Song of the Day, Part Four: TV on the Radio, Dancing Choose

Because I was challenged by my friend Diane at Ladies Who Lunch blog, for this Song A Day Challenge, I’m supposed to post the lyrics of a favorite song for five days in a row, and explain what the song lyrics mean to me.

I usually don’t listen to lyrics much, but this song actually does have neat ones. The song is from TV on the Radio’s best album ever, Dear Science, from 2008. It’s one of those rapid-fire songs with a lot of words, like R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”

I just like the way the words sound here. I like the staccato flashes of thoughts, phrases and nonsense. The rhythms are really cool. And I like the words themselves; they are sometimes like snatches of found poetry. Certain phrases have lodged in my head. Like, “He’s a what? He’s a what? He’s a newspaper man.” And  “foam injected Axl Rose.”

But the chorus is stuck in my head for a different reason: because I think it’s beautiful. “In my mind I’m breeding butterflies,/ Broken dreams, and alibis / That’s fine / I’ve seen my palette / Blown to monochrome / Hollow heart / Clicks hollowtone / In time.”

Well, I like the whole thing. This is “Dancing Choose,” by TV on the Radio.

He’s a what?
He’s a what?
He’s a newspaper man
And he gets his best ideas
From a newspaper stand;
From his boots to his pants
To his comments and his rants
He knows that any little article will do

Though he expresses some confusion
‘Bout his part in the plan,
And he can’t understand
That he’s not in command;
The decisions underwritten
By the cash in his hand
Bought a sweater for
His weimariner too

Now I’m no mad man,
But that’s insanity
Feast before famine,
And more before family
Goes and shows up with
More bowls and more
Cups and the riot for the
Last hot meal erupts
Corrupts his hard drive
Through the leanest months
Shells out the hard cash
For the sickest stunts;
On aftershave, on gasoline
He flips the page and turns
The scene

In my mind I’m drowning butterflies
Broken dreams and alibis;
That’s fine.
I’ve seen my palette blown
To monochrome-
Hollow heart
Clicks hollowtone,
It’s time.

Eye on authority,
Thumb prints a forgery
Boy, ain’t it crazy what the
Lights can do
For counterfeit community;
Every opportunity
Wasted as the space
Between the flash tattoo

And the half-hearted hologram,
Posed for the party
Now he gloss full bleed
On a deaf dumb tree
Cod liver dollar signs,
Credit card autograph
Down for the record
But not for freedom

Angry young mannequin
American, apparently
Still to the rhythm
Better get to the back of me
Can’t stand the vision,
Better tongue the anatomy
Gold plated overhead,
Blank transparency
In the days of old,
You were a nut
Now you need three bumps
Before you cut
Not that I should care about,
Nothing I ain’t scared of, but
I guess you had to be there.

In my mind I’m breeding butterflies,
Broken dreams, and alibis
That’s fine.
I’ve seen my palette
Blown to monochrome
Hollow heart
Clicks hollowtone
In time.

I see you figured in your action pose
Foam-injected Axl Rose,
Life size
Should something shake you
And you drop the news,
Lord, just keep your dancing shoes
Off mine

One thought on “Song of the Day, Part Four: TV on the Radio, Dancing Choose

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