Years ago I had some ELO greatest hits record and on the back cover Jeff talked about ELO and the songs. He said something like "I'd often write the lyrics right before singing them. Sometimes I even sang them before writing them". That's not what he said literally, but the idea was the same. If there are ELO songs where Jeff was improvising by the microphone and that became the lyric, is it known which songs those are? I have always felt that Jeff improvised the King Of The Universe lyric, then wrote down what he had sung and made some changes to what became the "official" lyric.
Why do I think this lyric could've been improvised? 1) I'm Finnish, so I miss a lot of stuff on English lyrics, but this lyric has always seemed total nonsense to me, even with the not-so-issue-driven Jeff standards of that era. 2) The way I hear it, Jeff sings "I am", but it says "are you" on the lyric sheet. Maybe Jeff felt that "are you" worked better, but he didn't bother to sing it again? 3) Sounds like Jeff sings "tradic (with a "D") daydream" or some other non-word that starts with a "tra", so he wrote down "tragic", but wouldn't bother to sing it again. 4) What on earth am I supposed to make of "I know 'A'"??
Ocean Breakup/King Of The Universe is one of my favorite ELO tracks, by the way.
No offence I literally have split my sides reading this! Bahahaha! !! I can tell you this friend I am Irish and this is the land of confusing English/Gaelic/Slang!!! People come here from all over the world to learn English as our pronunciation seemingly is good? I can still tell you that an awful lot of those lyrics can make no sense at all. I read once that Lynne generally could not tell you what a lot of his song pre '74 meant.....I think a couple of gallons of new castle brown ale and some stinky, sticky, "Green cigarettes" can be blamed for a lot! If you really want to bake your noodle "confuse your own head" I suggest reading the lyrics to "Life on Mars" by Bowie '73. Now theres a track that make no feckin sense at all! Bahahaha!
Yeah, but usually Jeff's lyrics were at least some kind of sentences even when they contained no actual meaning. "Queen of the hours lies waiting for the wind to blow away the veil of time" is nice sounding, meaningless stuff. But at least it's a sentence of some kind. So I don't think that lyrics like that, although they don't actually make sense, could easily be improvised, because there's some kind of consistency and some kind of sentences. But "I know 'A'"??
My point here isn't the meaning or lack of meaning behind lyrics, but the possibility that the lyrics to this song were improvised on the album. If they were, I just find it interesting and fun. When I want to enjoy meaningful lyrics, do I go for ELO? NO! So that is not the issue here!
I remember asking my Mum about the "I know 'A'" lyric - she thought it went back to schooldays when 'A' was the unknown quantity you had to work out in maths or physics or suchlike. She's only a bit older than Jeff so teaching could have still been the same for him, but I don't remember that at all from my schooldays. If anything it would be 'X' not 'A'
It's all good entertainment, it doesn't cost a penny
Sorry for posting to old topics. tl77, that's my long years' question too. Maybe there would be a hint in the next line ''I see my life come shine''. I guess some of fathomless words were mishearings of writers. The translator or writer has to write the lyric card quickly by release day just by listening to the pilot. ''Need Her Love'' was translated into ''Her mic was somehow left out in the rain'' instead of ''I'm like someone who's left out in the rain'' on Japanese edition (she was supposed to be a singer).
"A" could be the first letter of the alphabet (duh), as in Alpha. The album has Biblical overtones, and this is the first song.
"A" could be a person whose initial is A, as it is capitalized and in quotes on the lyric sheet. Whose name begins with A? Adam (Biblical, but he was created on the sixth day) Don Arden Auntie (a name often given as a working title to early ELO songs and a nickname for the BBC)
"A" could be an abbreviation for a naughty or inappropriate word. Arse Argy-bargy (a noisy fight) AC/DC
If we disregard the capitalization and quotes, the line could be "I know a..." trailing off a sentence the singer doesn't wish to complete because its implications are too onerous. We can't be sure Jeff wrote out the lyrics himself.
I don't have a firm idea which one it is, but I'm leaning toward the initial. Any other ideas?
Horacewimp: I did, it sounds interesting
Aug 30, 2020 7:27:36 GMT
Horacewimp: Hi elophile good to see you, hope you are keeping well.
Aug 31, 2020 20:25:03 GMT
elophile: Hey-hey! Horacewimp Livin' the dream here in crazytown, er, I mean America! How goes it with you? ::c0112::
Sept 2, 2020 18:11:21 GMT
Horacewimp: We are all good thanks, just wishing I could go on a foreign holiday, it’s just not worth the risk with Covid and the possibility of a 14 day quarantine, we may do some short breaks in the U.K.
Sept 2, 2020 20:30:46 GMT
BSJ: *sniff* no meet up in Detroit's airport. *sniff*
Sept 2, 2020 21:56:17 GMT