Sunday, January 13, 2019

More Odd Lyrics (Similes)

So, sometimes a song makes a comparison that seems dubious.

Case in point: in "Searchin" by The Coasters, a song remembered nowadays mainly by the fact that The Beatles recorded it w. great gusto as part of the Decca Tapes (the 1962 audition where the record company executive told their manager that 'groups with guitars are on their way out'), it includes the rather odd line

Gonna walk right down the street
like a Bulldog Drummond

Even stranger is the line in "Soft-Hearted Hana" by George Harrison, the flip side of his hit single "Blow Away" (circa 1979)

There was someone there beside me
Swimming like Richard the Third

Now there's a mental image I have trouble getting my mind around.

--John R.

--current viewing: THE ROOSEVELTS, by Ken Burns
--current reading: HERBERT HOOVER, by Wm. E. Leuchtenburg (just starting)

1 comment:

Clive Shergold said...

It is possible that the breadth of the Atlantic has obscured the intended meaning of this comparison. On the Liverpool side of the ocean, I suspect the majority of readers would recognise in 'Richard the Third' neither an historical nor a literary reference, but instead a piece of Cockney rhyming slang.

For 'Richard the Third' has the misfortune to rhyme with a less exalted item - a turd. (I don't know if even this vocabulary reaches across the Atlantic; I am referring to a stool - medically speaking - or a piece of faecal (US: fecal) matter.)

The image is not of a hunchbacked king valiantly battling the waves, but rather of a lump of excrement floating down a gutter. Why this should arise in the context given I cannot say, and I do not propose to take enough magic mushrooms to find out.