Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Pretty self-explanatory
Neil.
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Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby Neil. » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:53 am

Does anyone remember the rumour that an Elvis song lyric was taught in English lessons in the early 1980s?

Is it true, and if so, what was the song?

sulky lad
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby sulky lad » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:06 am

With my prolific background in education, I'm pretty sure it was "Luxembourg" ! :shock:
Good to know I can still make meaningful contributions to this site !

Neil.
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby Neil. » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:04 am

Blimey, really? Such an obscure track - but I don't dislike it. It's like 'Dissolve', 'Daddy Can I Turn This', 'Beaten to the Punch', 'Button my Lip' - a really noisy rocker that he likes to slip in now and again. (And when I think of it, I always want to start singing "At the Arrivaderci Roma nightclub bar and grill...")

Here it is... wonder what the spotty 80s students made of it? Would love to see the essays!

LUXEMBOURG LYRICS

Dressed up like a dog's dinner
Butter wouldn't melt on your paws
If this is a dog's life
Then you're the cat's clothes
They hire out your sons
And hire out your daughters
The man from abroad says he's already bought her
And now you look like a lover but you're only a tourist

CHORUS: You're either talking or yawning
You didn't listen to a thing you heard
Don't start your morning moaning or you might wake up in Luxembourg

You get up, you get over
You're worried by her body
She's worryin' about her bodily odour
You pull off
The pull over
You say that you love her when you really loathe her
Serves you right now she wants you to feed her and clothe her

CHORUS: You're either talking or yawning
You didn't listen to a thing you heard
Don't start your morning moaning or you might wake up in Luxembourg

They're smiling sweetly while they're looking daggers
Kick you where it really matters
Send all your friends to Coventry
And look for your name in last night's obituaries

If you've got the Deutschmarks
If you've got the Yen, then
You get the shirt off her back and the clock off Big Ben

Somebody's soft touch
Struck all these bargains
In the drinking clubs with the council men
Making plans to put lead back in their pencils again

CHORUS: You're either talking or yawning
You didn't listen to a thing you heard
Don't start your morning moaning or you might wake up in Luxembourg

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Man out of Time
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby Man out of Time » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:08 pm

Elvis features on the GCSE English Language paper set by the AQA Awarding body in 2015. The paper asks questions about a report on the rain-soaked 2005 Glastonbury Festival, by Elizabeth Day, writing for the Daily Telegraph.

There is a question which asks candidates to compare Glastonbury Festival with Greenwich Fair. Marks are available for spotting that Coldplay and Elvis are playing Glastonbury, but not Greenwich.

Not like that in my day.

MOOT

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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby sulky lad » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:55 pm

Oh Neil, I'm pretty sure it wasn't Luxembourg ! :oops: I just remember Elvis saying that when he sang it solo in 1984 he made a joke about some people thinking the album version didn't have any proper words in it because the audiences could finally hear the lyrics.
On a serious note, wasn't it something like New Lace Sleeves ?

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krm
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby krm » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:00 pm

I also have a vague memory of that it was New Lace Sleeves.

sulky lad
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby sulky lad » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:12 pm

Thanks, Kjell, I'm not certain so it's reassuring that someone else remembered that detail !

Neil.
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby Neil. » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:17 am

Sulkington, that's how rumours start! Ah - New Lace Sleeves! That's more like it - there's more to get your teeth into there. Though I don't think even as a swot in English that I could say what it all means. But it certainly conveys a massive sense of cynicism about people and the reasons they marry. I think. Sort of kind of.

johnfoyle
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:41 am

But it certainly conveys a massive sense of cynicism about people and the reasons they marry. I think. Sort of kind of....



A new blog discusses that -

New Lace Sleeves by darrenlinder


https://darrenlinder.wordpress.com/2017 ... e-sleeves/

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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby Hawksmoor » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:17 am

Neil. wrote:Does anyone remember the rumour that an Elvis song lyric was taught in English lessons in the early 1980s?

Is it true, and if so, what was the song?

I had a vague memory that it was (a) 'You'll Never Be a Man', (b) set by one of the Scottish examining boards; and (c) centred on the (admittedly strong) line 'don't want to be first, I just want to to last'.

Neil.
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby Neil. » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:35 pm

Hawksmoor wrote:I had a vague memory that it was (a) 'You'll Never Be a Man', (b) set by one of the Scottish examining boards; and (c) centred on the (admittedly strong) line 'don't want to be first, I just want to to last'.


First 'New Lace Sleeves', now this: claims are flying left right and centre. Well, I love 'YNBAM' - Steve's gorgeous piano, Bruce's bass... . And I always thought it was "Don't wanna be first, I just wanna pass" (I.e. In the results of the manhood exams).

sulky lad
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby sulky lad » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:13 am

Now I always thought of that as the premature ejaculation song :oops:
Not that I have a friend who has suffered this embarrassment :shock:

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krm
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby krm » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:21 am

Hmmmm. I know I read about it many many many many years ago. But where? Where am I supposed to look? After 1981 of course, but which year can this have been??? It is annoying now.

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krm
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby krm » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:43 am

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... y_30,_1983

"....Costello's lyrics are apparently being taught for O-level. Punch The Clock deserves a PhD. "

a modest start at least!

Judge Holden
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby Judge Holden » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:55 pm

Hi. An EC lyric from You'll Never Be a Man (first 2 lines) was used as an exam question prompt for a Scottish Higher English exam. Year before me, so 1983 I think.

I've used Shipbuilding in lessons - imagine it's quite a common choice.

Poor Deportee
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby Poor Deportee » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:06 pm

Neil. wrote:Blimey, really? Such an obscure track - but I don't dislike it. It's like 'Dissolve', 'Daddy Can I Turn This', 'Beaten to the Punch', 'Button my Lip' - a really noisy rocker that he likes to slip in now and again. (And when I think of it, I always want to start singing "At the Arrivaderci Roma nightclub bar and grill...")

Here it is... wonder what the spotty 80s students made of it? Would love to see the essays!

LUXEMBOURG LYRICS

Dressed up like a dog's dinner
Butter wouldn't melt on your paws
If this is a dog's life
Then you're the cat's clothes
They hire out your sons
And hire out your daughters
The man from abroad says he's already bought her
And now you look like a lover but you're only a tourist

CHORUS: You're either talking or yawning
You didn't listen to a thing you heard
Don't start your morning moaning or you might wake up in Luxembourg

You get up, you get over
You're worried by her body
She's worryin' about her bodily odour
You pull off
The pull over
You say that you love her when you really loathe her
Serves you right now she wants you to feed her and clothe her

CHORUS: You're either talking or yawning
You didn't listen to a thing you heard
Don't start your morning moaning or you might wake up in Luxembourg

They're smiling sweetly while they're looking daggers
Kick you where it really matters
Send all your friends to Coventry
And look for your name in last night's obituaries

If you've got the Deutschmarks
If you've got the Yen, then
You get the shirt off her back and the clock off Big Ben

Somebody's soft touch
Struck all these bargains
In the drinking clubs with the council men
Making plans to put lead back in their pencils again

CHORUS: You're either talking or yawning
You didn't listen to a thing you heard
Don't start your morning moaning or you might wake up in Luxembourg


A bit beside the point of this thread, but I must say, these lyrics are a blast! No doubt dashed off in ten minutes by the fevered speed-fuelled Elvis of the time, then thrown away on a murky production that makes them aurally incomprehensible, they're outrageous, incisive and hilarious in the fashion unique to early-to-mid career EC. That second verse is as fine a sample of that particular vintage as we're apt to get.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns
I hope no living thing cries over his bones

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verbal gymnastics
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby verbal gymnastics » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:03 pm

Elvis preceded this song in his solo shows in 1984 by saying this song was nonsense. I think by hearing him play it slowly I actually realised what the words were although I had no idea what the song meant. Turned out Elvis didn't either :lol:
international laughing stock...

Poor Deportee
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby Poor Deportee » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 pm

verbal gymnastics wrote:Elvis preceded this song in his solo shows in 1984 by saying this song was nonsense. I think by hearing him play it slowly I actually realised what the words were although I had no idea what the song meant. Turned out Elvis didn't either :lol:


Just goes to show - coherence is one thing, sheer entertainment another :wink:
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

stricttime81
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby stricttime81 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:01 pm

Luxembourg was surprisingly and delightfully played at the April 1st show at Gramercy Theater in NYC a few years ago.
AKA: Mike the Lawyer

sulky lad
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Re: Elvis song taught at 'O'-level?

Postby sulky lad » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:25 pm

I heard this at Exeter in 1981 when The Attractions played this at break-neck speed and Elvis garbled everything except the incredible bridge -(one of my favourite topics, Elvis' amazing bridges in songs - don't get me started !)
It seemed like Elvis called either Secondary Modern or Motel Matches after Luxembourg to enable him to catch his breath as far as I can remember ! I still remember thinking The Attractions had deliberately proved they could out pace him if needed and had "played him up"


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