Frenzy

Thanks to Jim Adams, for hosting Song Lyric Sunday. Each week my blogging friend Angie at King Ben’s Grandma plays his game. He gives a prompt (or a series of prompts) and bloggers write a post related to the prompt. Every week, I find myself writing long, rambling comments on Angie’s blog related to the theme du jour. Last week, I began to wonder why I don’t just write my own post. Today’s prompts are Brutal, Cruel, Frenzy, Savage, and Violent. 

Oh, Jim, so much to work with:

As a teenager home from college during the summer I first discovered reggae, my brother’s record collection included The Itals’ album Brutal Out Deh. I’m certain I listened to it a dozen times, but I can’t remember the music at all. But I’ll never forget the title. In my typical Tourette Syndrome style, I walked around the house blurting out “Brutal out deh” to anyone who listened.

Along with various songs by Blondie and the Cars, Nick Lowe’s Cruel to be Kind was my introduction to new wave music, which along with punk rock, was the only music I listened to from 1979 until 1990.

Do you know the Violent Femmes? I’ve recently begun listening to music on my phone while I drive. I download songs from a free library database called Freegal (get it?). The Violent Femmes’ American Music, a song I love but I haven’t heard in fifteen years, is now in my play list. I could write about this, except looking at Jim’s future prompts, I see “American Music” is cued up for July Fourth weekend.

Savage, I got nothin’.

In the summer of 1990, while leaving the deep suburban indoor soccer facility where I played and drank at least twice a week for several years, preparing for my long drive back to the city, which—every single time—was a bit of a knuckle biter because I always had three to five beers and I worried about getting pulled over, a bulging-muscular Black man stood outside of his car, shirtless, shouting along with a pop-sounding rap song: Big Mac, fries to go… Big Mac, fries to go… Get me Big Mac, get me fries to go…

Whoa. That’s a really long sentence loaded with all sorts of conversation starters. I’ll skip most of them and let your imagination run wild. The song, that snippet, immediately stuck in my head. I left the radio off for my forty-five-minute drive and sang that one line over and over.

Today, the next step would be obvious. I’d go home and google the lyrics on the internet, find the video on YouTube and ultimately buy the song from iTunes. In 1990, there was no Google, no internet, no iTunes. After work the next day, I drove to Tower Records on the edge of the George Washington University campus in Northwest Washington, DC, searched for an employee who looked sufficiently hip, and I sang my Big Mac song for him. I walked out with a cassette.

This incident was the inception of a thirty-year love affair with Pop Will Eat Itself’s album This Is the Day…This Is the Hour…This Is This! It’s a top five album for me. I love every song. It’s fun, it’s catchy, it’s energetic, it’s trippy, it makes you want to sing or shout along with the lyrics. My Big Mac song, Def Con One, isn’t even my favorite song on the album, but it holds a special place in my heart because it drew me to such a compelling piece of art.

Ultimately, I bought another PWEI album called Box Frenzy. It… sucked. I listened repeatedly looking for the musical hooks so prevalent in This is the Day… There were none. The CD sat in my music collection gathering dust for twenty years, always noticeable because I like the name. Frenzy is such a fantastic word. Box Frenzy. Another phrase to repeat around the house for no reason except that I like how it sounds.  

A couple of weeks ago, Angie wrote a Song Lyric Sunday post about a song from the horrible, terrible, awesome, incredible 1979 cult-classic film The Warriors. Her post, titled Can You Dig It, shares a name with PWEI’s biggest hit. In the song they borrow several audio clips from the movie The Warriors. I pointed this out to Angie, and the band has been looping in my head ever since.

Give a listen to Pop Will Eat Itself’s Def Con One. I’d love to hear what you think. Warning, like all Pop Will Eat Itself Videos, this one might cause a seizure.

Def Con One
Ten to doomsday, moving fast…
Heads up! Mind that blast.
No time to sleep, it’s Def Con One.
Can’t get no sleep as the ticking ticks on,
No time for fear, it’s Def Con One,
No time to eat but get me some
Big Mac, fries to go…
Big Mac, fries to go…
Get me Big Mac, fries to go…
Get me Big Mac, get me fries to go…
Watchman!
We love you all…
Hup! Hup!
Heads up! Ground floor coming up…
How sick is Dick?
How gone is Ron?
How sick is Dick?
How gone is Ron?
What’s the time?
It’s Def Con One…
Say, what’s the time?
Just get me some

Big Mac, fries to go…
Big Mac, fries to go…
Get me Big Mac, fries to go…
Get me Big Mac, get me fries to go…
Goodbye city, hello moon,
Hands up! Vote Dr. Doom!
You know it makes sense…
It’s Def Con One, hey! What’s occurring? What goes on?
It’s the only choice…
So get me some
Big Mac, fries to go…
Big Mac, fries to go…
Get me Big Mac, fries to go…
Get me Big Mac, get me fries to go…

14 thoughts on “Frenzy

  1. what a wide range of musical tastes! I loved the Cars as well…

    I am not familiar with the Violent Femmes, so I just watched the video for American Music. Fun song and video to go with it…

    Like

  2. That was fun! I’m glad you joined in🥳💃🏼 I love the Violent Femmes, and I almost used Cruel To Be Kind, but the Bush song was insistent!
    Now I’m gonna have Big Mac, fries to go stuck in my head. Should I thank you or curse you?🤣

    Liked by 1 person

      • Jim hosts a few prompts. There are other prompts that I can refer you to if you’re interested. They do the opposite to me… vapor lock my brain. I only do the music, cuz music is easy. At least for me.😉
        And Thank you! No cursing😆 although I *do* kinda want a Big Mac and fries now😂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I could see how that line could get stuck in your head. Cool song. The band’s sound reminds me of the Dead Milkmen a little bit. The Dead Milkmen and something else. Big Audio Dynamite, maybe? Maybe not but something else too.
    I miss the WP daily prompts. I was amazed at how much they helped with my posts. Amazing how a word could spark a whole post. I do miss those a ton.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, those prompts gave me a rough theme and off I went on one crazy tangent after another. I looked around for more PWEI songs to like yesterday and I couldn’t find any. That album just seems to fit me like a favorite t-shirt.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love these music posts! And, yes, Google makes it so easy to find lyrics. Kids today will never know what it’s like to pull the jacket from the cassette tape and hope the lyrics were printed (in teeny, tiny font) on the back! (Or look for them the insert of an ….gasp….album sleeve.) Not to mention buying the whole album!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, my kids know, because they need to listen to their old man talking about the old days 24/7. Thanks for saying you like music posts. When I publish them I envision people rolling their eyes and saying “Another one?!!”

      Like

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