Monday, February 19, 2007

Because I have no standards...

The other night, I was driving the car when the song Africa by Toto came on the radio. Without even a moment's hesitation, I reached over to turn up the volume while declaring "oh, this is a good song."

And, of course, everyone in my family knows that "oh, this is a good song" actually means "everyone be quiet now so that I can sing along."

Well, everyone but the kids. So, I mean "everyone" in the sense that two out of five people means "everyone."

While I sang, the kids jabbered away, but Paul, sweet man, was silent.

Until the "instrumental break," when I said, "you know, this song never made sense to me."

He laughed while he asked, "but it's a GOOD song. Even though you don't know the words?"

(Yes, I'll wait a moment so you can let that sink in.....)

I know, I KNOW! Can you believe he said that? I almost had to pull the car over and regain my composure.

But don't you worry one little bit because I set him straight. I SET HIM STRAIGHT.

"I know the WORDS," I said, "they just don't make any sense. But this IS a good song. The music, the beat. You just HAVE to sing along with it."

Who can deny this? (But, then again, who can deny that I KNOW THE WORDS?)

But, OH, the lyrics. OH!

Shall we dissect them?

Yes, let's.

I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way

Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say, "Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you"

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do

So, you're picking up your girl at the airport. Am I right about that? Why are you stopping to ask an old man for words and melodies? And, what? What is waiting there for you? SHE is waiting there for you - because you've been wasting time with some old man and now you're late. You're making the whole next part about "gonna take a lot to drag me away from you" a LOT LESS believeable. A hundred men? Yeah, right! One man seems to have done the trick. GET TO THE AIRPORT, DUDE!

Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

Now, this line would totally make sense to me if the song was about installing a ceiling fan in your bedroom. But, otherwise, I am totally clueless about what you are referring to.

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company

Solitary company? Deep, deep stuff here, buddy. Deep.

I know that I must do what's right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti


How long did it take you to think of this similie in which you liken a mountain to, uh, a mountain? Only, I'm not so sure that Kilimanjaro does rise like Olympus, what with how Kilimanjaro is very nearly 10,000 feet higher and all. I'm thinking maybe comparing it to something that is actually smaller doesn't really convey the full effect of how it rises above the Serengeti. We won't even get into the part about how Olympus is situated in a mountain range, as opposed to old Kili, which is situated in, well, the Serengeti, as you so astutely pointed out, and how the Serengeti, being PLAINS, would produce such a stark contrast that Kili would likely appear even taller.

Or were you making a ridiculous comparison on purpose, as a means of implying that it really isn't a surety at all, in which case you won't be doing "what's right."

By the way, what is right?

I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become

What have you become, other than the aforementioned Rain-Blesser in Africa? And why is that frightening? And what does this have to do with the woman (the one it's "going to take a lot" to drag you away from... even though you seem to have left her behind so that you could go to Africa and now SHE is coming to visit YOU)? And, how did everything turn out with the ceiling fan installation?

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Stupid lyrics? You bet! But is it NOT one of the best songs ever? After you find yourself humming this song to yourself all day long, come back here later and I'll tell you "I told you so."

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10 Comments:

Blogger ShaggaBear said...

"A hundred men? Yeah, right! One man seems to have done the trick. GET TO THE AIRPORT, DUDE!"

That was hilarious! I must admit that I sing along to every other word or so to this song. It is a singable melody for sure. But I never knew the words. Too funny. Thanks for the laugh.

Tue Feb 20, 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger sarahdodson said...

Lori, I just HAVE to comment. That was a hilarious post. I, too, never knew all the words, and now that you've shared them, I really see where you're coming from. The song doesn't make sense, but it sure is a good one to belt out. ha!

Wed Feb 21, 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I have wondered if the song would make more sense if I knew all the words. Guess not.

It is fun to sing along with, though.

Thu Feb 22, 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Simple Kim said...

TOO FUNNY! I agree! It never made any sense but somewhere in the back of my mind I figured I just didn't "get it". Seeing all the words written out like that I realize it wasn't just me! Still...it is a good song.

Fri Feb 23, 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

I LOVE that song and hearing it again would instantaneously take me back 20ish years. Sigh. I never did know all the words and didn't care.What I THOUGHT they were singing actually made more sense !
Thanks for the 80's memories !

Mon Feb 26, 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Jeana said...

I LOVE THAT SONG! I think the lyrics website messed up a little though...I always thought that after the "Gonna take some time to do the things we never had" (you know where "had" has seven syllables) they said "to do" As in the things we never had to do. Which makes a little more sense. Not a lot, but still.

And I think the "it" that's waiting there for him might be "what he's looking for"--like he stopped the old man looking for wisdom, and the old man is telling him "what your looking for is waiting there for you".

and I know you wrote this to be funny--which you were, hilarious--and now I'm taking it all serious, but here's the thing:

If Toto is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Which reminds me, There's no place like home.

Wed Feb 28, 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Catching up here (and telling myself that I need to make it a point to get by more often).

Just wanted to say that you don't have to tell me it's a great song. No doubt. Now I know the (senseless) words, too.

Mon Mar 05, 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

Can't--stop--laughing--you are SO bookmarked, Lori. You kin be my cowgirl any day of the week. Must stop reading your archives and go do the dang dishes before our piano teacher gets here and sees the squalor--When it comes to humor, you are an Olympic swimmer. I only dog paddle.

Mon Mar 05, 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous rjlight said...

hmmm. just party-hopping. I always sang -- 100 men from Mars could ever do---yeah, I sing the songs with the wrong words all the time...that will be a post sometime i'm sure...now, what song is stuck in my head??? can you figure out??

Tue Mar 06, 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Bunny Trails said...

ROTFL!! I don't even like this song - not now and not back in the 80's. But now it's a really funny song and I will always laugh when I think of it or hear it! I often find myself laughing at the lyrics of 80's songs. I was all about the music back then - buying it, going to concerts, etc - but I honestly paid little to no attention to much of the lyrics (even though I sang along). Now I find some of them to be rather absurd, nonsensical, and all around silly! And thanks to your post, I have a new song to add to my list. LOL!

Wed Jun 13, 12:06:00 PM  

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