IT’S MEANT TO BE A TUNELESS TAKE DUMBASS….

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The bio of Violent Femmes in the on-line edition of the magazine Rolling Stone says:-

“..too bad the Violent Femmes‘ tuneless take on Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” actually makes you pine for Boy George”

It’s such sentences that remind me irony isn’t always a strongpoint of Americans.

At the risk of stating the obvious…..IT’S MEANT TO BE A TUNELESS TAKE DUMBASS.

Personally, I never did care much for the music of Culture Club. That’s one of the reasons I have a great deal of fun listening to a wonderfully bitter, twisted, and yes tuneless, cover version:-

mp3 : Violent Femmes – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? (7″ edit)

The original took the world by storm. It was #1 or #2 in twelve different charts around the world selling who knows how many millions of copies. But that doesn’t make it a good song.

It’s trite, it’s inspid and, well boring is the word that springs to mind. It’s also wholly unrealistic.

The protagonist is heartbroken because a love affair has come to an end. And he’s willing just to let it slip away and take all the agony, pain and heartbreak imaginable without wishing any ill on the other person. The lyrics are sickly, syrupy and unreal:-

You’ve been talking but believe me
If its true you do not know
This boy loves without a reason
I’m prepared to let you go

If its love you want from me
Then take it away
Everything is not what you see
It’s over today

Do you really want to hurt me?
Do you really want to make me cry?
Do you really want to hurt me?
Do you really want to make me cry?

Gordon Gano on the other hand, with just a few little word changes here and there, ends up turning into a quite shocking tale of someone revelling in the hurt, pain and misery of a break-up:-

I’ve been talking but believe me
I know that its true now that there no more
I’m in love and loves the reason
I’m not prepared to let you let me go

So if it’s love you want
Then take all of me
It’s this love I want
I can finally see

Do I really want to hurt you?
Do I really want to make you cry?
Yes, I suppose I want to hurt you
You told the truth but it was still a lie

Methinks the man from Rolling Stone didn’t actually listen to this re-interpretation before making his ill-advised comments.

C’mon…..whose take on the song is closer to reality?????  Here’s the other tracks on the CD single:-

mp3 : Violent Femmes – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? (full length)
mp3 : Violent Femmes – Dance Motherfucker Dance!
mp3 : Violent Femmes – To The Kill (live – November 1990, The Palace, Melbourne, Australia)

Enjoy

(Originally posted on 7 August 2008)

One thought on “IT’S MEANT TO BE A TUNELESS TAKE DUMBASS….

  1. i’ll take the femmes version for sure! great live band, i was at that palace gig in melbourne – that’s me tunelessly singing along with a couple of thousand other folk on ‘to the kill’

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