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Five Song Re-Writes

List Of The Day

It's become an important mission of this List Of The Day blog to improve music as much as possible. We know the industry isn't going to clean up after itself. While the Recording Industry of Associated Americans (RIAA) has from time to time tried to impose standards, it has not been very successful in doing so, as can be proven by the inscrutable rise of just about every top-selling performer in the past 15 years. Unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating. I have the headache to prove it.

So, as my loyal readers continue to write in and request that I set the record straight regarding songs they've always felt could use improvement, I'd like to thank Alan Saltz of Long Island for writing in: "Sometime in the near future could you devote an entire column to Rush lyrics? I've long been captivated by the group's ability to write about simple and complex subjects in the same ham-fisted vernacular that made them so incredibly profound when I was growing up. But now it seems a little stupid. Am I wrong?"

None of my readers are ever wrong, Alan. A little misguided from time to time. The death threats get to be a little much. But I don't know about an entire column about Rush. I'll check with the Yahoo! Sales Force and see if they think this would be a viable option. We don't do anything around here without extensive--and exclusive--market research.

But we'll start with one Rush song and see how it goes. Though after reading through it, I'm not sure if it can be improved on. I love clunky sentence constructions as much as the next talentless hack writer, but what could I possibly add? Well, I'll try. And, again, thanks for writing.

"Subdivisions"--Rush: Any escape might help to smooth the unattractive truth that the suburbs have no charms to soothe the restless dreams of youth and I say we all go out for ice cream and maybe drink some beer by the railroad tracks and call that girl from math class who always looks really stoned, she's bound to know some people who can hang out with us. My mom wants me home by nine. That sucks.

"Sweet Leaf"--Black Sabbath: When I first met you I got good grades and was planning on attending a good college and having a lucrative career as a research scientist but now all I want to do is sit on the couch and eat potato chips and watch cable and porn and giggle and do as little as possible. My grades have slipped. I don't shower often and most of my new friends aren't very bright. But I think you're awesome. You introduced me to my mind. Or screwed it up so royally that I don't care anymore. Thank you, Sweat Leaf.

"Dancing In The Dark"--Bruce Springsteen: I get up in the evening, which should tell you one of two things, either I'm a rich rock star who doesn't have to get up in the morning, or I'm a guy stuck working the third shift at work, which recent medical studies have linked to a higher rate of cancer. Not exactly the sort of thing you want to think about. In fact, most things in life you don't want to think about, which is why I usually just go to the bar and get wasted and go dancing in the dark. Once you're drunk it doesn't matter who you dance with and besides it's dark!

"When Doves Cry"--Prince: How can u just leave me standing alone in a world that's so cold? What? You don't offer a guy a drink or anything? Maybe I'm just too demanding. Maybe I'm just like my father, a really annoying, arrogant pr*ck who thought it was funny to torture his children and leave them for years at a time. Maybe you're just like my mother, a complete psychotic shrew for whom nothing was ever good enough.
Why do we scream at each other? Maybe because you don't listen. Ever try listening? Well, if you did, we wouldn't get into these arguments and by the way, this is what it sounds like when doves cry. Not that you asked.

"Brown Sugar"--The Rolling Stones: When in the course of human events, mankind must accept certain chief responsibilities for their actions and I, as a responsible member of society, have chosen to be a ward of good and not evil, so Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good? Brown sugar, mmm, yum, just like a young girl should, yeah.

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