Found this half finished post from a few years ago. Figured I might as well release it for the world to see.
Recently (aka three years ago), I was at a concert for a friend (a concert for Meiko… who has this awkward, sarcastic and altogether endearing stage presence). It was a small venue, and as seems to be the case in small venues, Meiko told stories about what inspired her songs. It got me thinking, musicians flavor their music with their lives, and every time they perform that song they are probably reliving that moment in their lives- the happiness, the sadness, the pain, the joy.
Using this as a reference in my head, I wondered, “I wonder what inspired some other songs.” For example, Bob Marley’s “I shot the Sheriff” was inspired by relationship battles over birth control or that Sixpence None the Richer’s song “There She Goes” is about heroin (not making these things up). There goes the innocence of my childhood captured by the movie Snowday.
Side note – if you want to stop reading now and relive the beautiful moments created by Sixpence None the Richer, feel free to leave the blog now and check out this great scene from “She’s All That.” I had no idea that girl could be so beautiful when I started watching the movie. Talk about a plot twist!
If you are refraining from jumping back into 90s nostalgia at least for the moment, then let’s get back on with the post as though this side bar never happened…
Then there is always the fact that the song You are my Sunshine was actually about a horse; although don’t tell that to this couple that has their own story behind the song (I should warn you if you have a tendency to cry, you may need tissue before that video).
With so many great stories behind so many memorable songs, I wondered what the stories were behind some other memorable song titles. A thorough Google search might have found the true story behind each of these songs… but I decided to make one up instead. Enjoy.
“Don’t Eat Stuff off the Sidewalk” by the Cramps.
The lead singer for the Cramps was on his way to a date with a girl that had been his pen pal for over six years. On the way to the date, he had everything ready… flowers, hair combed, even showered and wore clothes. However, outside her place, he realized he forgot to brush his teeth and had eaten onion cereal for breakfast that morning. Luckily he saw some mint gum on the sidewalk. The sequel to this song was their hit “The Strangeness in Me.”
“Dancing on the Ceiling” by Lionel Richie.
Before there was The Simple Life, there was Nicole’s father Lionel… you might remember him as the Richie with talent, although Nicole has made a name for herself. The story behind this song is that Lionel was a huge fan of the movie The Poseidon Adventure about a bunch of people that are in a cruise ship that gets turned over by a giant wave. When the boat tips over, a lot of people are having a party and Lionel always thought it would be better to change the movie from a disaster movie to a movie about people dancing on the ceiling. The 2005 and 2006 remakes should have taken the same hint. (Side note: Skip the 2005 and 2006 remakes (yes, that is not a typo and worthy of a double parenthesis. They remade this movie two years in a row). I once heard a story that the makers of the 2006 version didn’t want you to connect to the characters… they wanted to spend more time their time putting these relative unknown people through hell… what’s the point of watching complete strangers go through dangerous situations?)
“Put Your Big Toe In The Milk Of Human Kindness” – Elvis Costello
Do you know the story of why a wedding ring gets put on the ring finger? Long before the ring finger was called the ring finger, people believed that a vein ran directly from the end of that finger to your heart. Why they didn’t pick say the middle finger which seems to be a more direct shot to the heart, I may never know. Well, even if you did know that ring finger fact, you probably didn’t know that the Ancient Greeks believed the big toe was a direct line to your foot.
“You’re the Reason Our Kids are so Ugly” by Loretta Lynn.
Marriage can be beautiful. Marriage can be ugly. This story finds its foundation rooted in as much tragedy as it does love. Loretta worked at a Costco. Over time, she grew to appreciate the man she worked with on a daily basis, the food center’s manager named Jiggy. He would give her an extra inch of the Costco frozen yogurt. Even though it never sat well in Loretta’s stomach, she also appreciated the thought. Finally, one day, he asked her if she wanted sprinkles on her frozen yogurt. She had originally been considering a slice of pizza, but the prospect of sprinkles (never having heard it as an option) alit her interest. So she agreed to the upgrade. Jiggy had a surprise in store though for Costco did not offer sprinkles (although they really should consider it). The sprinkles were in fact a ring! Loretta said yes, and they entered marital bliss. After six years of marriage, they had their first child. The child’s name was Chester. Their second child’s name was Maria. Even though two children were more than enough, Loretta got pregnant again… with twins. Unfortunately, four kids was too many mouths to feed even with employment to Costco, and Jiggy and Loretta struggled to support their oversized family. So, one day, Jiggy decided to give his kids a haircut instead of taking them to the local barbershop to save money. Unfortunately, the clippers broke mid cut, and the rest is catchy jukebox history.
“I’ve been Flushed from the Bathroom of your Heart” by Johnny Cash
Every town has its ideal spots… ideal spots for making out, for flying a kite, for buying pants, and for breaking up. Growing up, the Dairy Queen parking lot was a prime break up location in my town. French fries and ice cream to go. Non committal and delicious. In his time, Johnny Cash was known as a lady’s man; however, sometimes a woman would overstay her welcome. The break up location in his town happened to be Bob’s Authentic Cantina. Great queso. Not so great for your tummy.
“The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing” – Joe Satriani
This song has zero words, so I can only assume it was based off of this scene from Toy Story.
If you didn’t like this post at all, blame me 2 years ago when I wrote it. As compensation, watch this video of this white kid dropping a sick beat (per the title).