Category Archives: analyze this


Analyze This (sort of): The Allman Brothers

Welcome to another version of Analyze This. Normally, when I do these posts, I analyze a once-popular song line by line to show the absurdity of it. In this version, I’m only going to look at one line from “Ramblin’ Man” by The Allman Brothers Band. I have heard this song countless times – and I think it’s a great song – but this post occurred to me as we listened to the copy of Brothers and Sisters that my four-year-old son got for Christmas (yes, you read that correctly).

“When it’s time for leavin’, I hope you’ll understand that I was born a ramblin’ man.” I realize that ramblin’ is a popular theme in music (Hank Williams sang about it long before the Allmans), so it’s not unique. But here’s the thing: when did this approach ever work on anyone? Just think about what he’s saying there. “Baby, I’m splittin’. No hard feelings, it’s just how I am.” I know that the 70s were a different time, but what woman would have ever been OK with that? Think about what would happen if you laid that line on your ol’ lady. You’d probably be lucky to come away from that with just a concussion from the blunt object she launched at your head. More likely, you’d end up driving yourself to the emergency room with a steak knife stuck between your ribs. Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible that a woman would go along with this and give the dude his walking papers. However, I have to imagine that if any woman ever did go along with it, she would probably be more likely to say “Good riddance!” than, “Yeah, you’re a rambler. I get it. Go ahead.” Seriously, if it were that easy to leave a woman, I imagine lots of guys would take out the trash, hop in the car, go somewhere far away and then send a postcard saying, “Hey baby. In case you haven’t noticed, I left. It’s just my wandering spirit. Hope you’re not mad.”



Analyze This: Bicycle Race by Queen

It’s been a while since our last edition of Analyze This. If you haven’t caught it before, this is a recurring column in which I take the lyrics of a once-popular song and add parenthetical comments throughout.

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle (That’s nice. Good for your body and for the environment.)
I want to ride my bicycle (You mentioned that.)
I want to ride my bike (I get it.)
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

You say black I say white (So…apparently you want to ride your bicycle and argue.)
You say bark I say bite (Wait. When did this become a word-association exercise?)
You say shark I say hey man
Jaws was never my scene (Nobody said anything about a shark, but OK.)
And I don’t like Star Wars (Ummmm, thanks for that Mr. Random.)
You say Rolls I say Royce (Was this song a free-writing exercise in a college classroom?)
You say God give me a choice (Like listening to this nonsense or not.)
You say Lord I say Christ
I don’t believe in Peter Pan (Well, believing in a jar of peanut butter would be pretty silly.)
Frankenstein or Superman
All I wanna do is

Bicycle bicycle bicycle (I gotta be honest. I kind of forgot this is where the whole thing started.)
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle (Seriously, dude. I get it.)
I want to ride my
Bicycle races are coming your way
So forget all your duties oh yeah! (I can forget all my duties because bicycle races are coming my way? I’m sure my boss will love that.)
Fat bottomed girls they’ll be riding today (OK, so maybe there’s something to watching chicks with big bootys ride bicycles.)
So look out for those beauties oh yeah
On your marks get set go
Bicycle race bicycle race bicycle race
Bicycle bicycle bicy
I want to ride my bicycle
Bicycle bicycle bicycle
Bicycle race

You say coke I say caine (Ahhh, now this discussion is starting to make a little more sense.)
You say John I say Wayne (Well, who doesn’t like The Duke?)
Hot dog I say cool it man (Huh?)
I don’t wanna be the President of America (That’s the most sensible thing you’ve said so far.)
You say smile I say cheese
Cartier I say please (Cartier might be more affordable if you weren’t spending money on cocaine.)
Income tax I say Jesus (Jesus pays your income tax? Sweet! Can you give me his number?)
I don’t wanna be a candidate
For Vietnam or Watergate (Riding a bicycle is much more fun than war or political scandal.)
Cos all I want to do is

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike (I understood the first dozen times you told me.)
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like (Maybe you could ride it to rehab…or at least a writing seminar where you can learn to be coherent.)