Song Of The Day 11/10/2015: Etta James – “Light My Fire”

Quarterly Covers Report – Look, Etta James could sing whatever she wanted however she wanted and I wouldn't so much as hiccup in protest. Even when she sang something as sentimental as "At Last" she wasn't taking no guff. But when I picked her exemplary cover of the Doors' "Light My Fire," recorded around 1969, out of the bingo ball machine and slapped it on the editorial calendar, I listened and discovered one of my favorite malapropisms in all of music. Yeah, I said "malapropisms." Norm Crosby mic-drop. Google it, you little beasts.

As you'll recall in Jimbo's original recording, there was a particularly plaintive couplet that went thusly:
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre
Etta, perhaps deciding that students of the popular music arts would find that image a bit too highfalutin -- or possibly mishearing the whole thing -- reinterpreted the verse thusly:
If I was to go and lose you boy
Our love would be like a funeral parlor
It should go without saying I prefer Etta's word choice. I understand that Jim's analogy is more fitting: love burns down in devastation, consuming the vapors of their emotion and the paltry lives of the microorganisms languishing beneath the flames, and of course being Jim there's a Native American somewhere in the background, counting or something.

But love being like "a funeral parlor"? That says so much more. Death is easy. Embalming is hard. That's where all the money is. This analogy is also more sellable to me because I watched one whole season of Six Feet Under, so I almost know what a funeral parlor looks like. Whereas I don't think I could recreate a funeral pyre that easily. One of you would have to volunteer and a lot of you don't seem willing to squeeze self-cremation into your hectic lifestyles.

I'd also like to see fading love be analogized as one or several of the following room-oriented spaces:
  • a realtor's office
  • a parson's office
  • a mess hall
  • the Peach Pit from 90210
  • that foyer in Willie Wonka's chocolate factory that gets smaller and smaller the farther you walk into it
  • an angora sweater
  • an apothecary's hut
  • 737 Walnut Avenue, Prattville, Alabama 36067
  • the Death Star
  • Orange Julius
I told you I was phoning it in this week, right?

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