Category Archives: Words

Plain: Sloan, “Underwhelmed” (1992)

In popular song, as in old-fashioned poetry, we expect a tight rhyme scheme. It seems to come naturally with the almost inescapable line/stanza form of verses and choruses. And so there can be a significant surprise, an unexpected intrigue, even … Continue reading

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Jumbled: Amazing Rhythm Aces, “Hit The Nail On The Head” (1975)

I recently recommended the Amazing Rhythm Aces’ album Stacked Deck to a female acquaintance who, alas! was not nearly as charmed with it as I am. Could the problem partly be here, in “Hit The Nail On The Head”? Saw you last … Continue reading

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Logical Investigations: Everything Everything, “Fortune 500” (2015)

In Aristotelian logic, you can get a result this way: If p, then q  (suppose it’s true that “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”) p (there’s smoke) Therefore q  (there’s fire) or this way: If p, then q  (suppose it’s true that … Continue reading

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The Greatest/Worst “I”: John Lennon, “I Found Out” (1970)

We already covered the “I” of “Gloria” and “Psycho Killer,” but that was in two special contexts. What about the first-person pronoun as something generally meaningful, one of our top go-to words? Can you get excited about the “I”? Can … Continue reading

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Greatest Dylan Hooks

What a great day, in a categorically confusing way: a popular songwriter has won the Nobel Prize for literature! We must pay our respects! What for you is the greatest hook in Dylan’s lyrics, and why do you pick it? … Continue reading

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Classic Unique: Fiona Apple, “Extraordinary Machine” (2005)

Our words wait quietly in the dictionary with their meanings ready, paws tucked under. When we take them out,  sometimes we try to make them sit still there, there, and there, like in info-speak; or let them run, like in poetry; … Continue reading

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The Boy Hook: The Zombies, “Butcher’s Tale (Western Front 1914)” (1968)

July 28 is my birthday and also the day when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, now counted as the official start of World War I. (Let’s go back and ask Austria-Hungary: “Would you like to start World War I?”)[1] Today … Continue reading

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