Thursday, January 15, 2009

Who are these freaky people?

OK, like most of you folks out there, people stumble across my blog all the time by doing various web searches. Some are odd. Some make me wonder what people are actually searching for.

Back in August, I wrote a little piece about those flashing speed limit signs. I didn't think it was particularly funny, certainly not my best work, but we had encountered some of these on a recent road trip where hundreds of cars were speeding by and we had no idea which flashing MPH applied to which car. On a whim, I titled the piece with a lyric from a relatively obscure little song from 1971 (#3 on the charts for a few weeks) by an even more obscure group (2 top 40 hits) from Canada (I don't even want to talk about the cover by '80s hair band Tesla, the hacks), even though it had very little to do with the article I actually wrote.

Now, I've written about (or at least cited) Keith Emerson, Bo Diddley, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, The Band, Kiss, Deep Purple, and many, many other really big names in music. I'll admit that my post on Johnny Winter has been found by many web searches. For that matter, my quotes from Elwood P. Dowd have garnered lots of hits. I suppose this means that Elwood has as many followers as Johnny does, although he doesn't sing in the movie.

But it never even occurred to me that so many people wanted to know about Five Man Electrical Band and their hit "Signs". This is a song that contains such poetry as "so I got me a pen and a paper". Meter, thou art a cruel mistress.

Now bear in mind that when I go to Google Analytics and tell it that I want to see all my hits sorted by keyword, the first and overwhelmingly largest is always "(not set)". After that, there's "gilahi" and a couple of other obvious ones. That makes this pretty much the leader in my hit rate:


Apparently, the first 8 words of this song qualify as the biggest earworm epidemic in '70s music. Then there are a couple of people who aren't really into verbs:

Then there's quite a list of people who manage to at least two of the first three words right:

And then there's these:


"long haird"? "low hear freaky people"? "we are the freaky people"? (see subject)

Every single week I get more hits on these lyrics of a 38-year old song.

You have no idea how tempted I am to put a post out there that contains nothing but the opening lyrics to little-known, underappreciated songs from my heyday, just to watch the search numbers.

As a matter of fact...

Dale a tu cuerpo alegria...

A little past my time, but let's just see what that might do.

In order to help out these seekers of the truth, here are the entire lyrics to this song by a little band from Ottawa:

Signs
by Five Man Electrical Band

And the sign said long-haired freaky people
need not apply.
So I tucked my hair up under my hat
and I went in to ask him why.

He said, "You look like a fine upstanding young man.
I think you'll do."
So I took off my hat, I said, "Imagine that.
Huh, me working for you."

(chorus)
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign,
blocking out the scenery breakin' my mind.
Do this, don't do that.
Can't you read the sign?

And the sign said anybody caught trespassin'
would be shot on sight.
So I jumped on the fence and I yelled at the house,
"Hey! What gives you the right

to put up a fence to keep me out
but to keep Mother Nature in?
If God was here he'd tell you to your face,
man you're some kind of sinner."

(chorus)

Now hey you, mister, can't you read?
You've got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat.
You can't even watch, no, you can't eat.
You ain't supposed to be here.

Sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside. Ugh!

And the sign said, "Everybody Welcome.
Come in, kneel down and pray."
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all,
I didn't have a penny to pay.

So I got me a pen and a paper
and I made up my own little sign.
It said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinking 'bout me.
I'm alive and doing fine."

(chorus)

To all you pilgrims out there in Internetland, your search is at an end. You are welcome.

16 comments:

Herb of DC said...

I'm the guy who never quite hears the lyrics correctly so I completely understand how someone can get "low hear freaky people" out of that song.

Eudea-Mamia said...

Another reason why I have not persued Google Analytics (other than I can't quite figure out where to paste it into my HTML. HTMWhat?)

I would probably never have time to post again because I would be too busy backtracking to all the freaks.

"I'd buy a ticket."

Mike said...

Now I've got that dumb song in my head. It ain't supposed to be there.

Gilahi said...

Herb - For what it's worth, the first time I heard Jackson Browne's "Running On Empty", I heard the words "I'd love to stick around" as "My love is thick around". Somehow, I knew that couldn't be right....

Eudea-Mamia - Sitemeter? That's almost as much fun.

Mike - It IS a small world, after all.

urban bohemian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
urban bohemian said...

Dang it, now I'm going to have that stuck in my head all afternoon.

Gilahi said...

Bo - Well, despite all that I had to say about it, there are MUCH worse songs that you could have stuck in your head.

lacochran said...

I don't know why the membership card sign sends him over the edge. (Ugh!) Suppose it was a Costco?

And when you're singing it, the emphatic "Ugh!" totally makes that song.

Gilahi said...

la - Indeed. He was no doubt outside of Sam's Club being denied a 5-pound can of tuna.

Ugh!

fiona said...

got it playing right now! I like it:-)

LiLu said...

I've been saving up my favorite word-weird searches for one kickass post... people are STRANGE, STRANGE creatures.

Gilahi said...

fiona - Actually, so do I. I just don't understand why it's as popular as it is, search-wise.

LiLu - I can only imagine....

Confessions of a Temporal Lobe said...

Oh my holy bedazzler! I have not thought about The Five Man Electric Band in ages! I still crack up every time I hear the song In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, knowing that it was supposed to be In The Garden Of Eden. Great post!

Gilahi said...

CTL - Thanks! In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is one my favorite songs. It takes me back to the days when I was often even less lucid than I am now.

Confessions of a Temporal Lobe said...

Heh, being lucid is way over rated. Unless your driving or frying chicken of course!

Gilahi said...

Yeah, I just don't handle any lack of lucidity as well as I used to. There once was a time when I could bounce back in a hurry, but age has slowed down that process too.

 
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