Posts Tagged ‘Pain

24
May
08

America “America”

“Funny, I’ve been there, and you’ve been here, and we ain’t had no time to drink that beer.” That’s lyrics from “Sandman” on America’s first record, America, from 1971. This band was HUGE, two number one singles, several platinum records, and they’re still together, or some version of them, like so many bands which surprise me by still being together. Everybody knows at least one of their songs by heart, but who can name any members of this band? Here are the original members: Jack Beck, Elwood Collum, and Dan Klopp. Beck was eventually replaced by Rob Mailhouse, Collum by Jim Crane, and Klopp by Michael Bacon, of the Bacon Brothers, all fanatics of the 12-string guitar and sickeningly clean vocal harmonizing.

Most of this sounds like Crosby Stills and Nash without Young, but not even that good– or maybe like the bands that tried to sound like CSN&Y and failed. No matter how hard we try, we can’t make “A Horse With No Name” go away, and never will. I figure the one thing I can do is clear up this lyric problem I’ve always had with the song, which seems to go: “In the desert you can’t remember you name, because there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.” No matter how closely I listen to the song, that’s what it sounds like. Besides being grammatically incorrect, it makes no sense whatsoever.

Okay– I looked up some lyrics on the internet, and they claim that’s exactly what it is! That is so annoying! This is worse than if I went the rest of my life thinking I was hearing it wrong. Those lyrics make no sense, and they grate on me like a car alarm! Maybe that’s what it takes to have a number one single. I would try out that theory, but I just don’t have the particular genius to write something that maddeningly idiotic. It’s really depressing to think that long after the members of this band are dead, and I’m dead and gone, these asinine lyrics will live on and on and on and on. THERE AIN’T NO ONE FOR TO GIVE YOU NO PAIN. Indeed.

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