She’s Crafty

I think I thought I seen her on eighth and forty-deuce…
       —From the Beastie Boys’ She’s Crafty
(I love this lyric. I love this song).

For Song Lyric Sunday

My years of blogging launched an annoying habit. I became a serial commenter. When I read a blogpost, if the topic relates to me in any way, I comment. Too often, these are long, pointless blurbs where I tell a rambling story about myself. The response I get usually runs along the vein of uh, thanks for sharing. The blogger, I’m sure, thinks “and why do I care about this?” After I leave these comments, I regret it. My blog is a seemingly endless string of self-analytical stories—five hundred of them—then I click onto others’ blogs and leave more stories about myself. I must be the most self-centered person to ever live.

I don’t want to write about my self-absorption but my need to comment. It spills well beyond the borders of the WordPress platform. When I finish a book, I tweet or email the author. When I finish an article in the Washington Post, I add my thoughts to the string of a thousand comments that no one else reads, especially not the author. And last week, when I finished listening to a Discord & Rhyme podcast about the Beastie Boys, I emailed the podcasters.

Today on a long drive to return my daughter to college, I listened to your Paul’s Boutique podcast. I had this album on cassette when it first came out, but I lost it somewhere along the way. I couldn’t remember much about the music but I remember liking it. Listening to the songs and your gang discussing the music reminded me how much I loved it. Now I’ve downloaded the whole album and am excited to get reacquainted with an old friend.

My one complaint is that I think you were unnecessarily harsh on the Beasties’ first album Licensed to Ill. Yes, the album has a lot of naive and immature music but it’s got a couple of great cuts as well. She’s Crafty and No Sleep are solid songs that deserve a nod. I was also a little bummed that you didn’t mention Public Enemy’s Party for your Right to Fight. I think that song would have fit well in your podcast.

Here I am, telling the professionals how to do their job. If you know anything about the Beastie Boys, you probably know their ridiculous teenage-frat-boy-in-training anthem Fight for Your Right (to Party).

Man, living at home is such a drag. Now your mom threw away your best porno mag.

When it came out in 1986, the song was everywhere. It rose to number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 list.  As a novelty, I enjoyed it for a few listens, but it quickly became annoying. The radio station I listened to played this song every Friday night at five o’clock… for years. If I never hear Fight for your Right (to Party) again, I’ll die happy.

Back to Discord & Rhyme. Five or six rock music nerds sit around for two hours and discuss an album from beginning to end. The research they put into each episode is stunning. The observations they make are remarkable. When I listen to a song, my brain says “Oh, I like this one,” or sometimes “Wow, great drum beat.” The Discord & Rhyme crowd not only points out the drumming, but then they play two or three clips from other songs in different genres that feature the same riff.

They reviewed the album that came out after the Beastie’s debut Licensed to Ill, and right from the start, they uniformly trashed this first album. “Lightweight, immature, sophomoric…” As I wrote in my email to them, there are clearly some great songs on the album (along with the junk), but it also includes one of my favorite songs, ever. She’s Crafty displays the magic of the Beastie Boys and their undeniable raw talent in a way no other song does. The clever lyrics cascade like a waterfall, the ‘Boys’ trade lyrics like a single brain with three mouths, finishing each other’s lines and enhancing the song with witty rejoinders.

The girl came up to me, she said she loved the show
Asked her to come home, and she couldn’t say no
We got to the crib, there’s Adam and D.
We didn’t say a word, they just stared at me
I said, I don’t know her just met her tonight
And Adrock started hiding everything in sight
D. pulled me over, said hide your gold,
The girl is crafty like ice is cold!

OK, so clearly the song contains some adolescent banter as well, but the self-deprecating lyrics, for me, override any obnoxiousness. The Beastie’s never released She’s Crafty as a single, and it continues to hide in the shadows of it’s brash, loudmouth cousin Fight for Your Right (to Party). Had She’s Crafty been a more accessible song, the Beasties may have grabbed many of the more sophisticated listeners that didn’t flock to the band until their highly acclaimed follow up album Paul’s Boutique released.

Listen to She’s Crafty and enjoy the witty storytelling that recounts an ill-fated hookup with a crafty fan.

Well this girl came up to me, she says she’s new in town
But the crew been said they seen her around
I thought they were right but I didn’t want to know
The girlie was Def and she wanted to go

I think her name is Lucy but they all call Loose
I think I thought I seen her on eighth and forty-deuce
The next think she said, my place or yours?
Let’s kick some bass behind closed doors!

We got into the cab, the cab driver said
He recognized my girlie from the back of her head
He said a little something about tip to base
So I made him stop the cab to get out of the place

I shouldn’t have looked back man I’ll always regret it
Something’s going on and I’ll probably never get it
She was crying like a baby, stupid dumb
It’s just too bad that girl’s a bum

She’s crafty, she’s gets around
She’s crafty, she’s always down
She’s crafty, she’s got a gripe
She’s crafty, and she’s just my type
She’s crafty
I spent my last dollar to buy a Sabrett
When I seen this girl I could never forget
Now I like nothing better than a pretty girl smile
And I haven’t seen a smile that pretty in a while
The girl came up to me she said she loved the show
Asked her to come home and she couldn’t say, no

We got the crib, there’s Adam and D.
We didn’t say a word, they just stared at me
I said, I don’t know her just met her tonight
And Adrock started hiding everything in sight
D. pulled me over said, hide your gold,
The girl is crafty like ice is cold!

The girl is crafty, she knows all the moves
I started playing records, she knew all the grooves
He thought she was a thief and D. was right
But I just figured she’d spend the night

When I woke up later in the afternoon
She had taken all the things from inside his room
I found myself naked in the middle of the floor
She had taken the bed and the chest of drawers
The mirror, the TV, the new guitar cord
My remote control and my old skateboard
She robbed us blind, she took all we owned
And the boys blamed me for bringing her home

She’s crafty, she’s gets around
She’s crafty, she’s always down
She’s crafty, she’s got a gripe
She’s crafty, and she’s just my type
She’s crafty

She’s crafty, she’s gets around
She’s crafty, she’s always down
She’s crafty, she’s got a gripe
She’s crafty, and she’s just my type

She’s crafty, She’s gets around
She’s crafty, and she’s always down
She’s crafty, she’s got a gripe
She’s crafty, and she’s just my type
She’s crafty

39 thoughts on “She’s Crafty

    • They’ve got some really impressive stuff, and of course some pretty bad or at least stupid stuff as well. I’m actually only very familiar with two of their albums. I’ll be digging in more as a result of that podcast I listened to.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I was really surprised as I didn’t think this song would appeal to me, but it does. It’s actually very good. Thanks for sharing the lyrics to it, Jeff; it made it easier for me to follow the ‘story’. I also remember ‘Fight For Your Right (To Party), but it used to get on my nerves a bit.

    As for commenting on other people’s posts, please, don’t worry; personally, I think it’s okay to share something of yourself in your comments – for me, it makes me realise that you have perhaps, been able to connect with what I’ve written. That’s just my opinion. I’m ‘guilty’ of doing the same thing in comments, as you’ve no doubt noticed. I say how it makes me feel and how I connect with that. I sometimes think I ought not to do that, but as far as I’m concerned, I can only be me – that’s the only person I know how to be, and I like to express myself sincerely. Enjoy being you. Your input is valuable.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I really admire this song in that it’s great, clean storytelling in rhyme. It’s a perfect example of creative nonfiction. True, we can only be ourselves. On occasion I get a real “I don’t like you’ vibe from when I commented,. I eventually fade away. That’s only happened to me a couple/few times though. One thing that drives me nuts is when people don’t respond to comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m really surprised that you sometimes get “I don’t like you” vibes from your readers just because you share real-life and honest stuff, (as I do), in your blog. That’s what I like about your writing, so please don’t fade away as you put it.

        As for not not responding to comments, I think that’s just plain rude or perhaps, it’s apathy. Both of those things really annoy me, too. I had someone yesterday who apparently ‘liked’ 78 of my posts going back years, within the space of two minutes! Needless to say, I totally doubted that person was genuine and what a waste of my time it was to have to delete each of the 78 notifications.

        I also wanted to let you know that your post inspired me to look back to my older ones to find a video that I shared nine years ago. It sort of seems relevant now with how I’m feeling and is attached to my last few poems. I’m going to try and share this as a post later because I really like the melody and especially, the lyrics. I don’t think I’ve shared a video for years, so thanks for prompting me to find it again. Have a good day, Jeff.

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  2. I was hoping you’d join. 🎶💃🏼 I’m a serial commenter too. For the first few years or blogging, I wrote more in comments on other blogs than posts on my own. I’ve gone back to that routine🤷🏼‍♀️😂😂

    I like the Beasties in small doses. I don’t know that I could listen to an entire album’s worth of their music, but I did like this song. Thanks Jeff!!

    I hope you keep commenting and sharing your favorite music and the stories that go with it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with all that, and I enjoy it when someone writes a multilayered comment about something I wrote. But when they don’t really respond to the comment I leave, I get to thinking that I went too far.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ….. is an uncomfortable feeling, I feel that way too if I’ve left something that hadn’t been responded to but then I remember me, as in sometimes I am just flat busy and haven’t gone back to check my blog for a little while. Sometimes it is a case of I thought I replied and I didn’t or sometimes their comment doesn’t show up and they leave me a follow up comment about their precious comment –
        leading me to check my spam etc and thereby finding other comments (much to my frustration) I would t be too concerned Jeff, you do you, I always appreciate your comments.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I would think most people appreciate your taking the time to leave detailed comments.

    I have to admit I don’t know much about the Beastie Boys, but that song was pretty good.

    And it seems like you should start a podcast reviewing music!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. *Jaw drop* 1986?? Had no idea. That party song apparently came back in the late 90’s when the band was huge, that’s the time I remember them from.

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  5. Maybe it’s not the morning for a first listen to this one – it was too thumpy after losing all rounds to a discombobulating HP printer in a pre-breakfast bout. But would I have persevered if not for the prior exchange of civil comments? No.
    Tell you what, I’ll even listen again on a more propitious day.
    (5) thanks for sharing jeff
    (7) i’ll tune in again someday
    (5) next time to enjoy

    Thanks again,
    DD

    Like

  6. I still love basically every song on licensed to Ill, but I will admit that she’s crafty is one of my favorites. It reminds me somehow of Roxanne Roxanne and Roxanne’s revenge — women getting the better of men, which was only a very occasional feature of late-80s rap! I also love “party for your right to fight” (much better than “you gotta fight for your right to party” but everything on licensed to Ill is happiness or a guilty pleasure for me!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m still sort of getting reacquainted with music. I’ve only been on spotify for a few months and before that, my listening was really spotty and only on Alexa in my kitchen. I actually haven’t listed to many of the Licensed To Ill songs in a long time. I’ll delve back into them (skipping Fight for your Right) and see what I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Liked the song–have to admit I’m only familiar with the Beastie Boys more popular hits.

    I have to admit when I started reading blogs on my smartphone I became a little bit lazier about commenting. Its just easier to comment from my laptop.

    I like it when someone shares their personal experiences in a comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for going in and standing up for Licensed to Ill, that rocks! I’m a fan of the records up through Ill Communication, in fact I organized a record release party for that one when it came out, back in the spring of 94 in Pittsburgh. I think the marketing people for the label heard about it because we did a decent job promoting the party, and then I got invited to a larger party in Pittsburgh to do the same (celebrate the release). And all that was super cool. I think Check Your Head was superb, but then the records seem to lose something from there on. Paul’s Boutique has to be the pinnacle. Our local radio station KEXP will sometimes do a show where they play all the original songs sampled from a record like that alongside the album. They did that with De La Soul’s Three Feet High and Rising one year and it was amaze-balls! They were lucky they could get away with all those samples in that short window of time before they required licensing rights. Speaking of being “licensed” (to ill). Good piece Jeff and don’t self-flagellate on the self-referencing commenting thing, you’ll trigger me because I do the same!

    Liked by 3 people

    • If the KEXP thing is interesting to you, definitely check out the Discord & Rhyme podcast. I learned so much from that one. My favorite quote “Think of the Beastie Boys as the vocalists. The Dust Brothers (music engineers) are the band.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes thank you I will! I also read the 33.3 book on Paul’s Boutique plus the book, “For whom the cow bell tolls.” Ha! Dust Bros are the shit.

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  9. This song NEVER FAILS to give me a chuckle. I used to listen to the album a LOT while running or driving. I’ve often found the sophomoric brand of humor to be one of its great appeals. And I agree with you, ” If I never hear Fight for your Right (to Party) again, I’ll die happy.” And yes, there’s definitely something special about “She’s Crafty.” Thanks for bringing me back to this, Jeff! I may have to listen on my commute today : )

    And, I have to add, as someone who benefits from your willingness to sometimes share a personal story or connection in reference to one of my posts, I am grateful. It shows a willingness to connect, and makes me grateful for the presence of long-distance friendships I’ve developed in this space. Thank you for this gift, Jeff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you got a chance to listen today. She’s Crafty came on when I was taking my cat to the vet this afternoon, and I actually skipped it. It’s been too front and center for the past two days. I need a break.

      Liked by 1 person

    • When Cake first came out, I got a CD and really enjoyed it. I lost track of them quickly though. My only interaction with them for the past 20 years is I used their cover of I Will Survive in a spin class without listening to the whole song first. We were all surprised by a prominent f-bomb in the middle of the song. I enjoyed this song you linked. I guess I should spend some more time with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Enjoyed the piece, Jeff, especially the reflections on commenting.

    I’m not of the Beastie Boys gen but I did get an intro of sorts when the 331/3 book group I was in read Paul’s Boutique and I dutifully listened. Generally, I’m less triggered by the casual misogyny of earlier generations of lyrics–familiarity and sustained exposure I guess–but I did enjoy “She’s Crafty”.

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  11. Great song! I saw the title and the song popped right into my head. Unfortunately, I think I really only know the chorus. I never really sat and listened to the meat of the song. Turns out, I like it! I used to love the Beastie Boys. I love when I get reacquainted with an old music friend – I may have to start giving them another listen.
    I hear you about the comments – I noticed I used to that as well. I found myself asking the same question. I would want to say something about someone else’s thoughts that I could relate to and then wonder why they would care. But then I thought that might be the point of comments – to generate a discussion. So I say, comment away!

    Like

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