One of the funniest music related websites is ‘kiss this guy’. The name of the website refers to a line in Jimi Hendrix’s song ‘Purple Haze’, the part where he sings: ‘scuse me, while I kiss the sky’. Many people apparently hear: ‘excuse me while I kiss this guy…’ Personally, I very much love one of the misheard versions of R.E.M.’s ‘Losing my religion’, the one where people hear ‘lets pee in the corner‘ instead of ‘that’s me in the corner’.
On a different level, I’ve always been amazed by the crowd pleasing qualities of Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit’. No matter where they play, it always immediately results in affectionate, tender community singing. But…well…have a look at the lyrics and imagine yourself singing the following to your kid or lover:
Cracked eggs, dead birds
Scream as they fight for life
I can feel death, can see its beady eyes
All these things into position
All these things we’ll one day swallow whole
And fade out again and fade out again
Hardly suitable to demonstrate love. It’s a very bleak song that comes very close to staring into the abyss of total nothingness. I’m hardly any better, trust me. Sure, I have a very Dutch and Calvinistic resistance to community singing, but I’ve hummed PiL’s ‘Poptones’ to myself for a very long time, having no clue what the song was about. The first couple of lines go like this:
Drive to the forest in a japanese car
The smell of rubber on concrete tar
Hindsight done me no good
Standing naked in the back of the woods
The cassette played poptones
Still don’t get it? It’s a song John Lydon based on a Daily Mirror article, an article about a girl being abducted and raped in the back of a car by a bunch of guys while they were playing the same unusual tune on a cassette player over and over again. Hardly sing-along material. The girl’s recollection of the song did seem to have helped with finding and arresting the perpetrators.