05 May 2009

Further proof that the world is going to hell in a handbasket

I really hate to go back-to-back with GnR-related posts, but them's the brakes.

Yesterday morning on my way to work I heard the GnR version of "Live and Let Die"*. I love this song. I love this version of this song. And so I was shocked to realize that I had been missing, for all these years, one of the worst misuses of grammar in a pop song that I have ever heard. Do you know the line? Do you?

In fact, it was so bad that, for a minute, I convinced myself that Axl Rose had screwed up the lyrics. But it turns out that he did not. This is how the song is written:

When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live
(you know you did, you know you did, you know you did)
But in this ever changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry

OK, now stop singing "You know you did, you know you did, you know you did" in your best dolce voce and pay attention! "IN THIS EVER CHANGING WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE IN"?! REALLY?! Not only is this grammatically W-R-O-N-G, but it is also stupidly redundant. AND that one sentence includes the offending word "in" no fewer that FOUR times. Again, REALLY?!

Don't we, as Americans, have the right to expect our brothers and sisters across the pond to uphold the standards of the Queen's English? Sir(?) Paul, indeed! Clearly QE too has taken a laissez-faire an attitude about the lyrics of Wings songs.

*I'm using all my willpower here NOT to write a long piece about my conflicted feelings about Wings. I will summarize: as much as I love Sir Paul (and I do), I theoretically hate Wings. I say theoretically, because the truth is that I love a whole bunch of songs from that period. I mean, I never turn the dial when a Wings song is playing. Never. Ever. "Live and Let Die" is a particularly great song.


Old Man Duggan said...

I am the Walrus.

qwanty said...

See, I always thought it said "But in this ever changing world in which we're livin'"...

I realize now that this isn't the lyric, but if it was would that make it grammatically gooder?

KRD said...

Yes. Grammatically gooder. Maybe that is what I thought it was saying as well. Maybe I just hoped . . .

By the way, Q, how do YOU feel about Wings? I mean, I generally know your opinion of Linda McCartney--