Hank Silvers (GB, 6/4/03):  WB does like those WB cartoon references, doesn't he?

duncan (GB, 6/10/03):  [UK translation] to ''clock'' someone means to see them.

Gap Brandy (GB, 6/11/03):  Sure, he's a jolly Rajah until he answers for his crimes...

oleander (GB, 6/11/03):  Let me tell you how brilliantly these guys evoke a period and a mood without being obvious, and also how hip my son is. He comes in during the intro, first listen, and says, "I'm gonna get you, sucka!" He immediately got that Shaftoid feel, which seamlessly melds music & lyrics.... First off, they start a song about God with "In the beginning...." Do they EVER miss a beat?? [This was noticed also by davelricky--thanx, man]  Someone mentioned the ref to William Blake's "The Tiger." [see below]   "Rajahs of Erase"--terrific. They always come up with some inimitable neologisms.... Is this the closest thing we have to a Steely theology? Are they holding God responsible for the bad things that happen? "For crimes beyond imagining"? Or is this a comment on the hatred organized religions harbor for each other's God? Well, if you're going to have apocalypse, I guess it makes sense to whack the Maker so this mistake of a world doesn't happen again. Slinky Redfoot--Satan? I hate to say it, but the "angel girls" bring to mind Charlie's Angels, fallen as they are.... Great lines: "And when the stars bleed out/ That be the fever of the chase" (I can see it); "Give the man some whackin' space."

Audi TT (GB, 6/12/03):  "Did He who made the lamb make thee?" Now there's Hell to pay.

Roy.Scam (GB, 6/12/03): Give the man some whackin' space. Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I, well, never mind. -This sounds a bit like a poke at radical fundamentalists, who get so wrapped in their own dogma and righteousness that this God character gets in the way. Or maybe Rush Limbaugh wrote it as an exaggerated portrayal of removing prayer from the schools.

sharkdeville (Blue Book, 6/16/03):  Are these guys quoting William Blake and Ned Flanders (hidey-ho)on the same album?

 The Tiger

Tiger, tiger, burning bright,
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
When thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand forged thy dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dared its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did He smile his work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright,
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

     by William Blake

Man with no face (Blue Book, 6/16/03):       Godwhacker - Interesting subtexts on cosmology, quantum physics and eschatology. "Be very very quiet Clock  everything you see" - two musts for making observations of the quantum world. "Little things might matter later At the start of the end of history." - the idea that non-barayonic dark matter (infinitesimally tiny things like neutrinos) might close the universe and lead to a particular end scenario called "The Big Crunch". "Climb up the glacier" - Fritz Zwicky, who was a renowned alpine climber, first proposed the existence of dark matter. Neutrino detectors are also built in ice. "Across Bridges of Light". Gravitational lensing, supernovae and quasar observations are the basis of much of cosmology, neutrino detectors rely on Cherenkov radiation (light). "We sniff you, Big Tiger In the forest of the night ‘Cause there’s no escape From the Rajahs of Erase". Interesting use of Indian imagery. The chapter on dark matter in Timothy Ferris' "The Whole Shebang" is titled "The Black Taj" for the Shah Jahan's unbuilt mausoleum. If dark matter closes the universe, it will truly be the rajah of erase.
     "Yes we are the GodWhackers Who rip and chop and slice" - One other theory is "The Big Rip". Robert Caldwell theorizes that the cosmological constant increases over time. Everything accelerates away from us. Stars and galaxies wink out of existence as they accelerate beyond our event horizon. The stars would red shift or "bleed out" out of existence until our night sky was uniformly black. The ripping force then operates on a smaller and smaller scale     until finally our planet explodes, and the very atoms and then subatomic particles of which we are made are shredded out of existence. Time and space cease to exist. Pretty much a GodWhack, eh?

Bill (Blue Book, 6/16/03):  I think WB has been down this road before. In fact, I suspect a lot of the Godwhacker lyric is his work.

     "Stars imploding
     The long night passing
     Electrons dancing in the frozen crystal dawn
     Here's one left stranded at the zero crossing
     With a hole in its half-life left to carry on"

>Stars and galaxies wink out of existence as they accelerate beyond our event horizon.

Handicam Dave (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  Fave Bit so far?.......The way Don pronounces "give the man some whacking SPACE..."   Can almost see him rolling up his sleeves and looking pointedly at his audience....very focused yet aloof.Brilliant stuff.

slinky redfoot (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  Who is GodWhacker? The song certainly has both George Bushes in mind. And although Walter has voiced his     criticism of George Bush Sr. in the past, (in the song “Fall of ‘92” he refers to him as a Nazi) could it be that  GodWhacker is hunting the likes of George Bush Sr.? Remember that it was Bush Sr. who placed US troops on sacred Saudi Arabian soil that more or less started the Osama rampage on America. It’s lyrics such as “your own fault  daddy” and especially the line “you better get gone poppie” that point directly to Bush Sr. (Within the Bush family, “Poppy” is the elder Bush’s nickname.) And line “you better step back son” would of course then refer to George W. Bush. That could make Osama more like the satan (“slinky redfoot”) in the story who “could hang with the dude” in the beginning (while we were their allies in Afghanistan during the Russian invasion), but have taken things into their own hands because of the “stank attitude”. By the way, “Angel” is the nickname of Air Force I.
    Lyrics aside, was anyone else reminded (ever so slightly) of the song “Ghost Busters” upon hearing “GodWhacker”?  Musically and lyrically “Ghost” is of course certainly inferior, and I am sure that Donald and Walter could care less about that little ditty of a tune - but the line “GodWhacker’s on the case” brought back memories to me of the line “Who ya gonna call? – Ghost Busters!” Not too many songs these days are about some sort of legion formed to attack the supernatural.

mt (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  Interesting relativistic thoughts about godwhacker, but I interpret "clock" in the lyric to be "clean someone's clock" or in other words, "whack". Also, of course, with the double meaning of the time sort of clock.

Mitch (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  I highly doubt that the guys wrote a song from the standpoint of Osama Bin Laden.
     I know people love to analyze the lyrics to death but remember...sometimes "Is there gas in the car?" means "Is there gas in the car?"

father william (Blue Book, 6/17/03):   I posted the same observation about poppy being the elder Bush laast week, but since then, I've heard an interview where Donald, I think, said that they had been asked about this and said that they hadn't thought of that connection to godwacker.

Shaun (Blue Book, 6/17/03):   "Poppy" in spanish Is a term of endearment "Hi poppy","Come here poppy". Donald and Walter I believe, are just using it as a "play on words". I don't think it has anything to do with Geogre Bush Sr. I don't believe this song is about  anything other then sending out a hit man to whack God.

angel (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  I am sure the Bush's use Poppy as a term of endearment. It is probably due to the fact that they live in Texas, not far from the Mexican Border. I was looking for Father's Day cards on Saturday and noticed the Hispanic ones all said Poppy (as in Father).

Man with no face (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  "Poppy" is also what heroin is made from, the trade of which purportedly finances al queda and other unfriendly organizations.

firemop (Blue Book, 6/17/03):  I wouldn't be so "sure the Bush's use 'Poppy' as a term of endearment" just because they have a ranch 300 mi. from the Mexican border. I grew up in Midland (same town as "W") and as a native Texan I have never heard of 'Poppy' used in that context. Don't forget, "W" is an Ivy Leaguer (barely) and his daddy's ranch is in Kennebunkport ME.

Earl (Digest, 6/17/03):  Regarding the Godwhacker song, I get the impression the narrator is more of a bounty hunter than actually having a personal reason for doing this. It's almost like he's calling God (or whoever the subject is) and giving him the head's up - it's your own fault daddy, get gone poppie, run, run run. It almost sounds like he has a conflict of interest; as if he believes in and has some faith in the person (or deity) that he is destined to kill.

clock'n'spiel (Blue Book, 6/18/03):       I think the word "clock" in Godwhacker can be interpreted to mean "take note of" or "observe" especially as our U.S.) government, in its zeal to protect us, subjects its citizens to ever-increasing scrutiny.

hoops! (Blue Book, 6/18/03):  What's great is all the interpretations of SD lyrics. With all these takes about God and Bush and all on "Godwhacker,"  I started asking, where's the Steely Dan humor that permeates every song?
     Here's another tangent, hopefully a little different. Because of the sorta campy line "step back son, give the man some whackin' space," which I found very funny, I'm thinking of this song like it's "in some ol' cartoon," not unlike Roadrunner and Coyote or Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Hey, why not? Heck, they're even on Warners ;-) !
     So I'm picturing Godwhacker running around like Elmer Fudd or Coyote, but instead of using a giant rifle or string-rigged rocks propped up with sticks, I'm picturing this Godwhaker guy running around the heavens chasing God around on a space scooter (sorta like how I envision Leonard Cohen escorted by babes in rocket bras, flying ten stories-up along Madison Avenue in "First We Take Manhattan") with this huge mega whacking device that's like a pastel purple grey 10-ton hammer that floats. Only the hammer keeps missing. He has other whacking devices too like a giant pastel teal green fly swatter (I'm borrowing the Looney Tunes color pallette) that also can be used side ways in a slicing action like a machete.
     Hey, it's my fantasy and thanks Donny and Walty for suggesting it.

Legion2 (Blue Book, 6/19/03):  Does anyone feel its the greatest battle song since "Flight of the Valkyries" in Apocalypse Now? I thought someone would (as slinky redfoot did to a certain extent) see the imagery of the military hunting Bin Laden/terrorists till "the stars bleed out". Surely an attack on DF/WB's precious New York would not go unanswered. This song is notice to those who would perform such ghastly deeds as the attacks of 9/11 that we're coming for you. WE are the GODWHACKERS. If you choose to kill as the so-called hand of God, then we will kill that ideal...that God, or at least the warped perception of God you claim to follow. Its powerful stuff that ,I think, reflects an anger you've never seen from SD. An anger I'm sure we all shared when we saw the images that day.
     I believe Slinky mentioned "In the beginning\ we could hang with the dude\But it's been too much of nothing\ but that stank attitude\Now they curse your name\And there's a bounty on your face\Its your own fault daddy\Godwhackers on the case
     We supported Afghanistan in their war with the Soviet Union. I believe Bin Laden fought in that war with the Afghans as well, therefore, we supported him indirectly. We could "hang with the dude" until he turned on us.

     We track your Almighty ass\Thru seven Heaven Worlds.
     No Matter where he runs, we'll follow

     Me, Slinky, Redfoot and our trusty Angel Girls.
     In my opinion, the narrator places himself on the front lines looking for them. Slinky and Redfoot could easily be the nicknames the military always adopts for units or divisions while the trusty Angel Girls are most likely Air Force pilots, AWAC operators, satellite technicians relaying information?.....take your pick!

     And when the Stars bleed out\That'll be the fever of the chase
     We will never stop looking....plain and simple. If it takes till the end of time.....

     Be very, very Quiet\Clock everything you see\Little things might matter later\At the start of the end of history
     I'm sorry I forgot who made the Elmer Fudd connection but that was GREAT!! I'd missed at first but it works beautifully!  As far as Clock everything.... Count your moments here as precious. The little things you (the hunted) take for granted are going to mean alot when your time is up.

     Climb up the Glacier\Across bridges of light\We sniff you, Big Tiger\In the forest of the night\Cause there's no escape
     from the Rajahs of Erase
     Again, run but we'll find you. The "Big Tiger" goes from predator to prey. Forest of the night? Brings to mind those night vision shots of Desert Storm bombings
     The rest seems to be self explanitory as this point. That is if you buy into my goofy theories. Either way thanks for allowing me to throw out a few ideas. I would flesh out a few more theories but I'm about to fall asleep on the keyboaklhio;iv;i8h

Peter Q (Blue Book, 6/20/03):  In reality, once one understands the logic and coherence of the Steely Dan system, Godwhacker is a predictable piece. The use of evocative Christian imagery so obsesses Becker and Fagen that it appears on every single album - but whereas it ws once "I met my baby by the shrine of the martyr" it's now "Give the man some whacking space."  Talk of God and death is a lot harder when you're 55 years old than when you're 25.

Man with no face (Blue Book, 6/20/03):  When I heard "Me, Slinky Redfoot/And our trusty Angel-girls" today I got a thought of Donald, Walter and Carolyn and the backup singers. There could be a metaphor about music and their muse in there somewhere. "You better step back son/Give the man some whacking space" let the man show his chops.

LPH1015 (Digest, 6/23/03):  As soon as I heard the song and read the lyrics I knew exactly who godwhacker is andwho's being whacked.   The United States (or Geo W
Bush) is Godwhacker chasing the gods almighty asses through 700 worlds.  The gods are no less than mortal men who think themselves gods with the power of life and death in their hands...yes, right now it would be that ever un predictable duo of Osama and Saddam!! They'll be whacked for crimes beyond imagining.  I understood it best after several listenings and readings...once again...great song writing!

Kid Clean (Digest, 6/23/03):  Mike Wrote - "And "clock everything you see" means they are going to do a hell of a lot of destruction; "clock" meaning hit or punch,
whatever they see and as all true believers know, you can't see god/God."
     I'm sorry but I disagree him on that. Here's the definition from www.M-W.com:
     Main Entry: 2. clock
     Function: verb
     Date: 1883
     transitive senses
       1 : to time with a stopwatch or by an electric timing device
       2 : to register on a mechanical recording device <wind velocities were
            clocked at 80 miles per hour>
       3 : to hit hard
     Yes, #3 is to hit hard, but I don't see that working in the context of the lyrics:
        "Be very, very quiet.
       Clock everything you see
       Little things might matter later
       At the start of the end of history"
     I'd have to go with #2, to register/record. When the end comes, 'everything you did' can and will be used against you (or for you, I imagine) even if it's the Almighty's ass. Also, if you are going around whomping everything you see, it's going to be hard to be very, very quiet. Just stating my opinion, which has been know to be way out of the park from time to time.

Thos. (Digest, 6/25/03):  On the 'clock' front, the English slang version works for me. To 'clock' over here means to watch something (carefully), to notice. If it's a little wild supposing Don/Walt would access some old fashioned vernacular from Blighty, try 'clock' as in time it, like you would with a stop watch. You use the it to measure something (time). The Godwhackers have to notice and weigh up every sin, because at the end of time.....well, you know the rest. The second meaning is pretty much the same as the first.
     I can't think what else it could mean if it isn't this.

Joe (7/3/03):  Surely the first line of the chorus is Donalds contribution and an homage to Warner Brothers star Elmer Fudd.  "Be vewy, vewy quiet."

CL (8/15/03):  Not only does the "step back son" feel like a reference to Jesus. The "daddy" in "It's your own fault" is obviously directed to "the Dude" himself, who we cannot hang with anymore since he obviously doesn't care about his creation. "Poppie" could be a reference to the Pope.

MacSweene (the critic formerly known as Mexuine) (9/2/03):  I've been struggling with this for a while. Thought I'd give it a whack.
      According to the Becker NanoThesaurus of 11ToW, the word WHACK has three aspect of meaning: (1) a small blow, (2) a first stab or crude attempt, (3)  murder.
It's a comic word (even in the cynical hitman usage, reducing homicide to  something intermediate in intensity between a smack and a wallop,) and the  title/job description GODWHACKER utilizes the comic effect of bringing a small word and a big word together. (The so-called Zarathustra Jones-effect).
     Seems to me the narrator of GodWhacker pops his cork and runs more or less amok in the last verse: "Yes we are the GodWhackers/ who rip and chop and slice".  What was once a noble crusade (as it were), the very very important task of eliminating this Dangerously Uncaring GodPerson, has now become a case of mere whacking for the sake of whacking itself. Thus the last stanza, the appeal to the bystanders: "Give the man some whacking space". (Which I first misheard, incidentally, as "Give the Manson Wagon space.") The initially heroic narrator is now reduced to a rabid zealot developing a taste for blood. Only the whacking is left, God is nowhere to be seen, and the people in the streets are told to step back.
     In this text, I find the joke, albeit a fittingly (this is, after all, a Steely Dan tune) cruel one, is on the whacker, not on the whackee: "This might get messy/ GodWhacker's on the case."
     In short: You wanna whack the Supreme Being? Sure, give it a whack, but a whack is all its gonna be. Chances are, though, you'll end up jus' plain ol' hurtin' your fellow man.
     The thing is, I don't think this lyric can be read as an all-out Go-GodWhackers! atheist-anthem. It's equivocal. It's the Dan. Mad AND wiggy.

Clean Willy (9/30/03):  I think idea here is the distance between God and man. The “In the Beginning” is obviously a biblical reference and links back to this Genesis idea that certain men can walk with God, talk with God, that there is a concrete relationship that fades over the course of the history — “too much of nothing” — to the point where now entire philosophies are built on the existential/ Nietzsche idea that God is dead, i.e, “there’s a bounty on your face.” The genius of the song is that the accusations are reversed, in that the Godless society we live in is not the fault of humanity for “sinning,” but of God for not being around, and therefore the justice is executed (no pun intended) by man, not God. In the song, I think that the narrator is a hit-man who’s been assigned to kill God. The problem, of course, is that if you believe that God is holding up creation, then killing God would destroy the world — the start of the end of history, which is very messy. At the same time, the reversal is so absurd (and when previously attempted (at the Tower of Babel) God just sat there and watched, ultimately ending the project without even ending lives) that the sadness and humor come out of the same moment — and we need not say how important that conjunction is to the beloved Danon (which is my new term for the Steely Dan canon).

"Blues Beach"  "Slang of Ages"