Tag Archives: song of the week

song of the week 30: welcome home (sanitarium)

Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” by Metallica

  • Genre: Thrash Metal
  • Single Release Date: March 1986 (album only)
  • Album: “Master of Puppets

The song lyrics depict a man trapped in a mental asylum railing against the treatments being used to control his mental instabilities. It’s obviously not working as he is preparing to kill as part of an escape attempt.

Inspiration for the song came from the book “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

For some reason these two lines have always stood out for me:

They keep me locked up in this cage
Can’t they see it’s why my brain says rage?

Lyrics

Welcome to where time stands still

No one leaves and no one will
Moon is full, never seems to change
Just labelled mentally deranged

Dream the same thing every night
I see our freedom in my sight
No locked doors, no windows barred
No things to make my brain seem scarred

Sleep my friend, and you will see
The dream is my reality
They keep me locked up in this cage
Can’t they see it’s why my brain says rage?

Sanitarium
Leave me be
Sanitarium
Just leave me alone

Build my fear of what’s out there
Cannot breathe the open air
Whisper things into my brain
Assuring me that I’m insane

They think our heads are in their hands
But violent use brings violent plans
Keep him tied, it makes him well
He’s getting better, can’t you tell?

No more can they keep us in
Listen, damn it, we will win
They see it right, they see it well
But they think this saves us from our hell

Sanitarium
Leave me be
Sanitarium
Just leave me alone
Sanitarium
(Just leave me alone)

Fear of living on
Natives getting restless now
Mutiny in the air
Got some death to do

Mirror stares back hard
Kill, it’s such a friendly word
Seems the only way
For reaching out again

Click here for a playlist of all the songs in this series on Spotify

Header image from 8Tracks.com

song of the week 29: chelsea dagger

Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratellis

  • Genre: Rock
  • Single Release Date: August 2006
  • Album: “Costello Music

The song is named after Jon Fratelli’s wife Heather, a burlesque dancer whose stage name – a play on Britney Spears – he borrowed for the song. Fratelli described the tune as “a rock ‘n’ roll gig in an old speakeasy or something like that.”

To me this song is just a whole lot of fun!

Lyrics

Well, you must be a girl with shoes like that


She said, you know me well
I seen you and little Steven and Joanna
Round the back of my hotel
Oh yeah

Someone said you was asking after me
But I know you best as a blagger
I said, tell me your name is it sweet?
She said, my boy it’s dagger, oh yeah

I was good she was hot
Stealin’ everything she got
I was bold she was over the worst of it
Gave me gear, thank you dear, bring yer sister over here
Let her dance with me just for the hell of it

Well you must be a boy with bones like that
She said you got me wrong
I would’ve sold them to you
If I could’ve just have kept the last of my clothes on
Oh yeah

Call me up take me down with you when you go
I could be your regular belle
And I’ll dance for little Steven and Joanna
‘Round the back of my hotel, oh yeah

I was good, she was hot
Stealin’ everything she got
I was bold she was over the worst of it
Gave me gear thank you dear bring yer sister over here
Let her dance with me just for the hell of it

Chelsea Chelsea I believe that when you’re dancing
Slowly sucking your sleeve
The boys get lonely after you leave
It’s one for the Dagger and another for the one you believe

Chelsea I believe that when you’re dancing
Slowly sucking your sleeve
The boys get lonely after you leave
It’s one for the Dagger, another for the one you believe

Click here for a playlist of all the songs in this series on Spotify

Header image from 8Tracks.com

song of the week 28: fear of the dark

Fear of the Dark” by Iron Maiden

The title track of the 1992 album by the same name this track wasn’t released as a regular single but was released in 1993 as a live single to promote the live album “A Real Live One“.

The lyrics are about a man that is afraid of the dark but from a paranoid feeling of being watched rather than a phobia of the dark. It was apparently written by Steve Harris who had his own fear of the dark.

Lyrics

I am a man who walks alone
And when I’m walking a dark road
At night or strolling through the park

When the light begins to change
I sometimes feel a little strange
A little anxious when it’s dark

Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that something’s always near
Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone’s always there

Have you run your fingers down the wall
And have you felt your neck skin crawl
When you’re searching for the light?
Sometimes when you’re scared to take a look
At the corner of the room
You’ve sensed that something’s watching you

Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that something’s always near
Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
Have a phobia that someone’s always there

Have you ever been alone at night
Thought you heard footsteps behind
And turned around and no one’s there?
And as you quicken up your pace
You find it hard to look again
Because you’re sure there’s someone there

Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that something’s always near
Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
have a phobia that someone’s always there

Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark

Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark

Watching horror films the night before
Debating witches and folklore
The unknown troubles on your mind
Maybe your mind is playing tricks
You sense and suddenly eyes fix
On dancing shadows from behind

Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that something’s always near
Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
Have a phobia that someone’s always there

Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that something’s always near
Fear of the dark
Fear of the dark
Have a phobia that someone’s always there

When I’m walking a dark road
I am a man who walks alone

Click here for a playlist of all the songs in this series on Spotify

Header image from 8Tracks.com

song of the week 27: o fortuna

O Fortuna” by Carl Orff

  • Genre: Classical
  • First Performance Date: June 1937
  • From: “Carmina Burana

From Wikipedia:

“O Fortuna” is a medieval Latin Goliardic poem which is part of the collection known as the Carmina Burana, written early in the 13th century. It is a complaint about Fortuna, the inexorable fate that rules both gods and mortals in Roman and Greek mythology.

In 1935–36, “O Fortuna” was set to music by German composer Carl Orff as a part of “Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi”, the opening and closing movement of his cantata Carmina Burana. It was first staged by the Frankfurt Opera on 8 June 1937. It opens at a slow pace with thumping drums and choir that drops quickly into a whisper, building slowly in a steady crescendo of drums and short string and horn notes peaking on one last long powerful note and ending abruptly.

“O Fortuna” has been used in numerous films and TV commercials. In my head I had it firmly associated with Damien from the film series “The Omen” but it seems that it was never actually used in that film! I’d love to know how that has become some firmly planted in my mind?

Lyrics

Latin

O Fortuna
Velut luna
Statu variabilis
Semper crescis
Aut decrescis;
Vita detestabilis
Nunc obdurat
Et tunc curat
Ludo mentis aciem,
Egestatem,
Potestatem
Dissolvit ut glaciem.
Sors immanis
Et inanis,
Rota tu volubilis
Status malus,
Vana salus
Semper dissolubilis,
Obumbrata
Et velata
Michi quoque niteris;
Nunc per ludum
Dorsum nudum
Fero tui sceleris.
Sors salutis
Et virtutis
Michi nunc contraria,
est affectus
et defectus
semper in angaria.
Hac in hora
Sine mora
Corde pulsum tangite;
Quod per sortem
Sternit fortem,
Mecum omnes plangite!

English

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are changeable,
ever waxing,
ever waning,
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
poverty
and power
it melts them like ice
fate – monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
shadowed
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy
fate is against me
in health
and virtue,
driven on
and weighted down,
always enslaved.
so at this hour
without delay
pluck the vibrating strings;
since Fate
strikes down the strong man,
everyone weep with me!

Click here for a playlist of all the songs in this series on Spotify

Header image from 8Tracks.com

song of the week 26: i’m shipping up to boston

I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys

Taking inspiration from a fragment of lyrics in the archives of Woody Guthrie this is the band’s most successful single. To be honest it’s probably the only one I really listen too!

Although it was recorded and released long after I left university it brings back fond memories of leaping around to More Power to Your Elbow in the Student Union at Coleraine in the very early 90s.

Lyrics

I’m a sailor peg
And I’ve lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I’ve lost my leg!

I’m shipping up to Boston, whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston, whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston, whoa
I’m shipping off to find my wooden leg

I’m a sailor peg
And I’ve lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I’ve lost my leg!

I’m shipping up to Boston, whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston, whoa
I’m shipping up to Boston, whoa
I’m shipping off to find my wooden leg

Click here for a playlist of all the songs in this series on Spotify

Header image from 8Tracks.com

song of the week 25: civil war

Civil War” by Guns ‘n’ Roses

First released on a 1990 compilation album (Nobody’s Child: Romanian Angel Appeal) released to raise funds for Romanian orphans and then on the 1993 album Use Your Illusion II. It was also released in the US as a single in 1990 but didn’t get a worldwide release until 1993.

Civil War is written as an anti-war song with many aspects of the song reflecting this. The beginning samples Strother Martin’s speech in the 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, quotes a speech by a Peruvian Shining Path guerrilla officer and includes the American Civil War song, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home“, whistled by Axl Rose in the intro and outro. It is these unusual aspects of the song as much as the actual musical elements that make me like it so much.

Lyrics

Look at your young men fighting
Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying
The way they’ve always done before

Look at the hate we’re breeding
Look at the fear we’re feeding
Look at the lives we’re leading
The way we’ve always done before

My hands are tied
The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can’t deny
And are washed away by your genocide
And history hides the lies of our civil wars

D’you wear a black armband
When they shot the man
Who said “peace could last forever”
And in my first memories
They shot Kennedy
I went numb when I learned to see
So I never fell for Vietnam
We got the wall of D.C. to remind us all
That you can’t trust freedom
When it’s not in your hands
When everybody’s fightin’
For their promised land
And

I don’t need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
I don’t need your civil war
Ow, oh no, no, no, no, no

Look at the shoes you’re filling
Look at the blood we’re spilling
Look at the world we’re killing
The way we’ve always done before
Look in the doubt we’ve wallowed
Look at the leaders we’ve followed
Look at the lies we’ve swallowed
And I don’t want to hear no more

My hands are tied
For all I’ve seen has changed my mind
But still the wars go on as the years go by
With no love of God or human rights
‘Cause all these dreams are swept aside
By bloody hands of the hypnotized
Who carry the cross of homicide
And history bears the scars of our civil wars

I don’t need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
I don’t need your civil war
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
I don’t need your civil war
I don’t need your civil war
Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
I don’t need your civil war
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no uh-oh-uh, no uh-oh, uh no
I don’t need one more war

I don’t need one more war
No, no, no, no uh-oh-uh, no uh-oh, uh no
Whaz so civil ’bout war anyway?

Header image from 8Tracks.com

song of the week 23: à tout le monde

À Tout Le Monde” by Megadeth

  • Genre: Heavy Metal
  • Single Release Date: February 1995
  • Album: “Youthanasia

In my 20s I fell in love with the romantic notion of this track being my funeral song. At that young age death is only a distant concept but there is something poetic and comforting about both the music and the words that would suit carrying a coffin out of a Church to a graveyard.

Initially the video was banned by MTV for being “pro-suicide” but lead singer Dave Mustaine denied this in a 1994 interview and gave the inspiration behind the lyrics as how I also understood them:

It’s not a suicide song. What it is, it’s, you, it’s when people have a loved one that dies and they end on a bad note, you know, they wish that they could say something to them. So this is an opportunity for the deceased to say something before they go. And it was my impression of what I would like to say to people, if I had say, 3 seconds to do so in life before I died I’d say to the entire world, to all my friends, I love you all, and now I must go. These are the last words I’ll ever speak, and they’ll set me free. I don’t have to say I’m sorry, I don’t have to say I’m going to miss you, or I’ll wait for ya. You know, I’ll just say I loved you all, good, bad, indifferent, I loved you all.

Arsenal of Megadeth DVD. Capitol Records. 2006

The track was re-released in 2007 as a duet with Italian singer Cristina Scabbia. I still prefer the original.

Lyrics

Don’t remember where I was
I realized life was a game
The more seriously I took things
The harder the rules became
I had no idea what it’d cost
My life passed before my eyes
I found out how little I accomplished
All my plans denied

So as you read this, know, my friends
I’d love to stay with you all
Please smile when you think of me
My body’s gone, that’s all

A tout le monde
A tout mes amis
Je vous aime
Je dois partir
These are the last words
I’ll ever speak
And they’ll set me free

If my heart was still alive
I know it would surely break
And my memories left with you
There’s nothing more to say

Moving on is a simple thing
What it leaves behind is hard
You know the sleeping feel no more pain
And the living are scarred

A tout le monde
A tout mes amis
Je vous aime
Je dois partir
These are the last words
I’ll ever speak
And they’ll set me free

(So as you read this, know, my friends
I’d love to stay with you all
Please smile, smile when you think about me
My body’s gone, that’s all)

(These are the last words
I’ll ever speak
And they’ll set me free)

Click here for a playlist of all the songs in this series on Spotify

Header image from 8Tracks.com

song of the week 22: don’t get mad, get even…

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even… ” by Aerosmith

  • Genre: Glam Rock/Hard Rock
  • Single Release Date: Album only September 1989
  • Album: “Pump

This is the 10th album release from Aerosmith but was my first proper experience of them. I was given a taped copy of the album by a friend along with “Permanent Vacation. I pretty much wore out the two of them but Pump was and still remains my favourite of the two.

There are 4 very well known single releases from this album but this particular track was album only. It is one of my favourites though with its very different beat, instrumental and intriguing lyrical rhythm. I also like the use of well known clichés in the lyrics and how they’re given a new context.

When I got this album I was only 17 and in my first year at Coleraine university. I have a vivid memory of sitting in the upstairs balcony of “The Model” with Karen and Kim from my course in between classes and Karen asking what I was listening to on my headphones. I’m still not sure what she thought of it!

Lyrics

I’ll tell you little secret make you want to jump and shout
when you talk to me in circles take your foot out of your mouth
it’s hard enough to make it when you’re livin’ on the street
and you want to tell somebody but you got to be discreet
then you catch your girlfriend with her skirt hiked up to here
honey, don’t get mad, get even

don’t get mad, get even [3x]

say the times they be a-changin’ though the blind lead the blind
you know your head is empty though there’s somethin’ on your mind
been shackin’ up with Lucy, then when the morning comes
you’re with Sally in the alley and the junkies and the bums
you wonder why your girlfriend has her skirt hiked up to here
honey, don’t get mad, get even

Don’t get mad, get even [3x]

(…’til I can see the white o’ your eyes, baby…)
(…I’m gonna kick ass…)
(…just wait ’til you see what I got in store for you)

roll the dice get lucky ’cause they roll you for the dime
you got nothin’ else to lose if you only lose your mind
when pleasure that is shallow causes trouble to be deep
you’ve been dusted with the devil while he sweeps you off your feet

I’ll tell you little secret make you want to jump and shout
when you talk to me in circles take your foot out of your mouth
it’s hard enough to make it when you’re livin’ on the street
and you hate to be a wiseguy when your feet are in concrete
oh, sleepin’ with the dogs, and you wake up with the fleas
honey, don’t get mad, get even

Header image from 8Tracks.com

song of the week 21: gods of war

Gods of War” by Def Leppard

  • Genre: Glam Rock/Hard Rock/Pop Rock
  • Single Release Date: Album only 1987
  • Album: “Hysteria

An anti-war track that was never released as a single this is one of my favourite Def Leppard songs. It’s very long at 6:37 and includes recordings at the end of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan justifying 1986 air strikes on Lybia as retaliation for a terrorist bombing in Berlin that was blamed on Libya.

All of that was almost 40 years ago and yet sounds depressingly familiar.

The line “We’re fighting with the gods of war” was played backwards multiple times throughout the single “Rocket“.

Lyrics

Feelin’ like it’s over
Feelin’ like there’s no love
Feelin’ like it’s not easy
Breathin’ life in the dust

On a countdown to zero
Take a ride on the nightmare machine
There ain’t gonna be heroes
There ain’t gonna be anything
Oh, here it comes, here comes the light
Here it comes, hell in the night
Here it comes, here comes the light
When we all fall down

When we walk into silence
When we shadow the sun
When we surrender to violence
Oh, then the damage is done
Put away that gun

I don’t want to be there
I don’t want to be anywhere
Here it comes, here comes the light
Here it comes, hell in the night
Here it comes, here comes the light
That’s right

We’re fightin’ for the gods of war
But what the hell we fightin’ for?
We’re fightin’ with the gods of war
But I’m a rebel
And I ain’t gonna fight no more, no way

On a countdown to zero
Take a ride on the nightmare machine
There ain’t gonna be heroes
Woah, There ain’t gonna be anything, no
Here it comes, here comes the light
Here it comes, hell in the night
Here it comes, here comes the light
That’s right

We’re fightin’ for the gods of war
But what the hell we fightin’ for?
We’re fightin’ with the gods of war
And I ain’t gonna fight no more
(Stop fighting for the gods of war)
We’re fightin’ for the gods of war
But what the hell we fightin’ for?
(What the hell we fightin’ for?)
We’re fightin’ with the gods of war
Heavy

“Message to terrorists everywhere: You can run, but you can’t hide.”

“We’re determined to stand together, and we’re determined to take action”

“We are not going to tolerate these attacks from outlaw states. We will not cave in”

“Today, we have done what we had to do.”

“He counted on America to be passive, he counted wrong.

Header image from 8Tracks.com

song of the week 20: this love

This Love” by Pantera

Kerrang! The Album (1994) was my first introduction to modern heavy metal music and one of the tracks on this was my first introduction to Pantera. The sound was very different to anything I’d heard before and it wasn’t long before I was hooked on their most successful album Vulgar Display of Power. This is one of the many tracks that I like a lot but is one of my favourites.

Lyrics

If ever words were spoken
Painful and untrue
I said I loved but I lied
In my life
All I wanted
Was the keeping
Of someone like you
As it turns out
Deeper within me
Love was twisted and pointed at you

You keep this love (thing), love (child), love (toy)
You keep this love (fist), love (scar), love (break)
You keep this love, love, love
You keep this love, love, love
You keep this love

I’d been the tempting one
Stole her from herself
This gift in pain
Her pain was life
And sometimes I feel so sorry
I regret this (the hurting of you)
But you make me so unhappy
I’d take my life (and leave love with you)

You keep this love (thing), love (child), love (toy)
You keep this love (fist), love (scar), love (break)
You keep this love, love, love
You keep this love, love, love
You keep this love

No more head trips

You keep this love (thing), love (child), love (toy)
You keep this love (fist), love (scar), love (break)
You keep this love, love, love
You keep this love, love, love
You keep this love

You keep this love
You keep this love
You keep this love
You keep this love

Header image from 8Tracks.com