RARA-AVIS: noir lyrics

Robert A. Vietrogoski (rav7@columbia.edu)
Fri, 21 May 1999 19:02:25 -0400 (EDT) Re: noir music and lyrics, I'd like to bring up two other noir-influenced
rockers. Dave Alvin (of the Blasters, X, and now with his own band, the
Guilty Men) is a country-folk-roots rocker who writes terrific mini-noir
songs (Thirty Dollar Room, Interstate City, many others). On last year's
Blackjack David, the song Mary Brown packs a fully realized noir story
into five verses. Since the noir music question was asked with
educational intent, can I claim fair use to avoid copyright violation? I'd
love to post the words to the list, and I recommend Dave Alvin live and on
CD to you all.

The other lyricist is Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens, who mines movie
titles and quotations for lyrics. On the albums Especially for You and
Green Thoughts, noir-influenced songs include Strangers When We Meet,
Spellbound, and Blood and Roses (with a classic bass riff). Most notably,
he wrote a power pop bossa nova, In A Lonely Place, with a chorus taken
straight from the movie: "I was born the day I met you, lived a while when
you loved me, died a little when we broke apart."

There's also all those "She walks these hills in a long black veil . . ."
hillbilly murder songs, but that's another story.

Bob Vietrogoski

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