This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mean, Nasty, Horrible, Miserable, Evil, Scathingly Vituperative... and Just Plain Vicious. I Love It!

From the late 1960s until the middle 1970s, a Canadian rock band called The Guess Who (fronted by the incomparable Burton Cummings, pictured above in lieu of the entire band 'cause I felt like it) had several Top 40 hits: "These Eyes," "American Woman," "No Sugar Tonight," "Clap for the Wolfman," "Undun" [sic], "Laughing," and many, many more.

But they also had a whole slew of material on their albums which equaled or surpassed their output on 45 RPM singles. One of those classic cuts is a tune that absolutely screams for "anger management" classes, a lengthy musical diatribe called "Long Gone," from their 1974 LP, "Flavours."

I wanted to transcribe the lyrics for this all-but-unknown beauty, so to save time, I Googled the lyrics on the 'net with the intention of doin' the ol' copy-and-paste...


I was absolutely flabbergasted to discover that virtually every single lyrics website on the freakin' internet has incorrectly transcribed the first line of the song! That's right! Every single site lists the line as "Who in the Hell are you to criticize?" although the lyrics are "Who in the hell are you to try and criticize?" which is plain as day from simply listening to the song!

And I know that no one got it right, because I did a second Google search utilizing the terms "Guess Who," "Long Gone," "lyrics," and the correct phrase, "try and criticize!" Nothing! Zip! Nada!

How could this possibly have happened, I wondered? Especially when the lyrics to all the songs on "Flavours" are printed on the freakin' album sleeve itself?

So I went to my shelves of 2,000 or so LPs, pulled out the album in question, and...


The offensive -- and incorrect -- lyrics are actually printed on the album's inner sleeve. But they're wrong! Listen to the song! They're wrong!!! They must have composed the song, written the lyrics down, sent them to the printer (or whatever), and then changed them to something that flowed better musically, before -- or even while -- recording the tune!

If I ever meet Burton Cummings -- and I hope I do, so I can tell him how much his singing style influenced my own -- I'm going to ask him about that. I'm also going to ask him why he and Mr. Troiano wrote "Long Gone" in the first place, because it's a killer!

See for yourself. (And yes, I've corrected the mistake... on this RantZ page only. Another exclusive from the people at "David'Z RantZ," meaning... me.)

Who in the hell are you to try and criticize?
Every day and every night you're just a drag
You've been long gone, long gone...

You are working from a point of depression
Isn't it amazing when you find you're slipping
You've been long gone, long gone...

I guess you've always been a power-hungry specimen
You were raised with rank in mind
I'd gladly give away everything I've ever owned
For the chance to stab you from behind
Cause I'm tired of what you're saying
It's not worth the paper it's printed on
It just doesn't cut it anymore.

Each time the sun greets the new dawning
I'll try to kick you while you're down
Welcome to the Kingdom of Hatred
You'll find out soon that I wear the crown.
I'm tired of what you been sayin'
It's not worth the time to discuss it
You just don't cut it anymore.

Who in the hell are you to try and criticize?
You're still learning how to form an opinion
You've been long gone, long gone... *

Whew! I'd hate to be the person who inspired that little ditty! Isn't it great? Kinda peels the skin right off your back with a dull knife, dunnit?

(By the way, I absolutely love the line "I'm tired of what you're saying. It's not worth the paper it's printed on." Isn't that some kind of Goldwynism?)

Unfortunately, -- Damn! -- as my (bad) luck would have it, it figures that there wouldn't be a YouTube video for this gem, eh? (Oops. Sorry about that "eh." Told you they were a Canadian band.)

And as for the reason why "I wanted to transcribe the lyrics for this all-but-unknown beauty," I...



I guess, to quote Sam Kinison, "I'm just in that kinda f**kin' mood, folks!"

Well (he asked defensively), whattya expect from a guy who writes a column called "David'Z RantZ," anyhoo?

Nope. No real point to all of this, in case you were wondering. So it goes.

Thanks for your time.

*Lyrics to "Long Gone" by Burton Cummings and Domenic Troiano, ©1974 Cummings-Troiano Associates


  1. LOL!!!!

    That's great I never knew that! :) Now I gotta listen to it again.

  2. They printed the wrong lyrics! That's hogwash!

  3. I saw the Guess Who in concert a few years back and they were a lot of fun! I can't remember where but it was, though...very possibly SarsFest in Toronto. My sister is the keeper of this information, I'll have to ask her.

    This has been a relatively useless comment. Thank you for tuning in.

  4. Seriously Rantz? Pocket Full of Sunshine? Stick with the oldies.

    Complete Balderdash!

  5. Well, the lyrics may be a little to "la-dee-da" for my tastes, but it's a catchy tune, and I saw her perform it on "Chelsea Lately"...

    On the other hand, "U and Ur Hand" kicks ass.

    And... "Balderdash?" Whassamatter, run outta "hogwashes?"

  6. You're right about lyrics. Back in the 1960s, wayyyy before the 'net, I'd notice occasional discrepancies in songs printed in "Song Hits" and other similar mags.

    I guess sometimes, something's sent to the publisher and "improved" upon later. I remember seeing the original, hand-written lyrics to Elton John's "Your Song," where Bernie Taupin had written "I'd buy a big house where we could both live," and had crossed out "could both" and written "both could" -- the version that was eventually recorded -- above it.

    In Pink's case, I'm really not familiar with her music at all. I heard "U and Ur Hand" on the radio one night on my way home, liked it, and did a Google search for some of the phrases I recalled, which is always an effective way to find a song.

    Finding and listening to more songs by her is on my list of 8,000,00 things to do... eventually. And yes, I know it's easy to find almost anything on the 'net, esp. stuff like this, but finding the time to spend on it is the issue.

  7. One of my favorites! Their legend lived on well with my own "band' attempts. Unfortunately, those went to pot (no pun intended) when I found my prince charming and fell in wuv :) I was a chic signing zeplin, nazareth, The Guess Who and the like, so you can try to imagine what that may have been like. But I must say...I could ROCK the Guess Who! :)

  8. I am not a fan of The Guess Who (or The Who, either, as you already but I would like to hear this song. Anything with that much anger needs to be listened to and appreciated.


Related Posts with Thumbnails