Tuesday, March 20, 2007

i am fully convinced that every musical artist has their one song that's just weirder than the rest of them. this holds whether or not the music they make is weird or not...there's always that one experimental song that musically doesn't fit in with the rest of the catalogue, or that one song with lyrics that don't make any sense at all.

wesley willis is no different. now, i'm the first to admit that most of wesley willis' songs don't make a whole lot of sense. but, a lot of them do have certain themes--they're about a criminal getting arrested and sentenced to prison (or, in the case of the song "jadroplov", a criminal being found not guilty), or they're about a band that plays a really good show, or a person who he loves like a milkshake, or about how crazy his schizophrenia demons are driving him.

but, i think i've identified wesley willis' weirdest song, and it's "king of fire."1 he sings some observations about some angry dragon flying over vandercook, a small music school on the south side of chicago, associated with iit. he then changes gears, and even though he maintains the chorus that does relate to the dragon, he starts singing about a dude shooting a gun and trying to chase him in his car. the third verse has nothing to do with the dragon at all! in most of wesley willis' songs, there's at least some continuity, something that runs through all three verses.

of course, there are a few exceptions to that ("electra 225" and "electric eel" come to mind as some notable exceptions), but i don't think the verses in that song are quite as silly as the verses in this one. they don't jump around as much...as this one, first he sings about shooting a gun at a target, then about shooting a gun at him, and then decides that he's not shooting a gun at all, but is driving around in his car, trying to chase him. usually a verse of a wesley willis song tells a coherent story, or a part of a story, even if it doesn't follow naturally from the rest of the verses. in this song...not so much.

this song does have most of the hallmarks of a wesley willis tune. it has a simple, repetitive chorus, although it is different in this song because he repeats the name of the song six times in the chorus instead of four. it has the keyboard backing, and it has the long keyboard interlude between the second chorus and the third verse. it is still unmistakably wesley, but it's wesley at his weirdest.

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1 the lyrics to "king of fire" by wesley willis are as follows:

once upon a time a dragon flew over vandercook
the beast had wings
he flew like an eagle
he can fly

king of fire
king of fire
king of fire
king of fire
king of fire
king of fire

the dragon spit fire at me
he did it just to scare me away from him
he was so angry
he was so mad

king of fire
king of fire
king of fire
king of fire
king of fire
king of fire

scott hall fired a gun at the target
he shot at me as i ran for my life
instead of opening fire to BB me to death he was chasing after me in his car
he didn't catch me

king of fire
king of fire
king of fire
king of fire
king of fire
king of fire

king of fire
king of fire
king of fire

rock over london
rock on chicago
choosy mothers choose jif

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