Friday, June 24, 2011

Terrible Song from My Youth - "Are you Jimmy Ray?" by Jimmy Ray

For this edition of the Terrible Song from My Youth, I submit... "Are you Jimmy Ray?"  by Jimmy Ray.

It's another one of those songs that I can't listen to straight through.  The beat... the tune... all that ain't too bad, really.  It's the lyrics.  The entire song is self-fellation.  And that's not good because you watch a self-fellation once for the novelty.  Like, "Wow, that dude sucked his own cock.  Now, I've seen everything."  After that, you move on and don't look back.  I mean, later you might go to the store and see the self-pleasuring dude, but you snicker and walk away briskly.  You don't spend significant time with him.  Jimmy Ray seems to have tried to make a music career out of self-fellation.  To me, he will forever be known as the dude who REALLY likes his name and thinks he's dangerous.

This is speaking very generally, but the classics are about something (a GREAT argument can be made for "I am the Walrus").  They have a purpose.  This song is nonsense.  The classics are universal in themes or emotion.  This song is about Jimmy Ray.  "Jimmy Ray" applies to less than 1% of the world population, and I'd imagine that the dudes named "Jimmy Ray" in this world aren't listening to this dude... unless they're on death row, and it's the only thing on.

The chorus is stupid.  I have no other way of saying it.  It's a call and response between Jimmy Ray and some chick... but they're both asking questions.  Or, she's asking questions, and he's being a dick by saying the same damned thing over and over.  She could just be a process server that's trying to serve Jimmy Ray a subpoena, and Jimmy Ray thinks he's being all smooth.  And he never really answers the question, "Are you Jimmy Ray?"  That might have saved it for me on a comedic level.  Like, "Are you Jimmy Ray?"  "YES."

(Are you Johnny Ray?) Who wants to know?
(Are you Slim Ray?) Who wants to know?
(Are you Faye Wray?)
Who wants to know? Who wants to know?
(Are you Stingray?) Who wants to know?
(Are you Link Wray?) Who wants to know?
(Are you Jimmy Ray?)
Who wants to know?
Who wants to know 'bout me?

I mean, for fuck's sake.  You know he wrote this himself.  And you know the "Are you stingray?" line was the one that bothered him because it doesn't fit the other names.  Or it was the one he was most proud of, and he was bothered that he couldn't think of other animals with "ray" in them. 

Because I'm meaner.
I'm leaner.
I ain't no inbetweener.
With Aretha I'm a dreamer.
Good God I'm a believer

Wait, what?!  Kay, I'll give you meaner and leaner part... Then you ARE an inbetweener since that's a double negative.  With Aretha you're a dreamer... What the hell does that mean?  What is he referencing?  And you believe in what?!  I hate nonsense for the sake of rhyming.  It doesn't work unless you're Shel Silverstein!  And then he throws in this... dance portion?  Someone try this dance at home.  We missed out on something gold here:

"Everybody jump back,
Turn around now,
Well let's do it again
Everybody jump back,
Turn around now,
Well let's do it again"

The moral of this song... your first single should never ask the question, "Who wants to know 'bout me?" unless you're prepared for the worst possible answer.  What's the worst possible answer?  Reality.  I believe the world responded to Jimmy Ray's "Who wants to know 'bout me?" with a collective "Umm... Ya know, I gotta study later..." and walked off.  You wanna know about Jimmy Ray?  Don't worry, world.  I'll save you the trouble.  *Jimmy Ray quit the music business and is currently working at the butcher shop.  Customers enjoy his silly song, "Who wants to know about meat?"  He also works part-time as an assistant manager at Ladies Footlocker.  He is off on Wednesdays, Thursdays and every other Friday.

(*PROBABLY not true.)

To cleanse the pallet... Michael Jackson's "Bad."  It's another song where a dude tells us that he's awesome and dangerous.... but it isn't called "Is Michael Jackson Bad?" by Michael Jackson.
Eminem's "My Name Is" or "The Real Slim Shady"  They're both kinda self-fellating songs,but at least they're lyrically interesting.

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