Friday, September 23, 2011

City Boy -- "Deadly Delicious" (1976)

Take care, she'll ask you for small things
Only that you give her the earth
Gladly she gives you nothing for something
She only seems to stop when it hurts . . .

Look how she smiles politely,
Harmless as a hive full of bees(zzz) 
She breaks your heart, three times nightly
When you see her dwarf on a lead
Don't stop, she'll have you arrested
Just for looking into her eyes
Must be she's chemically tested 
Just one glance you're into the vice
Just one glance you're into the vice

There's a famous (and likely apocryphal) story about Voltaire, the French philosopher that is apropos.  Supposedly Voltaire accepted an invitation to participate in an orgy of some kind.  Things went well, and he was invited back for a second go at it.

Voltaire at 24
But he declined with these words: "Once a philosopher . . . twice a pervert."

One City Boy post can be explained as sort of an intellectual exercise -- but two is most definitely an indication of musical perversion. 

2 or 3 lines can't help it -- he just can't help it.  And if you listen a few times to this song or to the other City Boy song I posted about ("Goodbye Blue Monday"), the hooks are going to get you.  

"Deadly Delicious" is from City Boy's eponymous debut album, which I believe was the second of the three City Boy LPs I purchased while I was in law school (and old enough to know better).  In other words, it was the penultimate City Boy album I bought.

(Which is more annoying?  My using "eponymous" every chance I get, or that photo of Kim Kardashian's big booty?  I'll make you a deal: no future 2 or 3 lines post will contain both the word "eponymous" and the big-ass photo of Kim.  I think that's fair.  Do you think that's fair?)

Look at the last lines from "Deadly Delicious" that are quoted above.  The official City Boy website says "vice," not "vise."  I thought at first that was a typo, and almost edited it -- but now I'm not so sure.  "Vise" makes more literal sense, but "vice" also works as a sort of pun, so I doubt that we have a typo here.  City Boy ain't stupid -- its songs are full of clever little touches.

Your free City Boy autographed photo!
For example, listen to the way they sing "bees."  It comes at the end of a line, so they have a little extra time, which they use to elongate the word, turning the "s" sound at the end into an extended "zzz" sound, just like a buzzing bee.

And the "Gladly she gives you nothing for something" is a nice reversal of the usual "something for nothing" formula.

I'm not sure if the "dwarf on a lead" line is another example of the band's cleverness, but I doubt it.  I don't know what the hell that line means, and I doubt that Lol Mason and Mike Slamer (who wrote the song) do either.

Here's the first (also the last) verse of "Deadly Delicious":
Good God, she's deadly delicious, 
Camper than a holiday
Front page in every issue 
Tighter than a one-act play
Don't look without your glasses
She'll turn you to a pillar of salt
Watch out, she's mean and brassy
Sharper than a telephone

Listen carefully to the way "issue" is pronounced.  They don't say "iss-shoe" like Americans -- they do a slick little British thing with that word. 

Lot's wife
The "pillar of salt" line is an obvious reference to the Old Testament story of Lot's wife, but I don't think it would have helped her if she had been wearing glasses when she sneaked a peek back at Sodom.

There's also a more oblique reference to the Medusa myth here, given that we have a man being warned of the dire consequences of looking directly at a woman.

I'm confident that this is the only instance in the English language of "salt" being rhymed with "telephone."  But the listener is likely so woozy from trying to make sense of "Sharper than a telephone" that he or she overlooks the unusual rhyme.

Here's "Deadly Delicious":

Here's a link you can use to buy the song from Amazon:

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