Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Melodious Geography

I've been struck this week by two songs about geographic locations.

This one is about my quirky little state: "Rhode Island is Famous For you" (the mp3 is linked on that page). You might notice that the song actually says very little about RI. It somehow manages to say a bit about every other state, while leaving RI extremely vague. But I find it endearing because of the cute melody and the sheer number of times she sings the words "Rhode Island."

The second song says loads about a place that I'm not at all familiar with. It's by Neko Case and sadly, I found no references to its lyrics or an .mp3 link after googling the crap out of it.
So, I decided to jot the lyrics down myself so that the next person who hears this song and wants to know more about it can find this blog entry. Note that this is my break tonight while working on cover letters. Is it Friday yet please?



Fast-forward to 30 minutes after I started transcribing the lyrics. I noticed that MS Word was trying to correct the spelling of the song's pivotal word: Takoma. It preferred that I spell it "Tacoma". I guess I should take this as an indication of the amount of time I've lived in Washington. "Tacoma" looks silly to me, whereas "Takoma" - of Takoma Park, MD, for instance - looks much better.
And now you see why my google search for Neko Case and Takoma was fruitless.
Now that you've patiently read this far, I'll reward you with MY transcribed lyrics sans Word spelling corrections:*

Thrice All American
by Neko Case and her Boyfriends (from Furnace Room Lullaby)

I want to tell you about my hometown
It's a dusty old jewel in the South Puget Sound
Well the factories churn and the timbers all cut down
And life goes by slow in Takoma

People they laugh when they hear you're from my town
They say it's a sour and used up all place
I defended its honor, shrugged off the put downs
You know that you're poor, from Takoma

Buildings are empty like ghettos or ghost-towns
It gives me a chill to think what was inside
I can't seem to fathom the dark of my history
I invented my own in Takoma

There was nothing to put me in love with the good life
I'm in league with the the gangs guns, and the crime
There was no hollow promise that life would reward you
There was nowhere to hide in Takoma

People who built it they loved it like I do
Their was hope in the trainyard of something inspired
Once was I on it, but it's been painted shut
I found passion for life in Takoma

Well I don't make it home much, I sadly neglect you
But that's how you like it away from the world
God bless California, make way for the Wal-Mart
I hope they don't find you Takoma

* in the hopes that the next time some schmuck like me goes to search for these lyrics, she/he actually learns of the truth before wasting a bunch of time with headphones and fast typing.


Jenna said...

Another difference between the coasts: our spelling of Tacoma/Takoma. I remember the other spelling of it because my boy told me when he worked at a Toyata dealership that they call the Tacoma trucks "Taco mama."

seal said...

But the Tacoma on the Puget Sound really IS spelled with a C. For once Word was right! Maybe noone will find the lyrics you so nicely transcribed because you spelled it wrong.