November 08, 2010

Pet Shop Boys, Anagrammatically

I've just completed a brand new song! But before we get to the old linky-link, let me provide a brief bit of backstory for those unfamiliar with this particular (sporadically) ongoing project. A while back, I wrote a book called "Holy Tango of Literature" (out of print but available to read for free here, or still available from me in paper form, with personal inscription, if you Paypal me $10), with the premise "What if poets and playwrights wrote works whose titles were anagrams of their names?", and including such timeless literary works as "Skinny Domicile" by Emily Dickinson, "Is a Sperm Like a Whale?" by William Shakespeare, and "Dammit, Dave" by David Mamet.

Being both a songwriter and a music nerd to the max, I also did a short series of song pastiches in the same vein (the Holy Tango Basement Tapes), including ditties such as Paul Simon's "Up on Islam" and "Presbyterians" by Britney Spears, which was the last one I actually recorded, wayyyy back in 2005. I've had a number of songs I've been meaning to finish since then, and, hey, I finally got around to one.

Which brings us to this number, a pastiche of one of my very favorite bands, Pet Shop Boys. (And the timing is fortuitous, since they're just now releasing a new best-of compilation [Amazon, B&N].) I think the song came out pretty well, though obviously it would sound much better if they recorded their own version of it, so if you happen to know Messrs. Tennant and/or Lowe, please consider recommending such a course of action to them. Anyway, without further ado, here is Pet Shop Boys' "The Bossy Pop" (lyrics follow).

The Bossy Pop

It tries to make you move your hips from side to side against your will
It plucks the flowers from the wall, and tells them all, you can't stand still
It tells you, jump to the left
It tells you, turn to the right
Now throw your arms in the air, and while they're there, just keep them up all night
But don't knuckle under, honey,
You don't have to dance till you drop
Why don't you just stop obeying the bossy pop?

It tries to make you sing along, expressing thoughts not your intent
It tries to make you nod your head, as if you've said you give consent
It adds a thump to the bass
That underscores every beat
See all the tricks that it tries to get you rising up out of your seat and up onto your feet
But don't give it the satisfaction, dear,
No one's making you spin like a top
Why don't you just stop obeying the bossy pop?

And then when the beat gets twice as slow,
And the lights get nice and low,
And you see dry ice, you know
That there's a plan underway to get you under its sway

It tries to tell us that our capacity for ecstasy is large
And it wants us to let that joy inside -- oh yeah? Well, who died and left it in charge?
Look at them sweating and laughing,
Look at them falling in love
Thank goodness both you and I know it's a lie that we can rise above
I don't even know why I came here, really
I thought it was some sort of shop
I certainly didn't stop because of the bossy pop.
Oh, no, not the bossy pop!

Posted by Francis at 09:45 AM

It's not a big mental leap at all to imagine PSB's version of this. Nice job.

Posted by: Trip at November 8, 2010 11:14 AM

I have to admit that I've been held in sway by that bossy pop. Hilarious! Thanks for the smiles.

Posted by: Kryptogram at November 8, 2010 11:35 AM

Glad you both liked it! Coming soon (well, sooner than five years at least): Patsy Cline's "Tiny Places".

Posted by: Francis at November 8, 2010 07:12 PM

Love it! And I was just passing along the previous Basement Tapes to a couple of your fans, so the timing is perfect.

Posted by: Lance at November 11, 2010 05:03 PM

Nice work Francis!

-Martin Ashwood-Smith AKA "Zog" on the PSB forum

PS I have quite a large collection of rare PSB tracks and remixes. If you want anything, just E-Mail me.

Posted by: Martin at November 11, 2010 06:09 PM

Thanks, Lance! And hi, Martin! I have a pretty extensive collection myself, but they have such a huge discography, there must still be a ton of worthy-but-mega-obscure stuff I haven't heard.

Posted by: Francis at November 11, 2010 10:29 PM
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