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Tragedy & Titters – (Song Lyric Sunday)

Scissor Sisters’ music can be generally described as a mixture of glam rock, disco and alternative music. The band has been compared to ABBA, the Bee GeesBlondieKC and the Sunshine BandDuran Duran. “The reason we got into music,” Matronic stated: SupertrampSiouxsie and the Banshees (who Matronic) “wouldn’t be here without,” David Bowie, 1970s-era KissQueenChic, and Richard O’Brien 

The lyrics of their songs, largely written by Shears and Babydaddy, are known for their mixture of wit and tragedy. The songs on their debut album dealt with a number of subjects and issues in a variety of styles, from drug abuse within the gay community (“Return to Oz”), to Shears’ deep platonic love for his best friend, Mary who died of a brain aneurysm in April 2006.

Edited Source: Wikipedia

Tragedy

Return to Oz” is the last song on their 2004 self-titled debut album and uses the lyrical motif of the film Return to Oz as an allegory for crystal meth abuse. The song is about drug abuse within the gay community, especially crystal meth. In the words of the frontman for the band, Jake Shears, this song is about “friends I have had who became lost along the way”.

The chorus refers to the film sharing the title of the song, in reference to when Dorothy Gale returns to Oz only to find it in a post-apocalyptic state where the Yellow Brick Road is desecrated – “gold is brown” – and the Emerald City is a collapsing ruin (“the grass is dead”, as in it is not green anymore) where the inhabitants have been turned to crystalline stone – “what once was Emerald City is now a Crystal Town” – and the only life she finds is Tik-Tok, the “wind up man walking round and round”. The line “gold is brown” is a reference to the initial feeling of using meth and the harsh realities accompanying addiction.

It also continues the reference to Return to Oz by mentioning the queen with a hundred heads, a character in the film who combined features of Mombi and Langwidere from the original Oz books. At the end, the references become clearer and the intention of the song becomes easier to determine. A reference first to the Wheelers from Return to Oz, and then to the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal is made to play on the inhuman, decaying appearance of these characters, and remark on the physical appearance of the addict; “sunken faces and their wild rolling eyes” followed by a mention of clenching jaws.

“The patchwork girl has come to cinch the deal” — The Patchwork Girl is both a reference to the character from the Oz books, and a metaphor for the AIDS quilt which is made up of many “patches” signifying the number of lives lost to the disease.

Source: Fandom

Return to Oz

Once there was a man,
Who had a little too much,
Time on his hands,
He never stopped to think,
That he was getting older.
When his night came to an end,
He tried to grasp for his last friend,
And pretend,
That he could wish himself health,
On a four-leaf clover.

He said is this the Return to Oz?
The grass is dead
The gold is brown
And the sky has claws.
there’s a wind-up man
Walking round and round.
What once was Emerald City’s
Now a Crystal Town

It’s three o’clock in the morning,
You get a phone call
From the queen with a hundred heads
She says that they’re all dead
She tried the last one on
It couldn’t speak, fell off
And now she just wanders the halls
Thinking nothing
Thinking nothing at all

She says is this the Return to Oz?
The grass is dead
The gold is brown
And the sky has claws.
there’s a wind-up man
Walking round and round.
What once was Emerald City’s
Now a Crystal Town

The wheelies are cutting pavement
And the Skeksis at the rave met
To hide deep inside
Their sunken faces
And their wild rolling eyes
But their callous words reveal
That they can no longer feel
Love or sex appeal
The patchwork girl has come to cinch the deal

To return to Oz
We’ve fled the world
With smiles and clenching jaws
Please help me friend from coming down
I’ve lost my place and now it can’t be found


Is this the Return to Oz?
The grass is dead
The gold is brown
And the sky has claws.
there’s a wind-up man
Walking round and round.
What once was Emerald City’s
Now a Crystal Town

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Jason Sellards / Scott Hoffman

Return to Oz lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

And to balance we have some Titters – Just for fun …

In my research for this post I found this brilliant video of the Rocky Horror Picture Show – my all time fav musical, edited to fit the track “I can’t decide” …

When Scissor Sisters had a concert planned at the Brixton Academy, Halloween 2004, they asked the audience to dress up as the characters from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The band themselves got into the spirit, dressing up too, while gravestones with the group members’ names on them adorned the stage.

Source: NME

I Can’t Decide

It’s not easy having yourself a good time
Greasing up those bets and betters
Watching out they don’t four-letter
Fuck and kiss you both at the same time
Smells like something I’ve forgotten
Curled up died and now it’s rotten

I’m not a gangster tonight
Don’t wanna be a bad guy
I’m just a loner baby
And now you’ve gotten in my way

I can’t decide
Whether you should live or die
Oh, you’ll probably go to heaven
Please don’t hang your head and cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
It’s cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We’re going for a ride

It’s a bitch convincing people to like you
If I stop now call me a quitter
If lies were cats you’d be a litter
Pleasing everyone isn’t like you
Dancing jigs until I’m crippled
Slug ten drinks I won’t get pickled

I’ve got to hand it to you
You’ve played by all the same rules
It takes the truth to fool me
And now you’ve made me angry

I can’t decide
Whether you should live or die
Oh, you’ll probably go to heaven
Please don’t hang your head and cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
It’s cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We’re going for a ride

Oh, I could throw you in the lake
Or feed you poisoned birthday cake
I won’t deny I’m gonna miss you when you’re gone
Oh, I could bury you alive
But you might crawl out with a knife
And kill me when I’m sleeping
That’s whyI can’t decide
Whether you should live or die
Oh, you’ll probably go to heaven
Please don’t hang your head and cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
It’s cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We’re going for a ride

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Jason Sellards / Scott HoffmanI

Can’t Decide lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Post inspired by Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday Prompt #

Caution! – Talk to Frank about Crystal Meths

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