Sunday, March 29, 2020

What's Goin' On (with that song)? - "The Boys Are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy.

I love the song, "The Boys Are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy. But What's Goin' On (with that song)?

It starts, "Guess who just got back today, Them wild eyed boys .."

Who is telling the story? From right off, you know there's something different about the narrator because (s)he's not one of the Boys.

You can assume that because the singer is male, that the narrator/subject is also male. And I guess we can lock that in as a fact. But the narrator could also be female without any lyrics changes, if a woman wanted to sing the song.

Either way, the narrator has to be someone from the Town. And this could change the focus of the song because if it's a woman: maybe she's been intimate with one or more of the Boys because of when she sings, "If that chick don't want to know, forget her"? 

"Don't want to know" what? What it's like to sleep with one or more of the Boys? Maybe. That fits the lyrics even when we thing the narrator is male.

You could look up the inspiration for the song and learn that it might be about some local gang who comes to town after being elsewhere. Were they in jail? Dunno. But the real key to the song is that the narrator is NOT a member of the Boys.

And when you understand that, you can see how this is a sad, pathetic dude. Listen to his one close encounter with the band where "that chick that used to dance a lot" "slapped Johnny's face."

How does the narrator know the band? Is his job to "Spread the word around"? Is his job to put money in the "jukebox in the corner blasting out my favourite song"?

I don't know the answers. But whenever I hear this song, I both love it as a rock song, but I also feel sad for this poor loser of a guy, who lives his life for that one time each year when he gets to pretend he's one of the Boys.

No comments:

Post a Comment