Okkervil “Plus Ones” Deconstructed

by oz on August 24, 2007

Every once in awhile you run across a brilliant blog post, kind of like when Drinking Buddy wrote about tape recording his farts. Over at Blogs are for Dogs, the author tagged all the lyrics for Okkervil River’s “Plus Ones” with the original songs that inspired them. Well done. You can read the original here for more details. I’m a regular reader now.

I secretly just wanted to post this to find a good reason to work The Commodores into the blog.

Okkervil River – “Plus Ones”

No one wants to hear about your 97th tear
So dry your eyes or let it go uncried, my dear
I am all out of love to mouth into your ear
And not above letting a love song disappear before it’s written

? and the Mysterians – 96 Tears

And no one wants a tune about the 100th luftballoon that was seen shooting from the window of your room
To be a spot against the sky’s colossal gloom
And land deflated in some neighbor’s state that’s strewn with 99 others

Nena – 99 Luftballons

8 chinese brothers
Well, there’s a reason why the last is smiling wider and sitting higher than the others
Swinging his arms

REM – Seven Chinese Brothers

You would probably die before you shot up 9 miles high
Your eyes dilated as light played upon the sight
Of TVC16 as it sings you goodnight
Relaxed as hell and locked up in cell 45
I hope you’re feeling better

The Byrds – Eight Miles High
David Bowie – TVC15
The Zombies – Care of Cell 44

The 51st way to leave your lover
Admittedly, it doesn’t seem to be as gentle or as clean as all the others
Leaving us scars, all in the after hours of some Greenpoint bar

Paul Simon – 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

I told you, I can’t listen, baby, ’bout the 4th time you were a lady and how your forthrightness betrayed a secret shyness
Stripped away by days of being hailed as “your highness”
And what’s new, pussycat, is you were once a lionness
They cut your claws out

The Commodores – Three Times a Lady

Kitten, not everyone’s keen on lighting candle 17, the party’s done, the cake’s all gone, the plates are clean
The chauffeur’s leering from the cheerless mezzanine
And in just one year, this straight world could pay to see what they have been missing

The Crests – Sixteen Candles

You were caught kissing 8 chinese brothers
Well, there’s a reason why the last is smiling wider and sitting higher than the others
Stinking with charm

And he says, “Lets get lost, let them send out alarms
He says, “Let’s get crossed out and come to harm”
“Lets make the world’s stupidest stand and truly mean it
Lets hit the limit of loss over lover’s arms
No, lets exceed it”

Okkervil River – Plus Ones

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody August 24, 2007 at 8:45 am

pure genius!!!

Kevin August 24, 2007 at 12:52 pm

yeah, this is absolutely amazing. both the post, but the song writing of okkervil really comes out. this is such a cool concept but one thats so easy to fall into the realm of cheesiness, but he manages to walk that fine line and have it come out incredible.

silkworm February 28, 2008 at 12:39 pm

They left out “What’s New, Pussycat?” by Tom Jones. Just after the Commodores reference.

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