September 21, 2006
Steely Dan's "The Boston Rag" -- Free Misinterpretation
Steely Dan's lyrics are often oblique or even, let's face it, incomprehensible. Here's my attempt to assign meanings to the few words of The Boston Rag. I failed, but let's not just leave it at that. ____________________________________________________
Let the Boston Rag image refer to Old Glory, the US Flag. Say the song was written in ~1970 to 1972. (I dunno, but say it was.) Think back to what was on those dim blue tubes 30 years ago!
Any news was good news, and the feeling was bad at home
I was out of my mind and you were on the phone
Lonnie was the kingpin back in nineteen sixty five
I was singing this song when Lonnie came alive
CHORUS Bring back the Boston Rag,
Tell all your buddies that it aint no drag
Bring back the Boston Rag
You were Lady Bayside, there was nothing that I could do
So I pointed my car down Seventh Avenue
Lonnie swept the playroom and he swallowed up all he found
It was forty eight hours till Lonnie came around
Note. I posted most of this there some years back. If you're a Dan fan at all, it's well worth checking out for crazy stuff. My "analysis" is barely even moderately whacked-out by their standards. And thanks to those guys for keeping it on their site all this time, especially since I lost the original file.
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I wrote one up for Black Friday, but by Steely Dan standards that's another almost painfully literal song.
It's too late for me. Run - run while you still can. And don't look back...
PW, I'd like a to hear a similiar of "Careful with that Axe, Eugene" if you have the time. Thank you.
Hrmmm. That could be a tough one. Ok, say Eugene is the writer Evgeni Zamyatin. And the "axe" may be Zamyatin's anticommunist novel "We" ... its eventual publication got the author kicked out of the USSR. After that he could only look at the "stars screaming" from his dreary exile.
Needless to say, my own blog is revised every few minutes for maximum lafs by a proprietary hardware-based "Humor Engine" built from 512 cutting-edge field-programmable gate array chips.
but im not saayign a gelntlaman wouldn stoup to usign fgpa's!