Friday, May 25, 2007

Katy Lied

Sting popularized it as "synchronicity" defined more precisely as a coincidence of events that are [seemingly] meaningfully related. Such was my feeling this morning listening to (at the risk of revealing my age and musical taste) Steely Dan's "Katy Lied".

First as my coffee brewing device came to finish, came:

When Black Friday comes
I'll stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor
When Black Friday comes
I'll collect everything I'm owed
And before my friends find out
I'll be on the road
When Black Friday falls you know it's got to be
Don't let it fall on me

OK, so this is not so strange, Friday's come one-in-seven and today just happens to be the day before the weekend.

Next came "Bad Sneakers" conjuring up images of enrequited profit from my short position in Asics (TSE Code 7936). Then while I am thinking about how I've covered my Toyota shorts, track 4, starting haranguing:


Daddy don't live in that New York City
No more
He don't celebrate Sunday on a Saturday night
No more
Daddy don't need no lock and key
For the piece he stowed
Out on Avenue D
Daddy don't live in that New York City
No more

Daddy don't drive in that Eldorado
No more
He don't travel on down to the neighborhood
Liquor store
Lucy still loves her coke and rum
But she sits alone
'Cause her daddy can't come
Daddy don't drive in that Eldorado
No more

Now, not only is Daddy not driving an El Dorado, but fewer and fewer are driving GM, F, or Chrysler for that matter.

Track 5 is the humdinger, for as I begin chomping on my croissant wishing I was a fly on the wall in the Paulson's strategic talks with the Chinese Vice-Premier arrives...

Katy tried
I was halfway crucified
I was on the other side
Of no tomorrow
You walked in
And my life began again
Just when I'd spent the last piaster
I could borrow
All night long
We would sing that stupid song
And every word we sang
I knew was true

Are you with me Doctor Wu
Are you really just a shadow
Of the man that I once knew
Are you crazy are you high
Or just an ordinary guy
Have you done all you can do
Are you with me Doctor

Don't seem right
I've been strung out here all night
I've been waiting for the taste
You said you'd bring to me
Biscayne Bay
Where the Cuban gentlemen sleep all day
I went searching for the song
You used to sing to me
Katy lies
You could see it in her eyes
But imagine my surprise
When I saw you

Are you with me Doctor Wu
Are you really just a shadow
Of the man that I once knew
She is lovely yes she's sly
And you're an ordinary guy
Has she finally got to you
Can you hear me Doctor

Yea, I know Fagan was talking about a different Doctor Wu but the lyrics are not far off and seemingly have some relevance to the Madame Wu now in DC.

Still in disbelief about the seeming coincidences, I open my paper and wish I was in Cannes as I read about the Glitterati attending the festival when Track 6, "Everyone's Gone To The Movies" begins blaring from my speakers.

But now, I am wondering whether today is going to be as bizarre as they come. So I dropped everything I was meant to do, lazed on the sofa, closed my eyes, and drank in the last four songs which are some of the most masterful compositions written...

Who are these children
Who scheme and run wild
Who speak with their wings
And the way that they smile
What are the secrets
They trace in the sky
And why do you tremble
Each time they ride by

Throw out your gold teeth
And see how they roll
The answer they reveal
Life is unreal

Who are these strangers
Who pass through the door
Who cover your action
And go you one more
If you're feeling lucky
You best not refuse
It's your game the rules
Are your own win or lose


Some turnout, a hundred grand
Get with it we'll shake his hand
Don't bother to understand
Don't question the little man
Be part of the brotherhood
Yes it's chain lightning
It feels so good

Hush brother, we cross the square
Act natural like you don't care
Turn slowly and comb your hair
Don't trouble the midnight air
We're standing just where he stood
It was chain lightning
It feels so good


If I had my way
I would move to another lifetime
I'd quit my job
Ride the train through the misty nighttime
I'll be ready when my feet touch ground
Wherever I come down
And if the folks will have me
Then they'll have me

Any world that I'm welcome to
Is better than the one I come from

I can hear your words
When you speak of what you are and have seen
I can see your hand
Reaching out through a shining daydream
Where the days and nights are not the same
Captured happy in a picture frame
Honey I will be there
Yes I'll be there


I got this thing inside me
That's got to find a place to hide me
I only know I must obey
This feeling I can't explain away

I think I'll go to the park
Watch the children playing
Perhaps I'll find in my head
What my heart is saying
A vision of a child returning
A kingdom where the sky is burning
Honey I will be there
Yes I'll be there


Lost in the Barrio I walk like an Injun
So Carlo won't suspect something's wrong here
I dance in place
And paint my face
And act like I belong here

Throw back the little ones
And pan-fry the big ones
Use tact, poise and reason
And gently squeeze them

Hot licks and rhetoric
Don't count much for nothing
Be glad if you can use what you borrow
So I pawn my crown
For a ride uptown
And buy it back tomorrow


Done like a matador I pray for the weekend
And hope the little girls still throw roses
Else I'll change my bait
And move upstate
Before the season closes


monsterpants said...

i love good coincidences. and steely dan-related ones are the best.

tmcgee said...

one of the beauties of SD's lyrics is how they cryptically apply and help inform a variety of situations. there are so many good lines on that album (that i know mainly in a bifurcated, split as it is between disc 2 and 3 on the box set), though one of my favorites is "use tact, poise and reason...and gently squeeze them." and as you say, the compositions -- and execution -- are brilliant. i really hope I can see thtem when they swing through tokyo around my birthday in september.

Cassandra said...

Any Major Dude from Pretzel Logic is my all-time SD fav. I like "Katy Lied" but it was the coincidences that were simply too stellar to ignore....