Good Evening, Mr. Bond. I’ve been expecting you.
Sorry. That just seemed appropriate. Tonight’s edition of I-know-better-music-than-you will culminate in a list of some of my favorite song quotes. Obviously, you are encouraged to tell me if you think I’m wrong, to tell me you agree with me, or to suggest some quotes that should have made it to the list.
Also, if you’re wondering why 13…why not 13? Should you be engaging in such blatant numberism? It’s not becoming. Good day, madam. I SAID GOOD DAY.
As always, viewer participation is advised. And with that, I give you my top 13 song quotes*:
13. “In the Kingdom of Love / We’re all just fodder.” -“Kingdom of Spain” by The Decemberists
The only way you’ll understand this song is if you listen to it a minimum of two times. I get something new out of it every time I listen to it, and this line always makes me nod wisely.
12. “Maybe the lining of a winter’s coat / Mightn’t be the best place / To hide a summer’s secret” - “Knee Deep At ATP” by Los Campesinos!
I know I’ve mentioned this song several times, but that’s only because I love it so much and it speaks to me. Also, he says “mightn’t.” MIGHTN’T. I challenge you not to swoon when you hear it. And not to feel a bit depressed about love after this song.
11. “Coin-operated boy / With a pretty coin-operated voice / Saying that he loves me / That he’s thinking of me / Straight and to the point / That is why I want / A / Coin-operated boy.” - “Coin-Operated Boy” by The Dresden Dolls
This is another one of those songs that smacks you in the face. At the beginning, you hear Amanda Palmer talking about the benefits of having a coin-operated boy. Toward the end of the song, you realize she only wants one because she wants someone to love her and none of the real ones could do it right. Yeah. It’s a bit of a quirky downer.
10. “We were certainly uncertain / At least I’m pretty sure I am.” - “Missed the Boat” by Modest Mouse
This quote puts me in mind of Peter Pan. Oh, the cleverness of Isaac Brock! But really. He’s a brilliant lyricist. You can never go wrong listening to some Modest Mouse. Or Ugly Casanova. Or any projects he’s involved in. You can assume his work will always be good, and you would always be right.
9. “It was love at second sight / I swear when I grow up / I won’t just buy you a rose / I will buy the flower shop / And you will never be lonely.” -“The Gambler” by Fun.
I think one of the reasons I like this song so much is that it’s talking about true love, but that it was “love at second sight.” This entire song is lovely, and always makes me feel warm and romantically inclined.
8. “‘Cause in my head / There is a Greyhound station / Where I send my thoughts / To far off destinations / So they may have a chance / Of finding a place where they’re / Far more suited than here.” - “Soul Meets Body” by Death Cab For Cutie
This is such a wonderful mental image. I don’t know that its place on this list really needs an explanation. It’s just great. Thank you Ben Gibbard. Thank you.
7. “There’s a time to pray / And there’s a time to fight / Anything can be a weapon / If you’re holding it right.” - “Save Our City” by Ludo
This is one of those songs that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. And I immediately want to scream “VIVA LA REVOLUCION!” and then I want to lead a revolution. It’s such a powerful statement, that “anything can be a weapon if you’re holding it right.” It gives me chills.
6. “You’re a masterpiece of particles / The genuine article / I’ll grease the wheels / Come out and spin it / I’ll keep the speed / You’ll be the limit.” - “The Limit” by Tommy & the High Pilots
Before I heard this song, I had no idea it was the song I was looking for. “The Limit” is such a great song to dance to, and “you’re a masterpiece of particles” is one of the sweetest things ever. Note to everyone: excellent pick-up line material. But only if you have Tom Cantillon’s angelic voice AND looks.
5. “If you ain’t sweet to me / I’ll desert you in a heartbeat / If you don’t savor me / I’ll salt you, make you savory.” - “If” by Islands
This song never fails to amuse me and force me to clap my hands with glee over Nick Thorburn’s play on words. Do you get it? “If you don’t savor me, I’ll salt you, make you savory.” DO YOU GET IT?
4. “Language is the liquid / That we’re all dissolved in / Great for solving problems / After it creates a problem.” - “Blame It On The Tetons”by Modest Mouse
This is another of those lines where Isaac Brock is singing truth. I have read arguments from philosophers struggling to say precisely what Brock does, and they don’t possess a tenth of his eloquence or present the same impact. Words matter. Thanks to Brock, the lesson has been learned.
3. “Every saint has a past / Every sinner has a future.” - “Topeka” by Ludo
This line might be the most profound one on this list. Have you ever read anything that gives you more hope? No one is perfect and everyone has the chance to be better. Tim Ferrell is a wonderful lyricist, and has great depth and insight that I wish Ludo would use more.
2. “I see signs now all the time / That you’re not dead, you’re sleeping / I believe in anything / That brings you back home to me.” -“Signs” by Bloc Party
You know that blank slate period when you don’t have a specific song in mind, but there’s one song that kind of hovers in the background? That song for me is “Signs,” and it’s this one part. The song is as melancholic as they come, and haunts me. Which is appropriate considering the song. Listening to it is really the only way I can do it justice.
And now. The moment some of you probably scrolled to the bottom of the page for without reading anything else, the number one song quote on my list is:
1. “And how it whispered / ‘Oh, adhere to me’ / ‘For we are bound by symmetry.’” – “Red Right Ankle” by The Decemberists
For those of you who know me, or remember my post about the Decemberists where I showed you a picture of my tattoo, this is no surprise. For the rest of you, try and wrap your brain around the significance of this quote. “We are bound by symmetry.” When does that not apply? Since I heard this song and fully comprehended it, I’ve never been able to look at another person without seeing that they are a PERSON. Gay, black, Mormon or any variation therein, everyone is someone. Music is powerful.
Now, good friends. That does it for the list. Again, comment if you wish to exclaim over my brilliance or mock me mercilessly.
One more thing. This week (Thursday), Ha Ha Tonka will be playing at Lindbergh’s in Springfield. If you want more info, go here. I’ll be talking about it more later this week.
Now. Go drink a martini and get ready for the week.
Tommy & the High Pilots merchandise.
Just wanted to remind everyone that I take my band stalking seriously. Also, if anyone from The High Pilots reads this, I’m looking to get my fourth shirt next month. Come prepared.
*Order/songs/quotes/anything else I want is subject to change at any time based on any flight of fancy or journey of whimsy I go on.