Yeah Yeah Yeah

Like many people, one of the things I do on the Net is look for new music. Not that I don’t have enough music laying around my house: an attic full of old records, shelves over-packed with CDs, a pile of albums on my desk with music from bands who are coming to town and so on. 
A few months back I started exploring the world of MP3 blogs, a wide range of them in numerous genres. The first ones I found would typically post one or two songs by some artist for a week or so and include links to where you can buy the album – essentially serving as an education tool. Then I stumbled across a different school of blogs, ones where they post full albums, usually using an upload/download site called RapidShare, which I believe is in Denmark.
It was on one of those sites, that I discovered a post offering a download of the entire as-yet-unreleased album At War With The Mystics, the latest from The Flaming Lips, due out in April from Warner Brothers. I’m not going to go into the ethics of downloading, of listening to something before I’m supposed to have yet, and without paying. For better or worse, I downloaded it. 
The whole record is really good, although as would be expected there are some parts I like better than others – the first track, “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song,” is a good one, with a catchy melody, the requisite hooks, the kind of thing that gets stuck in your head. I love the harmonies, the phase-shifting power guitars, the Vocorder bits, it all fits together to make for an all around great song.
And once you actually listen to what they’re talking about, it’s even better. The questions it raises resonated with things I’d been reading about in the news, from the Bush White House to local events like Rob and Cherie Arkley’s Marina project and on down the line.
 Here’s the lyrics, at least as best as I could make them out:
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yay… (repeat)
If you could blow up the world with the flip of a switch,
would you do it?
If you could make everybody poor just so you could be rich,
would you do it?
If you could watch everybody work while you just lay on your back,
would you do it?
If you could take all that’s left without giving any back,
would you do it?
And so, we cannot know ourselves what we’d really do.
With all your power, with all your power, with all your power, what would you do?
With all your power, with all your power, with all your power, what would you do?
If you could make your money and then could give it to everybody,
would you do it?
If you knew all the answers and you could give them to the masses,
would you do it?
No no no no no no.
Are you crazy?
It’s a very dangerous thing to do exactly what you want.
Because you cannot know yourself what you’d really do
with all you power.
With all your power, with all your power, what would you do?
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah… (repeat)
With all your power, with all your power, with all your power, what would you do?
With all your power, with all your power, with all your power what would you do?
The other thing that comes to mind: the question of what artists like The Flaming Lips do with the power and the platform they’re given. I have total respect for Bono, even if I’m bored with the power pop of U2. And George Clooney is another stellar example, a guy who takes the cash he gets for Oceans Eleven and uses it to make Syriana and Good Night, And Good Luck. More power to them…
BTW, I did a Google search to see if someone had transcribed the Yeah Yeah Yeah lyrics – didn’t find them, but this came up:
A music industry biz website <> notes that The Flaming Lips are shooting a video for “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” in Los Angeles later this month.
“In typical oddball Lips fashion, Wayne Coyne says the clip will possibly have him ‘dressed up as an evil king, and at one point I have a lion on a chain. And [the directors] have real animals in their videos, so that excited me to no end, to be able to work with an actual lion. I just hope I don’t get mauled or anything like that.'”

One comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.