By Steve Hansen
Former QCS Managing Editor
Some songs on the radio make you wonder how they got played or recorded, or written in the first place.
I heard one from 1974 just the other day called, “The Night Chicago Died.”
This one, setting a fictional scene from the gangland 1920s, starts with the spoken line: “Daddy was a cop (pause) on the east si-i-ide of Chicago.”
The songwriter didn’t know anything about Chicago. Its east side is Lake Shore Drive where rich people live in high-rise condos with views all the way to Michigan.
The north side is where the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred, and Al Capone was closely associated with Cicero, west of the city (remember Geraldo Rivera’s epic “Capone’s vault” fail?).
The song sounds like it was recorded on a lark by some guys who’d had too many Heileman’s Old Styles, but it was a British group called Paper Lace.
Here are lyrics to another shudder-inducer from 1970s: “When I saw you standing there / I ‘bout fell out my chair / And when you moved your mouth to speak / I felt the blood go to my feet.”
These ghastly lyrics went with a melody sappier than Vermont’s maple syrup crop. And yet, 40 years later, the song gets air time.
The 1980s produced more forgettable music than any other decade I have experienced, like “Wake me up before you go-go / Don’t leave me hangin’ on like a yo-yo…” Huh?
Don’t forget “Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,” about a stammering Buddhist lizard, maybe?
How about “I’m never gonna dance again / Guilty feet have got no rhythm?” The left is doing 10-to-20 for assault. The right got 5-to-10 for breaking and entering.
And the one with the line “With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue…” That one still puts a pain in my ear.
Before my time it was “Mairzy doats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy,” and “Come on-a my house, my house, I’m gonna give you candy.”
I invite you to add your nose-holders to the list, unless, of course, they’re songs I like that you find obnoxious.
Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at: