As I've likely mentioned at least once on this blog, The Replacements are one my favorite bands. Not just at this moment, or when I first discovered them in high school, but a band I return to over and over again, year after year. They are one of the only bands whose albums I know back to front, front to back. At some point (before the age of iPods), I bought nearly of all their CDs-- even though I already owned the vinyl--so that I could put them into a 5-disc changer, hit "shuffle", and listen for hours on end.
Though there are countless reasons why I love this band, my perennial enthusiasm has something to do with Paul Westerberg's lyrics--his songs have an adult acuity sung in an adolescent idiom.
Listen to a live version of Paul Westerberg playing the 'Mats song "Left of the Dial."
From L to R: Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars, Paul Westerberg
So, here then is a list of my top eleven Replacements' lyrics. Eleven; random, I know. I found it difficult to narrow it down, and these aren't even necessarily my favorite songs. This list is for no particular reason, maybe just because it's Friday. If you want to add your own favorite Replacements' lyrics, please do.
If bein' wrong's a crime, I'm serving forever
If bein' strong's your kind, then I need help here with this feather
If bein' afraid is a crime, we hang side by side
At the swingin' party down the line
I could live without so much
I can die without a clue
Sun keeps risin' in the west
I keep on wakin' fully confused
-Within Your Reach
Jesus rides beside me
He never buys any smokes
Hurry up, hurry up, ain't you had enough of this stuff
Ashtray floors, dirty clothes, and filthy jokes
-Can't Hardly Wait
Here come Dick, he's wearing a skirt
Here comes Jane, y'know she's sporting a chain
Same hair, revolution
Same build, evolution
Tomorrow who's gonna fuss
And they love each other so
The ones who love us best are the ones we'll lay to rest
And visit their graves on holidays at best
The ones who love us least are the ones we'll die to please
If it's any consolation, I don't begin to understand them
-Bastards of Young
Seen your video, the phony rock 'n' roll
We don't want to know, seen your video
-Seen Your Video
I never travel far, without a little Big Star
And the sign says, "Thank you very much for not smoking"
My own sign says, "I'm sorry, I'm smokin'"
Don't treat me special, don't kiss my ass
Treat me like the way they treat 'em up in first class
-Waitress in the Sky
I'm not ready as I'll ever be
I climb the walls, I fall into the sea
I'm not ready as I'll ever be
And I suppose your guess is more or less as bad as mine
All over but the shouting, just a waste of time
How young are you?
How old am I?
Let's count the rings around my eyes
How smart are you?
How dumb am I?
-I Will Dare
C'mon, let's make a scene
Oh, baby, don't be so mean
They're all watchin' us
Kiss me on the bus
If you knew how I felt now
You wouldn't act so adult now
Hurry, hurry, here comes my stop
-Kiss Me On The Bus