SOME SONGS ARE GREAT SHORT STORIES (Chapter 18)

It was back in July 2017 that I first featured this occasional series, the idea being to try and offer up an example of where the lyric of a song makes for a great short story.

Here’s a rundown of previous chapters:-

1. I Work In A Saloon – Arab Strap
2. My Sister – Tindersticks
3. Up The Junction – Squeeze (guest contribution from Walter)
4. The Curse of Millhaven – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
5. Rushholme Ruffians – The Smiths
6. The Mariner’s Revenge – The Decemberists (guest contribution by Jonny)
7. The Gift – The Velvet Underground (guest contribution by Jacques)
8. The Most Fun – Brakes (guest contribution by jimdoes)
9. Lady of a Certain Age – The Divine Comedy (guest contribution by FoRW)
10. A Week In A Country Jail – Tom T. Hall (guest contribution by Jonny)
11. She’s Leaving Home – The Beatles (guest contribution by Jules)
12. I saw You – Arab Strap
13. Friday Night, Saturday Morning – The Specials
14. Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured – Arctic Monkeys
15. The Ballad of Tindersticks – Tindersticks
16. David’s Last Summer – Pulp
17. Famous Tracheotomies – Okkervil River (guest contribution by Jules)

Strange in some ways that rap hasn’t thus far featured, given that so many of the lyrics tell stories. I’m changing all that today with one of the darkest, most disturbing and chilling of them all. One in which a sexually abused girl, who can’t get anyone to believe her because her father is a respected member of the community, just snaps and kills her father, while he is working in store grottos dressed as Santa Claus.

“If you will suck my soul
I will lick your funky emotions”

(Posdnous)

This is the stylin’ for a little that sounds silly
But nothin’ silly about triflin’ times of Millie
Millie, a Brooklyn Queen-originally from Philly
Complete with that accent that made her sound hillbilly
Around this time, the slammin’ joint was Milk is Chilin’
But even cooler was my social worker Dillon
Yeah, I had a social worker ‘cuz I had some troubles
Anyone who’d riff on me, I’d pop their dome like bubbles
He’d bring me to his crib to watch my favorite races
That’s how his daughter Millie become one of my favorite faces
She had the curves that made you wanna take chances
I mean on her, man, I’d love to make advances
I guess her father must ‘a got the same feelin’
I mean, actually findin’ his own daughter Millie appealing
At the time no one knew but it was a shame
That Millie became a victim of the touchy-touchy game

(Trugoy the Dove]

Yo Millie, what’s the problem, lately you’ve been buggin’
On your dukie earrings, someone must be tuggin’
You were a dancer who could always be found clubbin’
Now you’re world renowned with the frown you’re luggin’
Come to think your face look stink when Dill’s around you
He’s your father-what done happen-did he ground you?
You shouldn’t flip on him ‘cuz Dill is really cool
Matter of fact, the coolest elder in the school
He hooked up a trip to bring us all the Lacey
He volunteered to play old Santa Claus at Macy’s
Child, ya got the best of pops anyone could have
Dillon’s cool, super hip, you should be glad

(Posdnous)

Yeah, it seemed that Santa’s ways were parallel with Dillon
But when Millie and him got him, he was more of a villain
While she slept in he crept inside her bedroom
And he would toss and then would force her to give him head room
Millie tried real hard to let this hell not happen
But when she’d fuss, he would just commence to slappin’
(Yo Dillon man, Millie’s been out of school for a week, man, what’s the deal?)
I guess he was givin’ Millie’s bruises time to heal
Of course he told us she was sick and we believed him
And at the department store as Santa we would see ’em
And as he smiled, his own child was at home plottin’
How off the face of this earth she was gonna knock him
When I got home, I found she had tried to call me
My machine had kicked to her hey how ya doin’ (sorry)
I tried to call the honey but her line was busy
I guess I’ll head to Macy’s and bug out on Dillon

(Trugoy the Dove]

I received a call from Misses Sick herself
I asked her how was she recoverin’ her health
She said that what she had to ask would make it seem minute
She wanted to talk serious, I said, “go ahead-shoot”
She claimed I hit the combo dead upon the missal
Wanted to know if I could get a loaded pistol
That ain’t a problem but why would Millie need one
She said she wanted her pops Dillon to heed one
Ran some style about him pushin’ on her privates
Look honey, I don’t care if you kick five fits
There’s no way that you can prove to me that Dill’s flip
He might breathe a blunt but ya jeans he wouldn’t rip
You’re just mad he’s your overseer at school
No need to play him out like he’s someone cruel
She kicked that she would go get it from somewhere else
Yeah, whatever you say, go for ya self

(Posdnous)

Macy’s department store, the scene for Santa’s kisses
And all the little brats demandin’ all of their wishes
Time passes by as I wait for my younger brother
He as his wish, I waste no time to return him back to Mother
As I’m jettin’, Millie floats in like a zombie
I ask her what’s her problem, all she says is “Where is he?”
I give a point, she pulls a pistol, people screamin’
She shouts to Dill he’s off to hell cuz he’s a demon
None of the kids could understand what was the cause
All they could see was a girl holdin’ a pistol on Claus
Dillon pleaded mercy, said he didn’t mean to
Do all the things that her mind could do nothing but cling to
Millie bucked him and with the quickness it was over

mp3 : De La Soul – Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa

Despite a real lack of radio play, its release as a single in 1991 saw it reach #50. Don’t think, however, it’s made it onto any festive compilations.

JC

AS SEEN OVER AT THE OLD PLACE : JANUARY 2007 (2)

Looking back at my own contributions in January 2007, I can see myself growing a lot more in confidence in terms of my writing and I also started to feature songs that were outside my comfort zone of the 80s indie, jingly-jangly stuff. Like this……

IT’S I AGAIN AND THE SONG THAT I SEND….

R-97850-1168068602

…..is taking steps to reach your heart.

Yesterday’s title for the Edwyn Collins posting (it was headed ‘Put The Needle Into Your Groove’) was lifted from a great hip-hop record released back in 1989, which itself is the subject of today’s posting.

Three schoolfriends from Long Island, New York formed De La Soul n the middle of the 1980s. At a time when gangster-rap was in vogue, De La Soul were something totally different. Relying very heavily on samples as well as lyrics that talked of life and love rather than life and violent death, they very quickly became radio favourites on both sides of the Atlantic.

Their debut album, Three Feet High & Rising, (its title being a playful pun on a Johnny Cash song) sold by the bucket load and spawned a handful of hit singles. But the group got mired in a number of legal battles in the wake of their success – the idea of sampling was relatively new and lawyers were crawling out of the woodwork demanding royalties for their clients.

A thoroughly disillusioned De La Soul changed direction for their second album in 1991 – De La Soul Is Dead – with less reliance on samples and lyrics that were socially aware of circumstances without ever advocating the use of violence. It was critically acclaimed, but radio stations didn’t play the singles, and the album didn’t sell anything like as well.

And that was indeed the story of the 90s for the group – constant critical acclaim but ever-decreasing sales. But against all odds, De La Soul kept on recording throughout that decade and into the 21st Century, and were often quoted by many new rap acts as having been a huge influence on their development.

In 2005 they made another appearance in the UK charts thanks to their fantastic vocal contribution to Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz.

Someone who has reviewed the release of a Greatest Hits package back in 2003 has said De La Soul are hip-hop’s Prince, widely praised for things they did years ago, with their new work subjected to unfairly slanted comparisons with their debut. I think that’s pretty accurate.

And here in all its 12″ glory, is one of the fantastic singles from the debut album

mp3 : De La Soul – Eye Know

——————————ends———————————————-

2013 update.

The full title of the a-side is Eye Know (The Know It All Mix).  And here’s the other two tracks on the b-side not originally featured on the original posting:-

mp3 : De La Soul – Eye Know (The Kiss Mix)

mp3 : De La Soul – The Mack Daddy On The Left

Enjoy!!