Back to Work

Posted: January 8, 2007 in Uncategorized
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I’m back from vacation, and back on the big job (which is over this week!).

I spent much of my vacation cataloging old computer parts, and was stunned to find I had FIVE working computer systems in the attic!  I restored them to “factory settings” with the intention of donating them to people that can use them (they’re all Pentium class machines); now I just have to find donors.  (Only four donors, though, as I took one into work to use as a Linux development machine for a while — I’ll find a donor for it in a few months when I’m done with it there.)  Anyone know of someone around here that can use them?

In the meantime, I listened to a lot of music.  And came across a lot of baffling lyrics.  Two songs stick in my mind a couple weeks later, so I thought I’d share them with you.

First up:  “Pour some sugar on me, in the name of love!”  My son, Robert, says I’m being too literal, but I just can’t get my mind around this.  I know, I know, sugar is probably metaphorical, right?  Still, if that sugar’s being poured on me, we’ve left the realm of sexy.  So it still doesn’t work for me.

It’s like that old grade school joke where you get someone to say, “Rubber balls and liquor,” in reference to a girl.  Hermaphrodites just don’t do it for me; neither does that joke.

But my favorite baffling lyrics come in a song played only at Christmas.  Yup.  “Do they know it’s Christmas?” has two — count ’em, two — totally, mind-bendingly inane lyrics that I can’t believe any self-respecting musician would pen.  I’m not knocking the intent of the song, which came out in 1984 to raise funds to help relieve the effects of the devastating famine in Ethiopia.  But, seriously, was it that hard to fact check just a little?

#1) “Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?”  Well, um, it sounds good in the context of a plea for help, but that’s about it.  Popular wisdom (which may have stemmed from the CIA Factbook) said that Ethiopia was about 50% Muslim and no Christians in 1984; if that was true then, no, they didn’t know it was Christmas, nor did they care.  More recently, ethiomedia.com counter-claimed that the 1984 Ethiopian census indicated roughly 66% Christian and 33% Muslim.  If that was true then, yes, most people probably DID know it was Christmas, even if they were starving.  Christians are like that; always have been.  Either way, it’s just a silly lyric.

#2)  “And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime.”  Last I checked, Africa’s mostly in the southern hemisphere.  That means Christmas comes in summer in most of the continent!  So, no, except at altitude, there won’t be snow in Christmas in most of Africa.  (In fact, a South African friend points out that most Africans don’t even have a word for snow!)  “But most of Ethiopia is at altitude!” you say, trying to defend the song, “and it’s in the northern hemisphere, too, you dope!”  Yes, that’s correct, which only goes to show that the lyric is even more inane, making blanket statements about snow like that for a continent large enough to span both hemispheres!   However, while Ethiopia is indeed north of the equator, it’s also solidly in the tropics, so there’s still not going to be snow, except at really high altitude.  (According to the BBC, “Occasional snow may fall on the highest peaks but there are no permanent snowfields.”)  It’s a silly lyric.

So there!

What are your favorite baffling lyrics?

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