Song Lyric Sunday: Gold and Silver Shine

Jim Adams is the host for SLS. This week’s theme: Money, Gold, Silver, Rich suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II. The song should reference the prompt in the title or lyrics. If it doesn’t, please explain why you chose it.


This week’s choice, pop pickers, is Shiny Happy People by R.E.M. with guest vocalist Kate Pierson of the B-52s. I had such a girl crush on her back in the day!

Bit of a contentious choice, because for all their astounding back catalogue of some truly remarkable music, the band will be primarily remembered for this bubbly three-minute pop song. Lead singer, Michael Stipe is quoted as saying:

“It’s a fruity pop song written for children … If there was one song that was sent into outer space to represent R.E.M. for the rest of time, I would not want it to be ‘Shiny Happy People.”

But there is an edge to the song. The phrase “shiny happy people holding hands” derives from a Chinese propaganda poster used after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

However, it’s hard to remember the message when the music starts. If this doesn’t lift your mood, then it’s time to call the undertakers in.

And here’s a version of the song in rehearsal for a show. Sorry, no idea from which show, but to make up here’s a link to R.E.M. on Sesame Street singing Happy Furry Monsters. I kid you not.

Shiny happy people laughing

Meet me in the crowd, people, people
Throw your love around, love me, love me
Take it into town, happy, happy
Put it in the ground where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Everyone around, love them, love them
Put it in your hands, take it, take it
There’s no time to cry, happy, happy
Put it in your heart where tomorrow shines
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Whoa, here we go

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands (people, happy people)
Shiny happy people holding hands (people, happy people)
Shiny happy people holding hands (people, happy people)

Songwriters: Michael Stipe / Mike Mills / Peter Buck / William Berry
© Universal Music Publishing Group

Song Lyric Sunday: The Baffled King Composing

Jim Adams is the host for SLS. This week’s theme: Head, Hat, Hair, Scarf suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II. The song should reference the prompt in the title or lyrics. If it doesn’t, please explain why you chose it.


Written by Leonard Cohen in 1984, Hallelujah must be the most poignant and painful pop song ever composed. But what do you expect from a singer-songwriter and poet whose work explored religion, politics, mental health, sexuality, death, and romantic relationships?

There are oodles of versions out there, but my favourite is the stripped back one from Jeff Buckley. His take puts you through an emotional wringer and then hangs you out to dry. Unlike Alexandra Burke’s attempt.

In 2008, she won British X-Factor, and some idiot decided Hallelujah would be perfect for her debut single. This so outraged fans of Jeff and Len that they started a campaign to get Jeff’s version to the number one spot. Unfortunately, the power of the people wasn’t enough; Ms Burke got to the top spot with Bucky-Boy at number two.

By 2009, the people were ready and willing to take down the next X-Factor winner after years of pap hogging the coveted Christmas number one spot. The song of mass destruction selected for this task was Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine. This time, it worked. The song took number one, and the band were so chuffed they performed a free concert in London as a thank you to their fans.

But enough of the waffle, time for an assault on your senses, which will be as cathartic as it is beautiful.

I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips, she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby, I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew you
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
And Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me, do you?
But remember, when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath, we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
But, all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you?
And it’s not a cry, that you hear at night
It’s not somebody, who’s seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah [repeat to fade]

Songwriter: Leonard Cohen
© Sony/ATV Songs LLC

Song Lyric Sunday: Pencil Full of Lead

Jim Adams is the host for SLS. This week’s theme: Socks, Shoes, Boots, Feet suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II. The song should reference the prompt in the title or lyrics. If it doesn’t, please explain why you chose it.


Pencil Full of Lead by Paolo Nutini is a single from his appropriately named second album, Sunny Side Up. This song is three minutes of jazzy pop or poppy jazz with a video which should be seen as a warning to the anti-#metoo brigade.

But I prefer this version because to quote Kristi King on YouTube nothing beats “a Scot with an Italian name doing a Dixieland jazz-style song.”

Take it away, my bonnie wee cantante!

1, a 1 ,2 ,3, 4
I’ve got a sheet for my bed
And a pillow for my head
I’ve got a pencil full of lead
And some water for my throat
I’ve got buttons for my coat
And sails on my boat
So much more than I needed before
I got money in the metre and a two-bar heater
Now it’s getting hotter
Oh it’s only getting sweeter
I got legs on my chair and a head full of hair
Pot and a pan
And some shoes on my feet
I got a shelf full of books and most of my teeth
A few pairs of socks and a door with a lock
I got food in my belly and a license for my telly
And nothing’s gonna bring me down

Nothing’s gonna bring me down
I got a nice guitar and tyres on my car
I got most of the means and scripts for the scenes
I’m out and about, so I’m in with a shout
I got a fair bit of chat but better than that
Food in my belly and a license for my telly
And nothing’s going to bring me down
Nothing’s gonna bring me down

But best of all (best of all)
I’ve got my baby
But best of all (best of all)
I’ve got my baby
She’s mighty fine and says she’s all mine
And nothing’s going to bring me down

Best of all (best of all)
I’ve got my baby
Best of all (best of all)
I’ve got my baby
She’s mighty fine and says she’s all mine
And nothing’s going to bring me down
She’s mighty fine and says she’s all mine
And nothing’s going to bring me down
She’s mighty fine and says she’s all mine
And nothing’s going to bring me down
Not today… no, no

Songwriter: Paolo Giovanni Nutini
© Warner/Chappell Music Publishing Ltd

Song Lyric Sunday: I’m Too Sexy For My Cat

Jim Adams is the host for SLS. This week’s theme: Suit, Pants, Dress, Shirtsuggested by Paula of Light Motifs II. The song should reference the prompt in the title or lyrics. If it doesn’t, please explain why you chose it.


Time for some narcissistic fun with I’m too Sexy by Right Said Fred. This song, hailing from 1991, has a bouncing house groove. Along with a lead singer who boasts about his overwhelming sexiness in a not-so-subtle mickey take of posers, models and the terminally self-centred. And that’s all I’m going to say today because I’m too sexy for this post!

I’m too sexy for my love
Too sexy for my love
Love’s going to leave me

I’m too sexy for my shirt
Too sexy for my shirt
So sexy it hurts
And I’m too sexy for Milan
Too sexy for Milan
New York, and Japan
And I’m too sexy for your party
Too sexy for your party
No way I’m disco dancing

I’m a model, you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah, on the catwalk, on the catwalk, yeah
I do my little turn on the catwalk

I’m too sexy for my car
Too sexy for my car
Too sexy by far
And I’m too sexy for my hat
Too sexy for my hat
What ya think about that?

I’m a model, you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah, on the catwalk, on the catwalk, yeah
I shake my little tush on the catwalk

Too sexy for my
Too sexy for my
Too sexy for my
Cut!

I’m a model, you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah, on the catwalk, yeah, on the catwalk, yeah
I shake my little tush on the catwalk

I’m too sexy for my cat
Too sexy for my cat
Poor pussy, poor pussy cat
I’m too sexy for my love
Too sexy for my love
Love’s going to leave me
And I’m too sexy for this song

Songwriter(s): Fred Fairbrass, Richard Fairbrass Rob Manzoli
© Tug (UK), Charisma (US)

Song Lyric Sunday: Groove is in the Heart

Jim Adams is the host for SLS. This week’s theme: Anxiety/Delight/Emotions/Pain/Pride/Relief suggested by Di of pensitivity101. The song should reference the prompt in the title or lyrics. If it doesn’t, please explain why you chose it.


Ready to dance and have some fun? We are going all the way back to 1990 with Groove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite. See what I did there?

Described as “pure seventies funk with a nineties groove” by David Giles from Music Week, this song will have you dancing around the room like a crazy person. Or is that just me? But you know what? I don’t care if it is!

Now, do excuse me: I have to put on a pair of psychedelic hot pants (there’s an image you don’t want stuck in your head) and throw some shapes.

We’re going to dance
We’re going to dance
We’re going to dance and have some fun

Dig!

The chills that you spill up my back keep me filled
With satisfaction when we’re done
Satisfaction of what’s to come
I couldn’t ask for another
No, I couldn’t ask for another (you know that’s right)
Your groove, I do deeply dig
No walls, only the bridge
My supper dish, my succotash wish (sing it, baby)

I couldn’t ask for another (uh-huh, uh-huh)
No, I couldn’t ask for another

Groove is in the heart-art-art-art
Groove is in the heart-art-art-art
Groove is in the heart-rt-rt (astronomical)
Groove is in the heart-art-art-art (hit me!)

The depth of hula groove moves us to the nth hoop
We’re gonna groove to Horton Hears a Who-who
I couldn’t ask for another
No, I couldn’t ask for another
DJ Soul (Soul!) Was on a roll
I’ve been told he can’t be sold
He’s not vicious or malicious
Just de-lovely and delicious
I couldn’t ask for another

Uh, some looks in this torso (yeah)
Hot, got a deal, you wanna know (wanna know)
Delightful, truly Deee-liteful (‘lightful)
Making it, doing it, ‘specially at a show (show)
Feeling kinda high like a Hendrix haze (haze)
Music makes motion, moves like a maze (maze)
All inside of me, side, heart especially (yeah)
Note of the rhythm, where I wanna be (c’mon)

Flowing, glowing with electric eyes (eyes)
You dip to the dive, baby yo, realize (yeah)
When will you see the funky side of me?
Baby, you’ll see that rhythm is the key (yeah)
Get, get, wit’ it, wit’ it, can’t think, quit it, quit it
Stomp on the street when I hear a funk beat (bloop)
Playing Pied Piper, follow what’s true
Baby, just sing about the groove! (Sing it!)

Groove is in the heart-art-art-art (na-na-na-na)
Groove is in the heart (na-na-na-na)
Groove is in the heart-rt-rt (na-na-na-na)
Groove is in the heart-art-art-art

One, two, three

Blow them horns along
(The groove is in your heart)

Groove is in the heart-art-art-art (yeah, ha)
Groove is in the heart-art-art-art
Groove is in the heart-rt-rt
Groove is in the heart-art-art-art

Hmm, he-he-he-he
C’mon, y’all deep
Y’all are crazy, man

Songwriters: Chung Dong Hwa, Fareed Kamaal Ibn John, Hancock Herbert, Brill Dmitry & Kirby Kierin Magenta
© Universal Music, Z Tunes, Jazz Merchant Music, Zomba Enterprises Inc, EMI Hastings, Hancock Music, Deee-lovely Publishing Inc