Monday, July 03, 2006

Lyrics of the Day

I am listening to a Trip Shakespeare concert from 1992 right now. Trip Shakespeare is a forgotten, underrated Minneapolis band. They are probably best known as a predecessor of Semisonic. One of my favorite songs by Trip Shakespeare is called "The Crane":

When the dogs of the bank are upon me
And they've come to repossess my car
I'll be found at the base of the canyon
I'll be torn from the wreck of the motor

Let the crane take back the engine
Let the crane take back the wheel
And I feel that the world should come with me
When I ride to the crack in the earth

I used to work with a guy named Santos. When Santos got his car repossessed, I thought of this song and imagined him literally being chased by dogs, running with car keys in hand. And his legs were even shorter than mine, so it was a hilarious picture.

I still love this song, and not just because it casts bankers as the dogs they often are. I love the attitude: if you want to repo' my car, you're going to have to retrieve it with a crane after I wreck it... and I'm going with it! It's sort of the suburban male's equivalent of prying a gun from one's cold, dead fingers.

Across the Universe includes "The Crane." Their follow-up, Lulu, is even better. It makes me wonder what they were thinking when they split up. Did they figure they couldn't do better than Lulu? Did they decide that since Lulu wasn't a hit, they were doomed to never have one? Two members of Trip Shakespeare helped form the band Semisonic, which did have a huge hit in 1998, "Closing Time." It wasn't all it was cracked up to be; their drummer wrote a disillusioned book about the experience.

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