Say What? Famous Songs with Mystery Meanings: Bush, Elvis Costello, Carly Simon

“GLYCERINE”      BUSH

The dictionary says that glycerine is “a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations”.    Yet, Gavin Rossdale and Bush used the word as the object of affection in a love song.   When they use “glycerine” you’d expect a girl’s name, I don’t know something like Madeline or Gwen?    Anyone have a clue why glycerine???    Rumor has it that love is a bomb waiting to expode?

Must be your skin that I’m sinkin in
Must be for real cause now I can feel
and I didn’t mind
it’s not my kind
not my time to wonder why
everything’s gone white
and everything’s grey
now your here now you away
I don’t want this
remember that
I’ll never forget where your at
don’t let the days go by
glycerine

I’m never alone
I’m alone all the time
are you at one
or do you lie
we live in a wheel
where everyone steals
but when we rise it’s like strawberry fields

 

“WATCHING THE DETECTIVES”      ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS

Another love song, I think?   Rumors have this song being about prostitutes, underage girls, actual detective stories, sexual frustration, and a first hand account from a killer.  Either way, it’s an incredible 1977 classic that introduced the other guy named Elvis to the world.

Nice girls, not one with a defect
Cellophane shrink-wrapped, so correct
Red dogs under illegal legs
She looks so good that he gets down and begs

[Chorus]
She is watching the detectives
“Ooh, he’s so cute”
She is watching the detectives
When they shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot
They beat him up until the teardrops start
But he can’t be wounded ’cause he’s got no heart

 

“YOU’RE SO VAIN”      CARLY SIMON
This is one of my favorite music games to play with someone.  I play this 70’s classic that everyone has heard countless times and ask them who is the VERY FAMOUS singer singing back-up on one of Carly’s biggest hits?   His voice gets more noticeable as the song progresses.  If you don’t know the answer, you’ll be totally shocked. The rumor of who is so vain that Carly Simon wrote a song about them remains a music mystery.   Warren Beatty, husband James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, and the guy singing back-up have been the primary suspects.

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