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the needle and the damage done

Over at Mikey's place, he was talking about the song Blinded By the Light and wondering what the real lyrics are.

In his comments, I told the tale of the time my best friend and I decided we could figure out the words to that song, as recorded by Manfred Mann in 1976, covering a Springsteen song.

I had the 45 (for you younguns, 45s were small vinyl records with one song on the front and one on the back) and we figured if we slowed it down, we would understand what good old Manfred was going on about. Well sure, our main purpose was to see if he really said the word douche, which was giggle-worthy back then, before the proliferation of Summer Fresh commercials.

So we played the record at 33rpm, which did nothing but make the song sound like an old man yawning. We deduced that we had to play it somewhere between 33 and 45 in order to understand the words.

We had the bright idea of taping two quarters down on the needle, adding to the weight so it would play slower. That didn't work, so we just did it by hand, manually slowing down the record so it would play at a slower speed.

Wrecked up like a douche
You know I blow her in the light


Red up like a douche
Another mower in the night

And we alternated between singing those two lyrics, breaking into fits of laughter at some points, until my mother came home and had a cow at the way we treated her turntable/needle. She kicked us out of the house after we explained to her that we just wanted to hear Manfred Mann and his Earth Band extollt he virtues of douching.

Of course, the real lyrics are revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night, which were not nearly as entertaining as our lyrics.

We had done the same thing previously with the Reunion song "Life is a Rock," but gave up after we broke the needle. You would think we would have learned our lesson after that one, but our need to know the real lyrics to a song outweighed our need to not be grounded.

B.B. Bumble and the Stingers, Mott the Hoople, Ray Charles Singers
Lonnie Mack and twangin' Eddy, here's my ring we're goin' steady
Take it easy, take me higher, liar liar, house on fire
Locomotion, Poco, Passion, Deeper Purple, Satisfaction
Baby baby gotta gotta gimme gimme gettin' hotter
Sammy's cookin', Lesley Gore and Ritchie Valens, end of story
Mahavishnu, fujiyama, kama-sutra, rama-lama
Richard Perry, Spector, Barry, Archies, Righteous, Nilsson, Harry
Shimmy shimmy ko-ko bop and Fats is back and Finger Poppin'

Yes, those are really the lyrics. Read the rest.

Someone should update that song.

Anyhow, gone are the days when you had to struggle to figure out lyrics. Now, you just pop in a CD, head to any lyrics site and the words are yours. I almost miss the mystery of mumbled lyrics, trying to figure out what a singer is singing before any of your friends did.

Sometimes knowing the lyrics just don't help at all. Most Nirvana songs make less sense after you realize what he was singing. Aqua seafoam shame? Huh?

Just going through some vinyl memories in prepartion for my Blogathon theme.
I miss my turntable.


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There are still plenty of mumbled lyrics. Just listen to my husband and my friends. Anytime they sing. :)

do you know, they make cd-r's that look just like 45s?! the boxes that have less than like 50 in them are always sold out, so i don't have any yet, but they're super cool. they even have the little swirly gizmo that you had to stick in the hole to make them fit on the record player.

Ever see The Vacant Lot? They based a whole sketch around this -- a transcript is at http://www.unoriginal.com/tvl/blinded.html . I have an mp3 of it around here somewhere, I'm sure.

I always thought they were saying "illusion." Not as exciting as douchin', which I first thought. For years and years. And now that I know the right words they still don't make any sense. So it's not just an old thing. Phew.

Nice threat like for me!