Song Of The Day 5/22/2013: Cher - "Train Of Thought"

Songwriter Alan O'Day passed away last Friday. He was best known in the music community as the composer and performer of "Undercover Angel," a disco-lite song that hit #1 in 1977. Closer inspection of his work shows that he was one of the quirkier, more idiosyncratic pop songwriters of his time, a true eccentric for the shag carpet generation.

O'Day's narratives didn't always sew themselves up with neat little bows. He wrote Helen Reddy's "Angie Baby," a song that raises more questions than it answers. Plot: A clinically insane teenage girl who's really into music gets visited by a neighbor boy who has a notion to assault her. Somehow she's able to shrink him down to a tiny size -- the lyrics cite loud music as her accomplice -- and stash him in her radio for the rest of his life, which he spends as her "secret lover." Or something. Hell, even "Undercover Angel" is weird in its own right: Lonely guy gets a visitation from some sort of phantasm who satisfies him sexually, then promises to dwell in the eyes of his future lover. That's metaphorical obviously, but in its literal meaning, it's out there. Slow it down and throw in a midget and you've got a David Lynch movie.

O'Day wrote a song for Cher, "Train Of Thought," which is just flat-out great, with an ending plot twist that's scary and unexpectedly sad. RIP Alan.

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