Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sing blue silver!

A friend of mine on Twitter (I've never met her, but she makes frequent comments on my Stewart Copeland blog; she's funny and smart and a smart alec, thank God, and there's a link to her blog on the right side: she goes by Dufmanno) mentioned that in 2011 there are plans to release a new Duran Duran CD, and that got me to thinking, all the way in to work (in between cursing out the traffic, the freeway, and all the other drivers in my way) about their song "The Chauffeur."

I wasn't a super-huge Duran Duran fan, but my friend Missy was (sorry, Missy, if you'd hoped this fact about you in the early 80s would stay in the past), and though I credit Missy with introducing me to lots of music I still love today (Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett, the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, among others), Duran Duran is not one of those bands that endured, for me, the test of time.

Unfortunately, they're sort of locked into memories of my childhood, much like Billy Joel's song "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," a song we heard, it seemed, on every weekend trip to my aunt Josie's in the summer of 1980. I'm not a fan of Billy Joel either but I could probably sing you every word to that song (or any of his songs), perfectly, if you asked. Please don't ask. Really. Don't. Patrick will appreciate it if you don't.

Anyway, so I'm driving along, 5, 10 miles an hour (10 if I was lucky; truly, the 5 freeway sucks for that 6 or 7 mile stretch between the 605 and the 710. And I also blame the KPCC traffic lady, who, ten minutes before I left for work, said "And pretty much all the freeways in the area are smooth sailing!" Apparently she meant all freeways except the 5), trying to remember the one Duran Duran song that I really liked.

I'm talking about "The Chauffeur." There's something about it that captured my attention. Maybe it was the kooky octave-y opening, or the lyrics - there was something ominous and brooding about that song that appealed to me as a pre-teen.

So all the way to work, and now, for the first 10 minutes I've been sitting at my desk with a functional computer, I've been trying my best to remember how that damn song went.

Finally, I have the melody in my head, but I can't for the life of me remember all the words, except for the little bridge part, if that's what that part really is called (I haven't looked it up to see if it's on Wikipedia or checked the lyrics but I will):

So the sun drips down (bearing? what? heaving?) behind
The front of your dress all shadowy (white?)
The droning engine throbs in time with your beating heart

I don't have any Duran Duran on my iPod (and believe me, I'm not sad about that), but I think I might have to download that song today. I miss the way Simon le Bon would scream out,

Sing! Blue silver!

What was he thinking? Or talking about?

OK, so now I've looked it up, and believe it or not the song does have it's own Wikipedia entry. I had no idea it was so beloved. And here I thought I was special.

Here are the real words, just for fun:

The Chauffeur
(words and music: Duran Duran)

Out on the tar plains, the glides are moving
All looking for a new place to drive
You sit beside me so newly charming
Sweating dewdrops glisten freshing your side

And the sun drips down bedding heavy behind
The front of your dress - all shadowy lined
And the droning engine throbs in time
With your beating heart

Way down the lane away, living for another day
The aphids swarm up in the drifting haze
Swim seagull in the sky towards that hollow western isle
My envied lady holds you fast in her gaze

Sing Blue Silver

And watching lovers part, I feel you smiling
What glass splinters lie so deep in your mind
To tear out from your eyes, with a thought to stiffen brooding lies
And I'll only watch you leave me further behind

Sing Blue Silver

Sing, Sing.. Blue Silver

(There's more to this kind of camouflage)
(More than just colour and shape)
(Who's going now, in to a classiomatic? )


  1. Okay, this is just too coincidental. My best friend and I have the exact same story as you and your old friend, regarding Duran Duran. She LOVED them, and I just kind of liked them, not enough to buy anything. One day, probably sitting in her room, we were listening to Duran Duran, and The Chauffeur came on and my ears perked up big time. You could call her right now without my prompting and she will tell you that is my favorite Duran Duran song.


  2. Hey, I know that Missy you're talking about!


  3. Foo: Wow, that's a weird coincidence. Separated at birth!!

    Todd: I've been trying to remember what color Missy's hair was when we heard this!