Small Objects of Desire #77 – Lyrics

Please listen to this Bee Gees song. It’s Nights on Broadway, one of their less well known numbers so you might not know it. Funky, isn’t it? Toe tapping, finger snapping, makes you want to step it out, right? I certainly thought so when I first heard it a couple of years ago.

Now, please scroll down and read the lyrics.

Here we are
In a room full of strangers
Standing in the dark
Where your eyes couldn’t see me

Well, I had to follow you
Though you did not want me to
But that won’t stop my lovin’ you
I can’t stay away

Blamin’ it all on the nights on Broadway
Singin’ them love songs
Singin’ them “straight to the heart” songs
Blamin’ it all on the nights on Broadway
Singin’ them sweet sounds
To that crazy, crazy town

Now in my place
There are so many others
Standin’ in the line
How long will they stand between us

Well, I had to follow you
Though you did not want me to
But that won’t stop my lovin’ you
I can’t stay away

Blamin’ it all (blamin’ it all)
On the nights on Broadway (blame it on the nights on Broadway)
Singin’ them love songs
Singin’ them “straight to the heart” songs
Blamin’ it all (I’m blamin’ it all)
On the nights on Broadway (blame it on the nights on Broadway)
Singin’ them sweet sounds
To that crazy, crazy town (oh those nights)

I will wait
Even if it takes forever
I will wait
Even if it takes a lifetime
Somehow I feel inside
You never-ever left my side
Make it like it was before
Even if it takes a lifetime, takes a lifetime, ooh

Blamin’ it all (I’m blamin’ it all)
On the nights on Broadway (blame it on the nights on Broadway)
Singin’ them love songs (yeah, yeah)
Singin’ them “straight to the heart” songs (yeah, I’m blamin’ it all)
Blamin’ it all (blamin’ it all)
On the nights on Broadway (blame it on the nights on Broadway)
Singin’ them sweet sounds (oh yeah)
To that crazy, crazy town (yeah)

Blamin’ it all (I’m blamin’ it all)
On the nights on Broadway (blame it on the nights on Broadway)
Singin’ them love songs (yeah, yeah)
Singin’ them “straight to the heart” songs
Blamin’ it all (I’m blamin’ it all)
On the nights on Broadway (blame it on the nights on Broadway)
Singin’ them sweet sounds (oh yeah yeah)
To that crazy, crazy town (yeah)

Blamin’ it all (I’m blamin’ it all)
On the nights on Broadway (blame it on the nights on Broadway)
Singin’ them love songs (yeah, yeah)
Singin’ them “straight to the heart” songs
Blamin’ it all (I’m blamin’ it all)
On the nights on Broadway
Singin’ them sweet sounds
To that crazy, crazy town

Not so groovy now, huh? In fact, they are downright creepy, aren’t they? Is it dawning on you that we are in suspicious territory? Like, stalker territory?

So there I was one day, giving it my hip shaking best when the lyrics steam-rollered their way into my consciousness. If you’re anything like me, the lyrics of a song don’t really make an impression on you on first listen unless it is right up front and in your face like Summertime, for instance. I tend to tune into the rhythm and the groove first, how the song, as a whole, makes me feel. Does it make me want to dance? This one did immediately. Does it make me want to cry? Certain deeply lyrical sections of Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme Paganini have that effect on me and there are no lyrics to that music. The way that piece makes me feel is just a function of the intention behind what the composer wanted to communicate. I don’t really tune into the lyrics until I’ve heard the song a few times. It’s just the way I tend to interact with songs. The only time this doesn’t happen is when I’m at a live gig. Curious, isn’t it? I wonder why it’s like this.

So yes, there was this huge disparity between the way this song made me feel and what it was actually about. It never fails to make me want to get up and dance but now it feels a bit like a guilty pleasure. And to think the narrator blames his seriously dysfunctional behaviour on the “sweet sounds” of the “nights on Broadway”!

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Small Object of Desire #74 – Poem

Gaddafi, Gaddafi, Gaddafi by Hannah Silva from Penned in the Margins on Vimeo.

I have long been an admirer of Hannah Silva’s particular brand of poetry. She is a bold, unpredictably rangy poet, incorporating sonic repetition (on the page and on stage), collage, the language of social media, sonnets and other experiments in the deployment of writing and voicing language in her oeuvre. The first time I encountered her work was in performance at an event celebrating Tears in the Fence literary journal’s 25th anniversary. She performed a poem that consisted entirely of bird-like whistles. I’d never seen or heard anything like it before. It was completely mesmerising. I was blown away. Since then, I’ve read her work or watched her in performance any chance I get. This poem Gaddafi, a rolling chamber of sound, is a fine example of her politically charged experimentation. There’s no poet quite like her.