AKA Abraham Bacoln

October 8, 2008, 11:18 pm
Filed under: tidbit

I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time as well. I was listening to the album Guero by Beck a while back (read: months ago), and I found myself marveling at the lyrics. Yeah, I know, Jon, I just said the other day that lyrics are pretty low on my list of things I pay attention to while listening to music. This time I was listening, however.

Anyway the point is that when you just grab snippets of lyrics from Guero they’re remarkably Waitsian. I decided to make a little quiz and have you choose which was which, and then I never got around to it. However, having just completed The Chronological Waits Challenge I figured it was an appropriate time to do this.

I just looked up the lyrics online and snagged some from:
A.) Guero by Beck
B.) Swordfishtrombones by Tom Waits

Now see I’m assuming that to anyone who is not immediately familiar with both artists that these will be pretty much indistinguishable, and for anyone that is just low-level familiar with both it’ll be the same. And of course for anyone that knows one from the other it should be easy. Or, you know, this is what I think, but my perception is tainted as this is my idea and I culled the lyrics myself.

So here you go. Feel free to comment on which you think is which. I changed the spacing to cut up the flows and make you concentrate on the words themselves.

I’ll give the answers tomorrow if I remember.

1.) See me kickin the door with my boots, broke down out in a ditch of old rubbish. Snakes and bones in the back of your room handing out a confection of venom. Heaven’s drunk from the poison you use. Charm the wolves with the eyes of a gambler. Now I see it’s a comfort to you.

2.) I rolled down the national stroll and with a big fat paycheck strapped to my hip sack and a shore leave wristwatch underneath my sleeve.

3.) With her hands tied back her rags are burnin’, calling out from a landfilled life. Scrawling her name up on the ceiling, throw a coin in the fountain of dust.

4.) I’d drag all that I owned down the dirt road to find you. And my shoes, worn-out and used, they can’t take me much farther.

5.) There’s a rumblin’ groan down below: It’s a place I’ve found. There’s a world going on underground.

6.) Walking to the other side with the devil trying to take my mind and my soul’s just a silhouette on the ashes of a cigarette.

7.) And the window is busted and the landlord ain’t home and Butch joined the army. Yeah that’s where he’s been and the jackhammer’s diggin’ up the sidewalks again.

8.) Sometimes the jail can’t chain the cell and the rain’s too plain to tell all alone by a barren well. Scarecrow’s only scaring himself.

9.) Well I slept in the holler of a dry creek bed and I tore out the buckets from a red Corvette.

10.) I’m coming over. See me down at the station by the lane with my hands in my pocket, jingling a wish coin that I stole from a fountain that was drownin’ all the cares in the world.

11.) I hung my rain-soaked jacket on some old barbed wire, poured cold rusty water on a miserable fire.

12.) Some need diamonds, some need love. Some need cards, some need luck. Some need dollar bills lining their clothes. All I need is two white horses in a line.

13.) Fourteen miles away from a landfill grave, never pawned my watch and chain to the landlord living inside my head. Never paid my rent ’til the lights went dead.

No cheating. Tell me what you think or how you did.

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m throwing this out here without cheating. I can’t believe I’m not more confident about this, since I love both of those albums. Time to take a closer listen to both.

1. A
2. B
3. A
4. A
5. B
6. A
7. B
8. A
9. B
10. A
11. B
12. B

Comment by Trey Piepmeier

13. B

Comment by Trey Piepmeier

Hm, I don’t know that I’ve heard Guero before, but I reckon the Waits ones are 2, 5, 7, 9 and 11…

Comment by Jon

Trey was close, and Jon was right on. And now that the two people that I actually expected to respond to this have responded, I guess we’ll call it a day.

Comment by Kevin O'Mara

two people?

too late

Comment by E

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