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Love, Rockabilly Style
December 12, 2008 8:03 PM   Subscribe

How to best show your love if you're a rockabilly singer in the 50's? First, claim you might cry. Or die. Or commit suicide. If that doesn't work, you can threaten her vaguely, threaten her with a baseball bat, or even threaten her with death. Oh, you're female? Try the gun/sex metaphor (NSFW images) or just go hog wild and claim you'll blow his head off with nitro. Touched on previously.

Can't be bothered with multiple YouTube links? Here are the songs and pertinent lyrics in order:

Everly Brothers, Bye Bye Love: "Bye bye, happiness // Hello, loneliness // I think I'm a-gonna cry."

Elvis Presley, Heartbreak Hotel: "I get so lonely I could die."

Johnny Burnette Trio, Sweet Love on My Mind: "The river looks cold and the bottom is a long way down // If you're really leavin' baby that's where I'm gonna be found // When the mailman comes in the mornin', there's a note upon my door // Bring my mail to the bottom of the river I don't live here no more."

Eddie Cochran, Mean When I'm Mad: "I need your lovin' and I need it bad // Watch it now baby if you make me mad... But don't resist me, a-baby // 'Cause I'm mighty, mighty mean when I'm mad."

Big Joe Turner, Honey Hush: "Come in here woman, stop all that yackety yack // Don't make me nervous, 'cause I'm holdin' a baseball bat." (It's not rockabilly but it has been covered by several rockabilly bands including Johnny Burnette.)

Elvis Presley, Baby Let's Play House: "I'd rather see you dead, little girl // Than to be with another man."

Janis Martin, Bang Bang: "Cock your pistol and rooty-toot-toot // Bang-bang-bang, bang-bang-bang (etc)."

Wanda Jackson, Fujiyama Mama: "Well you can talk about me, say that I'm mean // I'll blow your head off baby with nitroglycerine."
posted by andihazelwood (15 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Elvis Presley, Baby Let's Play House: "I'd rather see you dead, little girl // Than to be with another man."

John Lennon pretty much "borrowed" this line verbatim in the lyrics for the Beatles, "Run for Your Life."
posted by jonp72 at 8:13 PM on December 12, 2008


"Mean" does not rhyme with the last syllable of "nitroglycerine".

I just wanted to point that out.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 8:26 PM on December 12, 2008


UrineSoakedRube: ""Mean" does not rhyme with the last syllable of "nitroglycerine"."

It's "nitroglycerin" .. but seriously, it's rock and roll, made up words and made up rhyme's are punk like you.
posted by stbalbach at 8:36 PM on December 12, 2008


John Lennon pretty much "borrowed" this line verbatim in the lyrics for the Beatles, "Run for Your Life."

Yeah, he just added the patented John Lennon "well" at the top of the line. But I prefer to think of it as a quote. An homage, if you will.

"Mean" does not rhyme with the last syllable of "nitroglycerine".

Actually, if you're from a rural area south of the Mason-Dixon, and especially from the era when rockabilly was kicking, it does.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:36 PM on December 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's "nitroglycerin"

Well, in that case, I retract my argument.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 8:54 PM on December 12, 2008


"Mean" does not rhyme with the last syllable of "nitroglycerine".

Actually, if you're Wanda Jackson, you can pronounce anything any damn way you please. Best pay respect to The Queen of Rockabilly, son!
posted by jonp72 at 9:16 PM on December 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


rhyming be damned. trust me, son: these people make it work.
posted by msconduct at 5:21 AM on December 13, 2008


In one verse of "Heartbreak Hotel," Elvis says heartburn hotel. Pretty sweet.

FanTASTic post.
posted by resurrexit at 6:34 AM on December 13, 2008


The cover photo for Robbie Fulks' Country Love Songs fits well with the tender sentiments of this post.
posted by Killick at 7:19 AM on December 13, 2008


I love you.
posted by The Whelk at 11:42 AM on December 13, 2008


Aw, glad ya'll enjoyed it!
posted by andihazelwood at 12:49 PM on December 13, 2008


Fujiyama Mama can pronounce nitroglycerin any way she pleases, cuz you know she's been to Nagasaki and did the same to Hiroshima.
posted by dabitch at 3:21 PM on December 13, 2008


I was expecting Hasil Adkins. He not only threatens to "cut yo' head off" and "hang it on the wall," but gives the time. Quarter to three, if memory serves. You Tube has nothing.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:27 PM on December 13, 2008


I always hated these lyrics. Talk about morbid carnage:

We were out on a date in my daddy's car
We hadn't driven very far
There in the road
Straight ahead
A car was stalled the engine was dead
I couldn't stop
So I swerved to the right
I'll never forget the sound that night
The screamin tires
The busting glass
The Painfull scream that I heard last.


But the best was probably:

Whoa-oh strange as it seems
(treat her like) (you got to treat her like)
You know you can't treat a woman mean
(treat her like) (you got to treat her like)


Yea really strange you can't pop a woman in the mouth for giving you lip.
posted by dasheekeejones at 1:19 PM on December 15, 2008


And seriously, what was with Kenny Roger's sick mind (Coward of the County):

Theres someone for everyone and tommys love was becky.
In her arms he didnt have to prove he was a man.
One day while he was workin the gatlin boys came callin.
They took turns at becky.... there were three of them!

posted by dasheekeejones at 1:31 PM on December 15, 2008


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