Song Lyric Sunday: “Think It Over”

Helen Vahdahti’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt this week is “think.” Naturally my first thought is The Cars, which creates a dilemma. Do I go with “You Might Think,” winner of MTV’s inaugural Video of the Year Award in 1984, beating out (incredibly) Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video? This is, after all, Song Lyric Sunday, and “You Might Think” is chock-full of Ric Ocasek’s more-pop-y-than-usual lyrics. Or do I go with the lesser-known “Think It Over?” Ocasek’s simple lyrics aren’t his best, but the music more than compensates, in my opinion.  There’s an understated yet driving mix of live instruments combined with original band-programmed synth. Then there’s Benjamin Orr’s Elvis-inflected vocals.

For me, part of the fun of Song Lyric Sunday is discovering either new singers, bands, and/or songwriters or deeper cuts from musicians I’m already familiar with. I hope you’ll enjoy discovering one of my favorite songs from The Cars “Shake It Up” album.

“Think It Over”
Every time I see you I got to jump and shout
I haven’t got a clue what it’s all about
Ooh I never had a dream that looked so much like you
I’ll do anything that you want me to

(Think it over, think it over)
There’s nothin’ you can do to make me wanna stop
(Think it over, think it over)
Ooh every time you run around it makes me want to pop

What’s it gonna take to make you change your line?
What’s it gonna take to get your valentine?
How can I be sure that you’re the one for me?
I only know that you wanted to be free

(Think it over, think it over)
There’s nothin’ you can do to make me wanna stop
(Think it over, think it over)
Every time you run around it makes me want to pop
Nothin’ you can do to make me wanna stop

Every time you run around makes me want to pop
Nothin’ you can do to make me wanna stop
Think it over
Pop…
Pop

Every time I see you I got to jump and shout
I haven’t got a clue what it’s all about
I never had a dream that looked so much like you
Well I’ll do anything that you want me to

(Think it over, think it over)
There’s nothin’ you can do to make me wanna stop
(Think it over, think it over)
Every time you run around it makes me want to pop
(Think it over, think it over)

Well nothin’ you can do to make me wanna stop
(Think it over, think it over)
E-every time you run around it makes me want to pop
There’s nothin’ you can do to make me wanna stop
Every time you run around it makes me want to pop
There’s nothin’ you can do to make me wanna stop
Think it over
Yeah

(Think it over)
(Think it over)
(Think it over)
Think it over
(Think it over)
Think it over
(Think it over)
(Think it over)
Think it over
(Think it over)
(Think it over)

Nothin’ you can do
Nothin’ you can do
(Think it over)
Nothin’ you can do
Nothin’ you can do
(Think it over)
Nothin’ you can do
Nothin’ you can do
(Think it over)
You gotta think it over

Nothin’ you can do
Nothin’ you can do
(Think it over)
Nothin’ you can do
Think it over
Nothin’ you can do
(Think it over)
Nothin’ you can do
Nothin’ you can do
(Think it over)
Nothin’ you can do but think it over

Nothin’ you can do
Nothin’ you can do
(Think it over)
Nothin’ you can do
Nothin’ you can do
(Think it over)
Nothin’ you can do, nothin’ you can do
Nothin’ you can do, nothin’ you can do
But think it over
(Think it over)
Nothin’ you can do
Nothin’ you can do

 

Song Lyric Sunday — “A Dream Away” — The Cars

I just can’t get this particular challenge and this past Sunday’s prompt, dream, out of my mind. Don’t get me wrong: I love ELP’s “I’ll Be Watching Over You” that I chose as my response. But I debated with myself for quite a while, weighing that one against The Cars’ “A Dream Away”. In the end, my choice was based on two factors. First, ELP’s song seemed “dreamier”, whereas The Cars’ contender seemed, well, not exactly nightmarish but like it would produce more of a restless night, belying its title. Second, I love Greg Lake’s voice; Ric Ocasek’s, not so much.

When it comes right down to it, though, it’s The Cars’ song that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. Usually whether or not I like a Cars song depends almost entirely on whether or not Benjamin Orr’s rich, melodious voice is the one I’ll be hearing. Surprisingly, however, Ocasek’s vocals aren’t as brusque as usual. In fact, singing the thought-provoking lyrics he wrote, he has an almost Orr-like sensual delivery. Ocasek’s lyrics tend to be cryptic yet vivid, as many dreams are. Orr’s pulsing bass line kicks in at around 00:30 to generate a sense of urgency in this dreamworld. You may not get a restful night, but you won’t soon forget the dreamscape Ocasek paints.

“A Dream Away”
Five in the morning, all alone in your room
Door locked tight, private moon
No faces to face, no one to blame
Nonexistent inside this frame

You better
Take it on the run
Take it on the run
Yeah

There’s a cheetah walking high
Liquid whispers, dragonfly
Charleston booties, painted toes
Drop the knot, ivory soul

You better
Take it on the run
Take it on the run
Yeah

The good life is just a dream away
I said, The good life is just a dream away

Choke emotion, lose control
Chicken counters, fill your bowls
The lonely crowd, is decomposed
Lost obsession, future froze

Well, take it on the run
Take it on the run
Take it on the run
Take it on the run
Take it on the run

The good life is just a dream away
I said, the good life is just a dream away

Response #2 to Song Lyric Sunday - Dream
Response to FOWC - Nightmare

Song Lyric Sunday – “I’ll Be Watching Over You” – Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Clearly, it’s not Sunday, but today I stumbled upon Helen Vahdati’s blog, “This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time”, where she hosts Song Lyric Sunday. I really love the idea of this challenge, so even though it’s now Wednesday, I’m adding my two cents to this week’s theme: Dream.

When most people think of prog rock supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer, they think of flamboyant, theatrical stage shows featuring ELP’s trademark musical blend of classical, jazz, and rock. Some are drawn to Keith Emerson’s virtuoso organ and synthesizer performances, often highlighted by his flying piano and physical abuse of his Hammond organ. Others are drawn to Palmer’s powerful extensive drum solos. Not me. When I think of ELP, I think of Greg Lake’s beautiful voice singing Peter Sinfield’s literate, esoteric lyrics. One of my favorite Lake/Sinfield songs is “Watching Over You”, a tender lullaby written for Lake’s daughter. The definitive studio version is on the 2017 Remastered version of their 1977 Works Volume 2 album, but as far as I’m concerned, nothing beats this live performance:

“Watching Over You”
Good night, good night….
Look at that moon shine so bright.
And tonight he smiles
Especially for you.

Sleep tight, sleep tight.
Know everything is alright.
And tonight I will be here
Watching over you.

For tonight I will be here watching over you.
Tonight I’ll be here watching over you.

Sweet dreams, sweet dreams.
It is never as real as it seems.
And in the morning when you wake up
I will be right here.

Sleep on, sleep on.
For no matter how dark or how long
It may seem that your night is
I will still be here.

I will still be here watching, watching over you.
So sleep, little darling, sleep on through.

So be still, be still
For you know that I always will
Tonight and forever
Be watching over you.

For tonight and forever, be watching over you.
So sleep, little darling, sleep on through.

I will be watching over you.