Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Whose Opening Line Is It, Anyway: Soldiering On

Okay, so I'm rethinking this weekly music quiz just a bit. Not giving up on it, you understand (heaven forfend!), just changing it a little from what I thought I would do initially. It seems a full week between the questions and the answers is just too long a time; most of the comments come in the first couple days, and after a week, the original post is buried so far down the blog that no one sees it any more anyway. So I'm going to try this instead: Post the quiz on Tuesday, then give the answers on Friday. Let's see if that works better for me and for you, shall we?

So let's get started here by giving the answers to last week's quiz. Between George, Eric the DB, Melville and nashtbrutusandshort, most of the lines were identified. No one got the theme, though. George was sort of on the right track when he mentioned the Billy Bragg album (although he had the wrong album for the right song), and nash, in a private comment to me, pretty much hit the nail on the head without realizing it when he said "Costello's first album really kicks off with a humdinger of a song, doesn't it?"

I realize that in this age of downloadable digital MP3s the concept of an "album" is quaintly outdated, but you have to remember, I'm old, and that's what I grew up with. There's still a ton of vinyl on my shelves at home, and there always will be. I recall having serious discussions about many, many discs over "which side of the album" was better. I couldn't begin to count the number of albums by the Stones, the Who, Van Morrison, Bowie, Traffic, Stevie Wonder and others that I would listen almost exclusively to one side for weeks at a time -- and then at some point flip it over and listen to the other side for weeks.

Anyway, long story getting longer, the theme of last week's quiz was simply that all the songs listed are the opening cuts on their respective albums. Here are the answers:

1. Well, I just got back, and I wish I never leave now (Where'd you go?) Safe European Home, The Clash. (First cut on the album Give 'Em Enough Rope)

2. Now that your picture's in the paper being rhythmically admired and you can have anyone that you have ever desired... Welcome To The Working Week, Elvis Costello. (First cut on the album My Aim Is True)

3. Let me tell you how it will be; there's one for you, nineteen for me. Taxman, The Beatles. (First cut on the album Revolver)

4. What is that sound? Where is it coming from? All around. What are you running from? She's Got A New Spell, Billy Bragg. (First cut on the album Worker's Playtime)

5. Beside yourself if radio's gonna stay. Reason: it could polish up the grey. Radio Free Europe, R.E.M. (First cut on the album Murmur)

6. Spent some time feeling inferior, standing in front of my mirror... Every Picture Tells A Story, Rod Stewart. (First cut on the album Every Picture Tells A Story)

7. Oh, yeah! I hear you talking, when I'm on the street. Your mouth don't move, but I can hear you speak. Rocks Off, Rolling Stones. (First cut on the album Exile On Main Street)

8. Early one morning, the sun was shining, I was laying in bed, wondering if she'd changed at all, if her hair was still red. Tangled Up In Blue, Bob Dylan. (First cut on the album Blood On The Tracks)

9. Mother, mother, there's too many of you cryin', brother, brother, brother, there's far too many of you dyin'... What's Goin' On, Marvin Gaye. (First cut on the album What's Goin' On)

10. Every day I try so hard to know your mind and find out what's inside you... She Has Funny Cars, Jefferson Airplane. (First cut on the album Surrealistic Pillow)

**Bonus** You know, and I've been wondering, you know, all the way home, whether the world will see I'm a better man than others by far. Skin & Bones, The Sundays. (First cut on the album Reading, Writing and Arithmetic)

Now that that's out of the way, and you can all say, "Oh, I knew that! I just didn't bother to answer," let's take a look at this week's offering. Here are ten opening lines, plus one bonus line that should be a little more difficult, and they all have a common theme. See if you can figure it -- and them -- out.

1. In an upstairs room in Blackpool, by the side of a northern sea, the Army had my father and my mother was having me.
2. Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go. Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway, a place where nobody knows.
3. He looked a lot like Che Guevara, drove a diesel van. Kept his gun in quiet seclusion, such a humble man.
4. I can't believe the news today, oh, I can't close my eyes and make it go away.
5. Don't start me talking, I could talk all night. My mind goes sleepwalking while I'm putting the world to right.
6. Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we're finally on our own. This summer I hear the drumming...
7. Look what's happening out in the street, got a revolution, got to revolution...
8. He blesses the boys as they stand in line. The smell of gun grease and the bayonets they shine...
9. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight... I've got my clipboad, text books, lead me to the station, yeah, I'm off to the civil war...
10. Here comes the helicopter -- second time today. Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away.

**Bonus** He's five-foot-two and he's six-feet-four, he fights with missiles and spears, he's all of thirty-one and he's only seventeen, been a soldier for a thousand years.
Free Counter
Online Universities