Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crosby Stills Nash and Young: Great or Grating?

We had rain and slush all morning. It's no weather to ride a motorcycle, but I did anyhow. I was chilly and annoyed when I was driving the van for my work. Crosby Stills Nash and Young came on the radio, and reminded me of all the garbage from the 60's that is best forgotten. It's amazing how such inane lyrics climbed the charts so many times.

"If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."

Did you ever listen to the lyrics to that song?

"Don't be angry, don't be sad,
Don't sit cryin' over good things you've had,
There's a girl right next to you
And she's just waiting for something you do.
Well, there's a rose in a fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can't be with the one you love
Love the one you're with
Love the one you're with
Turn your heartache right into joy
She's a girl, you're a boy,
Get it together make it nice
Ain't gonna need anymore advice.

That sounds about as romantic as breeding gerbils. I wonder if they pipe that song in down at the VD clinic. Songs like that are the reason I listen to the lyrics before I let myself get hooked on a song.

How about "Teach Your Children Well." Here are some lyrics.

"Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die."

I tried to make translate the lyrics. The best I could come up with is as follows

"If your parents smoke up every day, they''ll be too blitzed to care about whether your coming or going, but what the hell, you meet a lot of interesting people in the homeless shelter. Ain't life wonderful when your account is maxed out at the bodega, but yo mamma pays for the dope you buy on account from your dealer shoo wap de wap smoke up yeah ......"

The one that really gets me going is "Four Dead In Ohio." Check out these brain dead lyrics.

"Tin soldiers and Nixon's comin'.
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drummin'.
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it.
Soldiers are gunning us down.
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her and
Found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?"

"Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming". What the hell does that mean? How many spliffs did dou have to fire up to come up with that?" There was some classic anti Nixon humour back then. David Frye used to do classic Nixon impersonations. Then there was the Smothers Brothers. But "Four Dead in Ohio" is what comes out when your mouth is in "drive" and your brain is in "park".

The best song that ever came out of Crosby Stills Nash and Young was not even written by them. "Sweet Home Alabama" was written by Lynyrd Skynerd as an answer to that sanctimonious song "Southern Man" by Neil Young that makes Neil Young sound like he has vocal cords in his nostrils. Those lyrics cut right to the chase. Consider the following.

"Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the Southland
I miss Alabamy once again
And I think its a sin, yes

Well I heard mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow ."

A friend of mine moved up north from Alabama around the time of the civil rights movement. He ended up in a school with a large percentage of African Americans. He ended up getting beaten up just about every day by African American kids who assumed he was racist. I haven't found any Neil Young songs that deal condemn that kind of racism.

There is one Crosby Stills Nash and Young song that I get a chuckle out of. We used to have a couple of cats camping out on our front steps. They would leave the stench of cat urin as a reminder of their presence as well as singing the feline version of "Love the One You're With." One of my kids complained about the smell. I started singing, "Our House is a ver very very fine house. With two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard."....

I don't know why, but none of my kids like Crosby Stills Nash and Young." Maybe I should sing their songs more often.

And while we're at it, what kind of name is Crosby Stills Nash and Young anyhow? It sounds like the law firm you call when you get busted for possession.

"Hello . Crosby Stills Nash and Young. good afternoon." If you are a defendant, press #1. If You are currently in custody, press #2."

There are a couple of good CSNY songs, although none come to mind right now. I used to like "Sugar Mountain", although now it just makes me fall asleep.

There has to be a list of the most annoying songs ever composed. "Take Me Out To the Ball Game is right up there in the top ten Mairzy Doats (Mares Eat Oats) was a hit back in the 1940's. It annoys me every time I hear it. The lyrics have no discernible meaning whatsoever. Kind of like a lot of Crosby Stills Nash and Young.

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