Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Where Night Moves loses me...

It actually starts pretty well.

I was a little too tall
Coulda used a few pounds.

A concise, evocative summation of adolescent self-doubt. I like it.
(Also, I too was a little too tall and could've used a few pounds.)

Next line:
Tight pants points hardly renown.

Wha? I keep reading those words trying to make them make some kind of sense. Can't do it. I'm not even sure which word is the verb. Or if there is a verb.
Do the tight pants have points? Are they pointing at something?
Have they earned points?

"Renown" means acclaim, honor, or fame. At the very least, if the word is modifying "pants," it should be "renowned." But that doesn't really help much either. Maybe he's saying his pants are hardly famous. Maybe it's a veiled (really veiled) allusion to Leonard Cohen's famous blue raincoat. Bob Seger's non-famous tight pants.

As the oldsters say, it's Greek to me. So I translated it into Greek, and then back into English. I actually like it better the way it came out.

Original line:
Tight pants points hardly renown.

Greek translation:
τα σφιχτά εσώρουχα δείχνουν μετά βίας τη φήμη.

Retranslated to English:
the tight underwears show afterwards violence the fame

Huh. Ain't it funny how the night moves?

lyrics to Night Moves here

Bob Seger, more recently.
(no longer in need of a few pounds)

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Is he taking a dump? No wonder his pants aren't renowned.

  3. "Points" refers to the style of shoe worn by most teenagers in the early 1960s. Along with tight pants, they were typical of the rebel youth "uniform." The line in question continues image of adolescent self-doubt. To fit in, he wears what everyone wears. There's nothing special ("hardly renown") about him. Hope this helps.

  4. Huh. And here I thought the line was

    "Tight pants, points hollerin' out."

    referring to, of course, an adolescent boy's proclivity for attaining wood from wearing tight pants.

  5. Thanks, RG!
    Another mystery solved. But what about those other points, way up firm and high?... Never mind. That one I think I get.