Hank Silvers (GB,
does like those WB cartoon references, doesn't he?
6/10/03): [UK translation] to ''clock'' someone means to see
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."
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?
Tiger, tiger, burning
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what
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
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dared its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did He smile his work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, tiger, burning
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 -
subtexts on cosmology, quantum physics and eschatology. "Be very very
Clock everything you see" - two musts for making observations of
the quantum world. "Little things might matter later At the start of
end of history." - the idea that non-barayonic dark matter
tiny things like neutrinos) might close the universe and lead to a
end scenario called "The Big Crunch". "Climb up the glacier" - Fritz
who was a renowned alpine climber, first proposed the existence of dark
matter. Neutrino detectors are also built in ice. "Across Bridges of
Gravitational lensing, supernovae and quasar observations are the basis
of much of cosmology, neutrino detectors rely on Cherenkov radiation
"We sniff you, Big Tiger In the forest of the night ‘Cause there’s no
From the Rajahs of Erase". Interesting use of Indian imagery. The
on dark matter in Timothy Ferris' "The Whole Shebang" is titled "The
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.
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
6/17/03): Who is GodWhacker? The song certainly has both George
in mind. And although Walter has voiced his
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
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
America. It’s lyrics such as “your own fault daddy” and
the line “you better get gone poppie” that point directly to Bush Sr.
the Bush family, “Poppy” is the elder Bush’s nickname.) And line “you
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
hang with the dude” in the beginning (while we were their allies in
during the Russian invasion), but have taken things into their own
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,
I highly doubt that the guys wrote a song from the standpoint of Osama
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,
What's great is all the interpretations of SD lyrics. With all these
about God and Bush and all on "Godwhacker," I started asking,
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,
Does anyone feel its the greatest battle song since "Flight of the
in Apocalypse Now? I thought someone would (as slinky redfoot did to a
certain extent) see the imagery of the military hunting Bin
till "the stars bleed out". Surely an attack on DF/WB's precious New
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
then we will kill that ideal...that God, or at least the warped
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
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.
your Almighty ass\Thru seven Heaven Worlds.
No Matter where he runs, we'll follow
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!
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.....
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.
up the Glacier\Across bridges of light\We sniff you, Big Tiger\In the
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.
As soon as I heard the song and read the lyrics I knew exactly who
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,
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
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.
On the 'clock' front, the English slang version works for me. To
over here means to watch something (carefully), to notice. If it's a
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.
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
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.
the first line of the chorus is Donalds contribution and an homage to
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.
"Blues Beach" "Slang of Ages"