel the darkness...

Nazim Hikmet

And I thought it was simply beautiful. But hey, it is all about personal opinion, isn’t it. To me, that was poetic. To someone else ‘your bones on my bones’ makes a lot more sense.


  1. I love the Human/Dancer song because I think it's more philosophical than it seems at first. It's not "Are we human or are we dancers," it's "Are we human or are we dancer," meaning-do we have the ability to make our own decisions, or are we just acting out choreographed moves forced upon us by a higher being/the universe? Deeeeeeep.

    But in general, I do agree with you that lyrics are so stupid these days. When you have the bardi singing about how beautiful the flowers are on a neutral strip of territory between Russia and Turkey (Vystosky) or how life is like a bonfire or a train (Mashina Vremeni), none of today's lyrics stack up.

  2. Scary, you are a music snob in the best tradition and you know it. The Killers outperformed Muse (who I also love) by a huge margin both times I saw them and it's not their fault if you don't get their cultural references. Not that the references are high culture or anything, but why get so hung up on the lyrics that you miss a good tune?! Lucky you weren't into 60s music - listen to Mello Yello by Donovan, Bang a Drum by T-Rex or This Sounds Stupid by American UFO Candy. Actually I made that last one up, but believe me lyrics have always been pretty stupid, there are just more of them. And BTW, the Killers do really get stadiums jumping like you wouldn't believe...

  3. Yes, this is so post-Soviet! Only that kind of people can honestly think of Tsoy's lyrics as of a good thing, but despise all the other.

    I mean, really, russian rock is something that can only be admired due to memories it brings back, definitely not for the poetry of songwriters.

    And yes, there is a shitload of crap lyrics in almost every country and musical genre, but hey! - beauty is still here either, you just have to choose wisely what to listen.

  4. BTW, 'Dancer' is supposedly a reference to a Hunter S Thompson quote, Mad World is by Tears for Fears and "jumping somone's bones" means having sex. I do not know if there is hidden meaning in "Pimpin' all ovah da world," though. Could be.

  5. Hi Scary. I really love The Killers. Mister Brightside is one of my favourite songs. But now that you mention and I think about it, I must admit their song lyrics don't somehow make sense. They just use a lot of random words that sound cool.

    Nice translation of Nazim Hikmet poetry. Loved it.

  6. @ Von Steiner: I don't know, Doctor. I read Scary's entry and set out to find some lyrics from the classics that rivalled those lyrics she quoted, but, none of the songs I myself was familiar with came close. The absolutely best of the worst that I could come up with is:

    "We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine."

    I think the Beatles get bonus points for repeating "yellow submarine" no fewer than 25 times in the song, but that's still not "souldier" or "bones on my bones" quality. Clearly, this represents a philosophical mystery worthy of the finest thinkers of our time.

    ...No wait, they're all completely stupid, too. :/

  7. Maybe you have a point there. Sometimes I feel the same when I listen to some lyrics. And, surprisingly, there are some lyrics that sound very poetic when listened carefully. It's the music that comes along that "kills" the song.

  8. @Vicki: Yes, I saw/read that explanation before, you are right, of course, it is not dancers but dancer. But to me, it does not quite work, somehow.
    Oh. Visotskiy! Of course...Lovely stuff. I was perhaps, too young to be his proper fan, but I still know his songs by heart.

    @Dr Von Steiner: "not their fault if you don't get their cultural references."? So you think I don't like the words "my bones on your bones" because I dont know what jumping someone's bones means?

    Because of course I do. And, as I said to Vicki earlier, I heard the dancer explanation before. I was curious what the hell it meant, so I looked it up. As for the bones, I think it is a very "blokey" expression, perhaps. Let me just tell you that, however hot the guy was, if he phrased the question like that, he would have NO chance of getting any. From me, anyway. :)

    My last word on the Killers..."They get stadiums jumping"...So did the Spice Girls- Come on! That does not make "I’ve got soul but I am not a soldier" sound any better. :)

    @Openid: Hello, have never met you here before?
    Yes, I agree Tsoi reference might not be quite about the lyrics. However, Grebenshikov was quite good, if you know his old stuff. I dont mean anything that has to be serious, or clever....I guess, it is just a personal thing, isn't it. Some words put together do something to me, get tears or some sort of a nice reaction. Even if they make no sense. Others annoy the hell out of me.