30 Day Song Challenge – Day 15

Posted: June 25, 2011 in Meme, Music, Personal

Day 15 – A Song That Describes You – Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al

This question has had me stumped for a while now (yes, I tried to name all of the songs chosen before blogging about any of them, in case some doubled up etc). Finding a song that describes me, or anyone else, is not an easy task. Obviously, the song’s author would be first on the list of people who are described by a song.

Anyway, the song I chose was “Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al”, as when this song is broken down, I feel describes a lot about me in some ways. Firstly, the lyrics are more of a rant than a rhyme… they are simply telling a story, going off on a tangent and at times, is simply the artist questioning his own decisions and observations. This sums me up, as apparently at times I am known to simply talk with someone, jumping from one topic to another, with seemingly no relation (outside my mind). Inside my head, there are little voices questioning a lot of what I say “is that right?” or “I think that’s what happened” etc.

This song was originally on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album, released in 1986. The song’s title came about when Paul and his wife Patty held a house party, inviting all the big names in music from many different areas of the music world. When the party was winding down, Pierre Boulez (A World Famous Conductor) passed Paul on the way out, and said “Great party Al! Say hello to Betty”. Paul took it on the chin, and penned this song. It was a huge hit, helping the album sell more than 14 million copies.

The music to this song, when first heard sounds simple and repetitive, however when someone listens to it closer, they will hear that it is made up of many different, and often intricate parts; from the funk-bass riffs running through the song, to the African backing vocals singing in harmony, the synthesiser keys at the beginning, the tin whistle solo, multiple horns, konga drums, guitar, 2-part vocal harmonies (in the clip, these are done by Chevy Chase and Paul Simon, with Paul Simon on the deep, backing vocal part, even though he is the one singing the entire song… it makes for an amusing clip!)

This reflects a lot about me, in which to some I may seem like a fairly easy-to-read and simple kind of guy, but if a person gets to know me a bit better, they might realise that I have multiple layers, different hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes. Even my music tastes are a multi-layered virtual record bargain-bin of eclectic, mainstream and virtually unheard-of tunes.

In short, I feel that this song best describes me, as both the song and myself are complex, multi-layered entities, that have a tendency to ramble on a bit… 🙂

Paul Simon – Call Me Al

A man walks down the street
He says why am I soft in the middle now
Why am I soft in the middle
The rest of my life is so hard
I need a photo-opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard
Bonedigger Bonedigger
Dogs in the moonlight
Far away my well-lit door
Mr. Beerbelly Beerbelly
Get these mutts away from me
You know I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore

If you’ll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al

A man walks down the street
He says why am I short of attention
Got a short little span of attention
And wo my nights are so long
Where’s my wife and family
What if I die here
Who’ll be my role-model
Now that my role-model is
Gone Gone
He ducked back down the alley
With some roly-poly little bat-faced girl
All along along
There were incidents and accidents
There were hints and allegations

If you’ll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al
Call me Al

A man walks down the street
It’s a street in a strange world
Maybe it’s the Third World
Maybe it’s his first time around
He doesn’t speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound
The sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterlings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says Amen and Hallelujah!

If you’ll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al
Call me Al

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