May 30, 2013

I Was Blinded by the Light...And Confused by the Lyrics - But I Do Have a Summery Fresh Feeling

Mama Kat provides the inspiration today:

But it's got a great beat! Tell us about a song you loved growing up even though the lyrics were ridiculous.

Blinded by the Light was released by Manfred Mann's Earth Band in 1976. And yes, it does have a great beat. 

The most mangled line in the song is "Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night" 

It's catchy and fun - but what the hell does it mean?

A "deuce" refers to a deuce coupe, a Ford conversion hot rod that was made more famous by the Beach Boys' song, "Little Deuce Coupe". So yes, a car can be revved up and run in the night.



How do most people hear that line - how do they sing it?

"Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche into the rotor in the night".

Head for cover if your Massengill or Summer's Eve suddenly starts glowing or starts pouring itself into your car's braking system, okay?



Does anybody use douche anymore? It seems that the definition of 'douchebag' has morphed from something found hanging on the back of the bathroom door - instead, it can now be defined as 

"an annoying and arrogant phony who comes across as a wannabe overcompensating for his insecurities. He tries to appear like the center of whatever group will tolerate him, but in reality, he is just a tag-along who mooches drinks, women, contacts, social standing, and other benefits from the group... while contributing nothing."

Thank you, Urbandictionary! 

Imagine my surprise when I discovered 37 years later, that 'Blinded by the Light' was written by Bruce Springsteen (it was on his first album, Asbury Park). I can only assume he was in a drug-addled haze (or high on deuce coupe exhaust fumes) when he penned this ditty.

Blinded by the Light
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night

Madman drummers bummers, Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older, I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing, the calliope crashed to the ground

The calliope crashed to the ground, but she was
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night

Some silicone sister with a manager mister told me I got what it takes
She said "I'll turn you on, sonny, to something strong, play the song with the funky break"
And Go-cart Mozart was checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe outside
And little Early-Pearly came by in his curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride

Asked me if I needed a ride, yeah she was
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light

She got down but she never got tight
She's gonna make it through the night
She's gonna make it through the night

But mama that's where the fun is
But mama that's where the fun is

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun
But mama that's where the fun is

Some brimstone baritone anti cyclone rolling stone preacher from the east
Says Dethrone the Dictaphone hit it in his funny bone and that's where they expect it least
And some new mown chaperone was standing in the corner watching the young girls dance
And some fresh sewn moonstone was messing with his frozen zone reminding him of romance

The calliope crashed to the ground, well she was
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night (Madman drummers bummers, Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat)
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night (In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat)
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night (With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older, I tripped the merry-go-round)
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night (With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing, the calliope crashed to the ground)
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night (Now Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand)
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night (And some bloodshot forget-me-not says, "Daddy's within earshot save the buckshot, turn up the band")
Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night (Some silicone sister with a manager mister told me I go what it takes)
Blinded by the light (She said "I'll turn you on, sonny, to something strong")

She got down but she never got tired
She's gonna make it through the night

And here's your chance to boogie along!






9 comments:

  1. Part of the fun of this song was trying to fit all those nonsense words into the rhythm as you sang along.
    Clearly, they could have sold us anything back then!

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  2. Okay, I am already not following your directions.

    A song I HATED, with lyrics that drive me crazy, is "MacArthur Park" sung by Richard Harris.

    "Someone left the cake out in the rain...
    I don't think that I can take it,
    'Cause it took so long to bake it,
    And I'll never have that recipe again.
    Oh Nooooo! Oh Nooooo!"

    Why did somebody leave the cake out in the rain?
    It must have been a marvelous cake, because Harris moans about the frosting for a while.

    There's another song that includes the phrase "the pompatous of love." What's with that?

    (See? Not only did I NOT follow your directions, I left some of my own mess in my wake...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, you taught me something today!

      In 1954, Vernon Green of the Medallions wrote a song called "The Letter" in which he used the words "puppetutes of love", a combination of "puppets" and "prostitutes". A puppetute was a woman of your fantasies who would do anything you wanted. Steve Miller, who sometimes imported words from other songs (including his own) into his lyrics, misheard the word as "pompitous" or "pompatus" and added "pompitous of love" and "pompatus of love" to his songs, "Enter Maurice" and "The Joker", respectively. The words were later used as a title to a movie, "The Pompatus of Love". "Enter Maurice" also uses the words "sweet words of epismetology" (close to an actual dictionary word, epistomology), which was probably a misheard version of another Green-invented word, "pizmotality", words so secret they can only be revealed to a lover.
      "My dearest darling, come closer to Maurice so I can whisper sweet words of epismetology in your ear and speak to you of the pompatus (pompitous) of love" (from "Enter Maurice", by Steve Miller)

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  3. Thank you for clarifying this for me. I can't help but sing along with this song when I hear it, but I always held my tongue a the douche part!? WTH? ...I would think. One of those questions I always wanted answered but would forget as soon as the song ended and something awesome came on like "99 Red Balloons" and then another few questions would surface?! Thank you for helping my addled brain today.

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  4. LOL! It does sound like douche. I'm not a big car buff so it still makes no sense to me. My mind goes back to the movie "28 dresses" when what's her face and James Marsden sing Benny and the Jets. She's got electric boobs? Sitting here giggling because I wish mine were electric. Thanks for a great post. M

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  5. My songs, my era! I've always just mumbled through the unintelligible parts of the lyrics. Now that you've uncovered them in "Blinded By The Light," do I have to learn them the right way now?

    I've always liked the story of the common misperception that CCR's song, "There's A Bad Moon On The Rise" was "There's A Bathroom On The Right."

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  6. I seriously never knew the real lyrics. Thanks.

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  7. Fantastic song - whichever way you choose to sing the lyrics! Seriously, who hasn't sung the wrong version and cracked up? :)

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  8. I have never known the real lyrics to that song! Crazy.

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!