Today's Candy - You Can Call Me Al

7/3/12

Paul Simon, thank you for gifting Planet Earth with one of its Best Songs Ever: “You Can Call Me Al.” Alcohol-fueled wedding parties will forever be in your debt!

But what many intoxicated merrymakers twisting to that pennywhistle solo do not realise is that lyrically, this song is a rather downbeat affair about a man in the midst of an existentialistic crisis: “Where's my wife and family? What if I die here? Who'll be my role-model?”

As for the names in the song, well, we have the French composer, Pierre Boulez, to thank for those, after he mistakenly referred to Paul as "Al" and to his then-wife, Peggy, as "Betty,” during a party at Paul's pad. Face palm, Pierre, face palm...

And can we just give a shout out to the amazeballs bass solo at 3.45! Slappin dat four string (as obligatorily said in Paul Rudd's reggae voice) is Bakithi Kumalo, one of the musicians Paul Simon met in South Africa while recording the Graceland album, from which this song is taken.

Check out the official video for “You Can Call Me Al,” starring a (super tall) Chevy Chase and a (super small) Paul Simon, below. It will make ya trolololol!

 

And don't forget to tune back into BitCandy for more Best Songs Ever tomorrow!

Lyrics:

A man walks down the street
He says why am I soft in the middle now
Why am I soft in the middle
The rest of my life is so hard
I need a photo-opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don't want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard
Bonedigger Bonedigger
Dogs in the moonlight
Far away my well-lit door
Mr. Beerbelly Beerbelly
Get these mutts away from me
You know I don't find this stuff amusing anymore

If you'll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al

A man walks down the street
He says why am I short of attention
Got a short little span of attention
And wo my nights are so long
Where's my wife and family
What if I die here
Who'll be my role-model
Now that my role-model is
Gone Gone
He ducked back down the alley
With some roly-poly little bat-faced girl
All along along
There were incidents and accidents
There were hints and allegations

If you'll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al
Call me Al

A man walks down the street
It's a street in a strange world
Maybe it's the Third World
Maybe it's his first time around
He doesn't speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound
The sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterlings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says Amen and Hallelujah!

If you'll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al
Call me Al 

 

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