Thursday, August 12, 2021

went down to the crossroads, OOH NO stop messing about

A couple of footnotes to the B-52s post: firstly the nostril-flaring mouth-open pose I caught Fred Schneider in reminded me of something, and it only took a second or tow to work out what it was - our very own Kenneth Williams, of course, in full-blown oooh NOOOOO, matron pose. 

Now back to easily-misheard lyrics (well, not actually lyrics as such, as you'll see) - one of the canonical bits of mystery wording, if you're a guitar rock bore like me anyway, is the outro voice-over at the end of Cream's live blues-rock freakout Crossroads, as featured on their 1968 album Wheels Of Fire (and on innumerable compilations since) and apparently recorded in March 1968 at San Francisco's Winterland, venue for many other seminal live rock events including The Band's Last Waltz concert.

I strongly recommend that you listen to the whole song, obviously, as it's a cracking tune with a couple of blistering guitar solos from Eric Clapton, but the bit we're actually interested here in happens after the song proper has finished, in the last ten seconds or so. In fact I've cut that bit out into its own little audio file which you can listen to here:

What you're hearing there is firstly someone (internet consensus seems to be that it's Clapton) saying "thank you", and then almost immediately someone else (internet consensus seems to be that it's Ginger Baker) saying "Eric Clapton, please", as if inviting audience appreciation. Then there is a very brief pause and a voice (which could be either of the previous two) says something which sounds, to me, without any attempt to apply context or sense to it, a bit like "a bubble" or "a bottle".

This recording is older than me, so as you can imagine there are a few theories knocking around regarding what was said. The principal ones (or, to be more accurate, the ones I've noticed on a quick trawl around the internet) seem to be:
  • Clapton saying "kerfuffle", referring to a bit of out-of-sync playing during the last solo;
  • Baker saying "on vocal", reminding the audience who was singing (Clapton and Jack Bruce were the band's main vocalists)
  • Baker saying "above all", reminding everyone that, presumably, Clapton Is God
To be honest, none of those seems remotely plausible to me, but I guess one of them might be true. Since two of the three members of Cream are now dead, and Clapton is a full-time COVID-19 vaccine "sceptic" (cough) these days, I guess we may never know.

and now here's glove rack by the wee nifty-poos

I suppose this is one of those "I was today years old when" posts, in which someone reveals some bullshit "fact" about milk cartons or something like it's some world-changing revelation. I make no such claim here. It's also a follow-up to a couple of other posts on this blog which have to do with the minutiae of song lyrics and the potential for occasional amusing mishearings, for instance here, here, here and here.

Anyway, here's the B-52s and their classic 1989 tune Love Shack. Pretty straightforward stuff, you might think, but listen through and you'll be reminded of the bit about 30 seconds from the end (at about 3:48) where the tune stops, Fred Schneider shrieks something like "You're WHAT?" and then Cindy Wilson shouts a few words before the song kicks back in for the last twenty seconds or so before it ends, a little bit like the two songs featured in this post (in fact I'm now kicking myself for not including Love Shack at the time).

Anyway, the point of all this is: what is Cindy Wilson saying? I had always assumed that the first word was "Henry", without really reflecting on who Henry might be, and I'm pretty sure I'd never arrived at a firm opinion on what the second word was: maybe "busted"? Maybe "rest it"? I mean, neither makes much sense, but come on, it's a B-52s song.

It turns out - and I can't remember what series of link clickages led me to discover this - that the actual lyric is as follows:

FS: Your WHAT?
CW: Tin roof, rusted!

I think you'll agree that doesn't make a lot more sense than my version, though I suppose a tin roof is a thing that a shack might plausibly have. Anyway, it's not just me, as I compiled the following list of mishearings (which you'll recall are called mondegreens and some of which are surely deliberate and/or made up for comedy purposes) from this page. You'll note, as I did with a quiet nod of vindication, that quite a lot of them render the first word as "Henry" - the ones that don't render it as "gay poof", "pregnant" or "real moose" anyway.

Andrew! Russell!
Camera! Rusty!
Dandruff! Crusty!
Gay poof, Goodyear
Greaaaaaat big, busters!
Heeen-ry: Busted!
Hell no! Rest... 
Han-nah! Rest...
Hello, Rusty
Pregnant mustard
Hen - ry! Rested
Hen Row! Rust!
Hen roo..... rusty!
Hen root! Rest!
Hen row, rest!
Henroo, rusty
Henrow! Busted.
Henru, rusty
Henry Russel!
Henry! Russel
Henry!! Busted!
Henry, restless!
Henry, you're busted!
Henry... Rusty!
Heyyyyy Roo!
Hit'n' run, busted
Real moose, custard
Rock and roll, busted!
Teddy Roosevelt
Teddy Ruxpin!
Teddy Ruxpin!
Teeeeeen root, busted
Tang room, rusty
Tim's cute Russert
Tin roof, Russell!