Happy new year everyone (if there is anyone still out there after such a protracted spell of laziness).
Let’s kick 2007 off with some opening lines from rock songs. I won’t identify them, since if you are broadly from my generation you will know them already and if you are not you won’t care.
I compiled this list with a couple of old friends, so it is biased towards the songs we shared in our youth. I listen to very few of them these days, but believe me they’re still locked away. When the years have taken away my memories of my homes, my friends, even my lovers, there will still be a gin-soaked bar-room queen floating around in there somewhere …
Take it away Mick:
”Childhood living, it’s easy to do"
”Busted flat in Baton Rouge"
"I was born in a cross fire hurricane"
"Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine"
"I read the news today oh boy"
"Dressed like that you must be living in a different world"
“Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste"
"London calling to the faraway towns"
"If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?"
"As they pulled you out of the oxygen tent you asked for the latest party"
"Her green plastic watering can
For her fake chinese rubber plant"
“The screen door slams"
"I am an Antichrist, I am an anarchist"
"It's so funny to be seeing you after so long girl"
“Maybe I didn’t treat you, just as good as I should have”
”We skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels across the floor"
”There must be some kind of way out of here"
”We were born before the wind, also younger than the sun”
“Start spreading the news"
”And now the end is here"
“I always flirt with death”
“God save the queen her fascist regime
It made you a moron”
"I can't seem to face up to the facts"
”I don't know just where I'm going"
"As the snow flies, on a cold and gray Chicago mornin'"
”I keep a close watch on this heart of mine"
“I met a gin-soaked bar-room queen in Memphis”
"Well I just got into town about an hour ago.
Took a look around me which way the wind blows"
"Outside another yellow moon punched a hole in the nighttime"
"Keep your eyes on the road your hands upon the wheel”
"Nobody feels any pain"
"Dreamed you paid your dues in Canada"
"Holly came from out on the Island"
“Watch out. You might get what you’re after”
"Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans"
"With your mercury mouth in the missionary times"
Wow, those lines are the madeleine to my Proust I can tell you. They work in different ways; some set the tone (“skipped a light fandango”), some would be good lines wherever they appeared (“Watch out. You might get what you’re after”, some provide a shock entry (“I always flirt with death”), sometimes it’s just the way he sings it (“Start spreading the news”).
And some change the world (“Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans”)
Anyway, if these tunes mean anything to you I hope you enjoyed recalling them and that they took you back to somewhere nice.
Thanks for the songs John and Al.
Postscript. Sometimes it’s not really the first line that does it but the opening two or three or even the whole opening verse. I couldn’t resist adding these.
"She used to work in a diner.
Never saw a woman look finer.
I used to order just to watch her float across the floor"
“Left a good job in the city,
Workin' for The Man every night and day,
And I never lost one minute of sleepin',
Worryin' 'bout the way things might have been.”
“Standing on the corner,
Suitcase in my hand
Jack is in his corset, and Jane is her vest,
And me I’m in a rocknroll band!”
“Today I passed you on the street and my heart fell at your feet
I can't help it if I'm still in love with you”
“They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark,
She looked at him and he felt a spark tingle to his bones.
'Twas then he felt alone and wished that he'd gone straight
And watched out for a simple twist of fate.”
And sometimes the second verse is so good you just have to put that in as well!
“I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,
but now it's come to distances and both of us must try,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
I'm not looking for another as I wander in my time,
walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme
you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me,
it's just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea,
but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.”