Monday, March 9, 2009


I paid special attention today to the songs that got stuck in my head. There were a couple of old standards. I typically spend part of the day humming "Truly Scrumptious" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. While washing Cady Gray's face at bathtime, I became fixated on the line "Maggie, I wish I'd never seen your face" from "Maggie May."

But the song that maddened me most of the day was one I hear occasionally on one of the local rock stations. I didn't know any more about it until I looked it up just now. It's "Paralyzer" by the odiously-named Finger 11.

Now the song has a nifty instrumental hook, although the growly, shouty vocal is in a style that I typically detest. What lodged it in my head is the chorus, which has an very unusual lyrical structure. It's basically a couple of long sentences, no rhymes to speak of, just kind of wrapped around a roller-coaster melody line. I think the reason I can't stop singing it to myself when I start is that it's one complete thought. One clause leads to another with no break.

I don't know that I'm describing it very well, but if you've heard it, you probably know what I'm talking about. Is this as strange as I think it is, or can you give me some other examples?

Well I’m not paralyzed
But, I seem to be struck by you
I want to make you move
Because you’re standing still
If your body matches
What your eyes can do
You’ll probably move right through
Me on my way to you


the secret knitter said...

The hook always reminds me of Rilo Kiley's "The Moneymaker".

doafy said...

My husband is pretty sure that the riff for "Paralyzer" is a reworking of a Led Zeppelin song I can't remember the name of right now. I have a special hatred for that song because of it 1. has an awesome guitar riff that is really catchy and dancable but 2. lyrically, is incredibly stupid. I mean, "I hope this club will be closed in three weeks, that would be cool with me"? 3. Plus, the vocals are sung in a really boring, ubiquitous style that really grates on my ears.

However, in the same run-on sentence vein of music, the Rise Against song "The Good Left Undone" has a similar structure in the chorus. The difference here is that I think that the lyrics are a little poetic, even though I'm not a fan of the dude's voice.

All because of you,
I haven't slept in so long,
when I do I dream
of drowning in the ocean,
longing for the shore
where I can lay my head down,
I'll follow your voice,
all you have to do is shout it out...