Monday, January 14, 2013

Dinner at the United Nations

It seems like quite a while since Gene Marshall was featured here, and it's time to rectify that. The lyrics to today's song, "United Nations", are a minefield of weirdness, to my ears, anyway. Essentially, the songwriter went to a dinner where there were people of every shade, continent, religion, ethnicity, etc. On the one hand, it sounds like she intended to share how impressed and deeply moved she was to be at this cultural gumbo of a dinner party, and how wonderful the family of man is, and maybe that's how it really was.

But I keep getting stopped short by her choice of words: she was "so shocked to see" this group, and how they were all "sitting comfortably", while they were all "staring at me". Does this sound to anyone else like the description of someone who is observing the natives, like a sociologist, or even an anthropologist. The lyrics from there on really do sell the point of interacting with those different than ourselves, but that first verse just has the feel of the society lady having an exotic day out with the natives.

The flip side, "Jumbo Dreams", is weird in its own way, starting with that momentary disco guitar noise that leads it off. Am I hearing this right: that the writer's "Jumbo" plans and dreams of the title, are nothing more or less than the day when women would be throwing themselves at him? That's what I'm hearing - he doesn't even explain how those dreams came true. And has anyone ever actually spoken of having "Jumbo Dreams"?

1 comment:

Stu Shea said...

Well, Gene at least gives his best. Can't say much for either lyric; maybe the b-side is about a big (Jumbo) guy who thought the girls would never like him?

Interesting to hear tremolo guitar on the a-side; that's a rarity on Preview.

Thanks for posting these!