Author Topic: Factual errors in songs.  (Read 20308 times)

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #100 on: September 04, 2009, 08:19:32 am »
Having followed the fortunes of Tuam's finest band, The Saw Doctors, for many years, it pains me to point out that:

"Its waters harbour fishes from the herring to the whale" is not, piscatorially speaking, spot on.

And

"Our greatest asset has been mined, dug up and sold"

seems to be somewhat tautologous.

Apart from that lads, carry on.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #101 on: September 04, 2009, 10:32:25 am »
Memo to the Luckyband:  actually, chaps, Hertfordshire almost certainly isn't the greatest county in the UK.  I know because I can see it from here, or at least would be able to if there wasn't a tree in the way.

But at least there were proper Slebs at last night's gig - Liza Tarbuck1 and Kevin Eldon2.

1 - possibly
2 - definitely
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
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clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #102 on: September 04, 2009, 10:50:33 am »
Memo to the Luckyband:  actually, chaps, Hertfordshire almost certainly isn't the greatest county in the UK. 

Hertfordshire struggles to be the best county just north of London beginning with an H and containing Stevenage (which may, tbf, be a large part of its problem)
Getting there...

Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #103 on: April 12, 2011, 07:13:48 pm »
ABBA.

A giant dynamo does not attract.  You're thinking of a magnet.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #104 on: April 13, 2011, 12:55:11 am »
For me, the classic, given the man's colossal influence on following musicians is to be found in Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago":-

Oh, Baby don't you want to go

To the land of California, my sweet home, Chicago?

Most subsequent artistes have felt the need to change this but Robert wasn't about geography, no sir!

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #105 on: April 13, 2011, 01:24:44 am »
Gordon Lightfoot changed the lyrics of the 'Edmund Fitzgerald' because it was later proved that he made an error in the original song . . .

I'm not nearly sad enough to link to the 'pedia article that explains it all.
 
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #106 on: April 13, 2011, 10:19:54 am »
But I'm sad enough to go read it.
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Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #107 on: April 13, 2011, 10:32:27 am »
There are not nine million bicycles in Beijing.

I remember hearing the Simon Singh v Katie Melua on the Today programme where she sang the scientifically corrected version at the end. Has anyone got this / can be bothered finding it?

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #108 on: April 13, 2011, 10:33:51 am »
My respect for her went up immensely at that.  She sounded very game.
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Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
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Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #109 on: April 13, 2011, 10:38:15 am »
Down by the water hole , drunk every Friday
Eating their nuts , saving their raisins till Sunday

Now that's just spooky - I had this precise part of this song going round in my head before I got to your post (and the song was in there before I opened the thread).
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

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Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #110 on: April 13, 2011, 05:45:23 pm »
ooh, this one's been bugging me for about 25 years...

In We Work the Black Seam, Sting asserts that "Deadly for 10,000 years is Carbon 14".

Carbon 14 isn't deadly at all, it's in all living things, it's how you carbon date stuff.

Anyway, its half life is only 5730ish years.
If I had a baby elephant, it could help me wash the car. If I had a car.

See my recycled crafts at www.wastenotwantit.co.uk

Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #111 on: April 13, 2011, 06:47:40 pm »
Gordon Lightfoot changed the lyrics of the 'Edmund Fitzgerald' because it was later proved that he made an error in the original song . . .

I'm not nearly sad enough to link to the 'pedia article that explains it all.
 

If I remember, he also changes the lyrics when he performs "If You Could Read My Mind" live, to reflect the fact that it takes two to un-tango.

Gordy has a few macho songs that grate, lyrically:  "For Loving Me" is great, musically and lyrically but it is about a bastard, no two ways about it.

Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #112 on: June 16, 2013, 07:38:59 am »
More of a grammatical error, but the second line of The Dream Academy's "Life In a Northern Town" annoys me.  Shouldn't it be "And the children drank lemonade"?  He definitely sings "drunk".
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #113 on: June 16, 2013, 08:01:04 am »
I think it's raher missing some commas (or semi-colons)? -

"A Sally Army band played; and children drunk; lemonade ..."

... all summing up the bleak life Oop North ...

More of a grammatical error, but the second line of The Dream Academy's "Life In a Northern Town" annoys me.  Shouldn't it be "And the children drank lemonade"?  He definitely sings "drunk".
The Kettwiesel Ripper turns his hand to upwrongs...

Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #114 on: June 16, 2013, 12:04:25 pm »
I think it's raher missing some commas (or semi-colons)? -

"A Sally Army band played; and children drunk; lemonade ..."

... all summing up the bleak life Oop North ...

More of a grammatical error, but the second line of The Dream Academy's "Life In a Northern Town" annoys me.  Shouldn't it be "And the children drank lemonade"?  He definitely sings "drunk".

Opinion seems to be that it's about Nick Drake, but describes Tamworth in Arden as a 'Northern Town'. This verse seems to chime with all those from cold climates.
Quote
They sat on the stony ground
And he took a cigarette out
And everyone else came down to listen
He said, "In winter 1963
It felt like the world would freeze
With John F. Kennedy and the Beatles"


Beatlemania took off at the same time as the Big Freeze of 1963, but Kennedy had been prominent in the news during the Cuban Missile crisis in October 1962, and died in November 1963, Kennedy did visit Macmillan in June 1963, but the Kennedy reference has never quite gelled for me.


 

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #115 on: June 16, 2013, 04:37:28 pm »
...unlike a Bridge Over Troubled Waters, which you put up, Messrs Simon and Garfunkel.
I'm not sure that wilful misunderstanding of a simile counts as a factual error.

And you cant "Cry me a river".  A small damp patch perhaps.
Similarly, that's an instruction from the singer to the listener. If I had to listen to Justin Timberlake singing at me every day, I bloody well would cry a river.

My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Wascally Weasel

  • Slayer of Dragons and killer of threads.
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #116 on: June 16, 2013, 04:45:48 pm »
Somone once wrote to Warren Zevon to complain that the lyrics to his song 'Carmelita' were factually incorrect in that the Pioneer Chicken stand was not located on Alvarodo Street as stated in the song.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #117 on: June 16, 2013, 04:50:41 pm »
I bet it was a yacfer.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Wascally Weasel

  • Slayer of Dragons and killer of threads.
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #118 on: June 16, 2013, 04:52:03 pm »

Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #119 on: June 16, 2013, 06:58:05 pm »
Can anyone confirm the correct lyrics of "Long Train Runnin'"?  Some sources have (and it sounds as if Mr. Doobie sings)

Quote
when pistons keep on turning

which is so obviously wrong to anyone with a vague knowledge of engineering.

It might be "churning", which I could forgive.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #120 on: June 16, 2013, 08:47:03 pm »
Oh I don't know, these pistons certainly turned:

Mind you since the song was referring to a railway engine not a Sopwith Camel I take your point.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #121 on: June 17, 2013, 10:28:29 am »
Can anyone confirm the correct lyrics of "Long Train Runnin'"?  Some sources have (and it sounds as if Mr. Doobie sings)

Quote
when pistons keep on turning

which is so obviously wrong to anyone with a vague knowledge of engineering.

It might be "churning", which I could forgive.

Surely it's a poetic use of 'turning' as an intransitive rather than a transitive verb. The pistons are 'turning' the wheels by implication, as it's their function, so the object can be omitted by inference, as a Turnstone turns stones. The connecting rods are analagous to the connection of love, to elucidate that, rather than alluding to it, would be a bit 'clunky', and indeed 'clanky'.

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
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Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #122 on: June 17, 2013, 04:37:57 pm »
ZZ Top -  however sharply dressed you may be, nobody is going to give you their gun love or whatever loving it is you want when you have a silly beard like that.   
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #123 on: June 17, 2013, 05:32:18 pm »
More of a grammatical error, but the second line of The Dream Academy's "Life In a Northern Town" annoys me.  Shouldn't it be "And the children drank lemonade"?  He definitely sings "drunk".

"And the morning lasted all day", hmmm? I think you'll find it lasted until noon, like it does every other day.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Factual errors in songs.
« Reply #124 on: July 26, 2013, 02:26:25 pm »
Not sure it's a factual error, but I'm not sure the geography works out.

In The Killing of Georgie, they leave a Broadway show, and we hear that 'a gentle breeze blew down Fifth Avenue', presumably marking the spot where the next thing we hear is that they have been attacked by 'a New Jersey gang', coming out of a darkened alley.

So why does the ambulance go to 53rd & 3rd, a place famous for gay clubs, admittedly, but some way on from Fifth Avenue?

There don't seem to be many alleys near 53rd & 3rd (though much of it has been redeveloped since the mid-70s).
Getting there...