Carnival of Lies

March 11, 2012 9:48 AM

One-take before-pants demo of a cynical little song that's been buzzing round in my head recently. Video here.

For some reason my resonator started buzzing just before I played this. Oh, well.

I like the tune but the lyrics turned out a bit more novelty song than I wanted them to. I might have another go at them later.

posted by unSane (3 comments total)

It is indeed a Carnival of Lies, you nailed it in every verse, John! Well done!

"a tattooed boy named Susan" is only one of the many little moments of lyric brilliance here!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:43 PM on March 17, 2012

Cheers, Samm.. there's something about this song which feels a bit weird to me, like it's not mine or something. I think it's the lack of emotional content maybe. It's got a whiff of protest song about it which makes me uncomfortable. I like the 'carnival of lies' concept and I had a couple of other lines that were bouncing around in my head but I feel like the way I joined the dots was clever but not really much else. Too much talking about third persons. I feel like I want to have another go at it but not really sure how to do it...

Here are the current lyrics for WIW. Few little changes from the recorded version but nothing major.
Here comes GI Joe with a rifle in his hand
Nintendo in his pocket and his boots upon the sand
And there's palm trees everywhere
But it's not like Disney land
There's people talking fast in words that he don't understand
They told him he was the solution
But now he needs a blood tranfusion
Baby, it's a carnival of lies

Here comes Johnny Rebel with a guitar in his hand
He's singing songs of freedom in a rock and roll band
He's married to a movie star
He's young, he's fit, he's tanned
His first CD went platinum
His second it was panned
He's talkin' 'bout a revolution
But all he wants is distribution
Baby it's a carnival of lies

So sit with me and watch the sun go down
Tell me something true, to keep my feet here on the ground
After all these years, you're the only one I've found
Who can take my troubles from me and turn me back around
I'm so tired of optical illusions
and popular delusions
Baby, it's a carnival of lies

Here comes the preacher with a bible in his hand
He says he's gonna take you right to the promised land
He knows the mind of God and he obeys the Lord's command
And if you don't think just like him
You surely will be damned
But now he's facing prosecution
In a case of prostitution
With a tattoed boy named Susan
Baby, it's a carnival of lies

posted by unSane at 8:21 PM on March 17, 2012

Well, yes, it is indeed *clever* in that certain way that, I can understand, might make a songwriter a bit uncomfortable. I know what you're saying. It's funny, though, I've written tunes that I feel that way about as well, and the thing is, there's probably no undoing what's been done! That is to say, your efforts at rewriting it will either move it into some different territory altogether (by changing it radically), or, with the change of a word here or there, as you've done... not really change it much at all!

Maybe the best thing is to just accept that we occasionally write things that don't feel 100% like ourselves. It's kinda interesting, though, this idea that we sometimes write stuff that makes us cringe just a little bit... ultimately, what the hell, there's room for a song or two like that in your catalog!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:14 AM on March 18, 2012

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