Saturday, October 30, 2010

Harvey Danger -- "Flagpole Sitta" (1997)

Paranoia, paranoia

Everybody's comin' to get me
Just say you never met me

I had a plan for what was going to follow the "Season of the Witch" post.  But when I was listening to that song on my morning bike ride to Lake Needwood a couple of days ago and thinking about the paranoid aspects of that song -- suddenly these lines from "Flagpole Sitta" hit me.  

Just like me when I'm mountain biking on Cape Cod, "2 or 3 lines" twists and turns and takes little side trails until it doesn't know where it is.  Forget what I had planned -- after all, the best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley

"Flagpole Sitta" is a real tour de force of a song.  It's energetic.  It's crazy.

If "Season of the Witch" is about sly, 60's-style paranoia -- one-half fear of the FBI and the police (and all those government agencies they're keeping hidden from us) and one-half marijuana overconsumption -- "Flagpole Sitta" is about paranoia as plain ol' insanity.

At first, the song is just amusingly snarky:
Been around the world and found
That only stupid people are breeding
The cretins cloning and feeding
And I don't even own a TV

But later it gets plain ol' creepy:

Put me in the hospital for nerves
And then they had to commit me
You told them all I was crazy
They cut off my legs now I'm an amputee, Goddamn you

Didn't see that coming, did you?  It's all rather Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-ish, isn't it?  (Now there was someone who had good reason to paranoid.)  

From "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"
It's like the old saying -- just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

The first line of the chorus is "I'm not sick, but I'm not well."  Half of that sentence is clearly true -- but I'm not sure about the other half.

By the way, flagpole-sitting was a real phenomenon back in the 1920s.  The fad began when a friend dared stunt actor Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly to sit on a flagpole. Shipwreck's initial 1924 sit lasted 13 hours and 13 minutes, but his record was quickly broken by many others.  In 1929, Shipwreck decided to reclaim the title. He sat on a flagpole for 49 days in Atlantic City.  But the following year, Bill Penfield sat on a flag pole in Strawberry Point, Iowa, for 51 days and 20 hours. 

Here's a really well-done home video of "Flagpole Sitta":

Here's a lip dub video of "Flagpole Sitta," featuring the staff of Connected Ventures LLC, a new media network and development company with headquarters in New York City.  (I need to make sure none of my mutual funds own stock in this company.)

Here's another lip dub video of "Flagpole Sitta."  (Hotter chicks in this one.)

What the heck -- here's one more.  This girl is not a very good lip-syncher, but she's kind of cute:

How about one more?

Here's a link to use if you want to buy "Flagpole Sitta" from iTunes:

Flagpole Sitta - Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?

Here's a link to Amazon:

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