Rhymes Like Old Times

One of the constants in song lyrics over the years is the search for end rhymes that both sound right and make sense. Every now and then a lyricist employs an old saying like “let’s cut a rug” because it goes so well with “urge to hug.” Listeners of all ages interpret the quaint phrase as an invitation to dance rather than taking it literally by grabbing a scissors and visiting the nearest Carpetland for a rec room redo. Very likely the awkwardness of finding a matching rhyme for the phrase “trip the light fantastic” kept songwriters from becoming too quaint.

Rock bands choose their lyrics and their names with care, selecting one that is distinctive and perhaps also matches their style of music. Many groups have picked pleasant names like Randy and the Rainbows, The Sunshine Company, The New Beats, and the Beach Boys. Some bands select gritty names like The Cramps, Born Losers, and Born Ruffians.

While listening to the May 23, 1943 episode of The Great Gildersleeve, I thought I discovered one of the more unique names for a group when Gildy (Harold Peary) described a complaint with the little-used term collywobbles.  “No Matter What Shape” a person’s stomach is in became a hit for the T-Bones in the mid-1960s so why not “The Collywobbles” in this century? Gladys Knight already had the Pips. How about the Gastric Distress? The Grip? The Spasms? The Aching Backs? The Torn ACLs?

For about five years I still preferred The Collywobbles until I read an advertisement in a magazine just this month for a product designed to ease the discomfort some women experience in their intimate relations. Just as David Allen Coe’s “You Never Even Call Me By My Name” described the ingredients for the perfect country & western song, I believe I found the perfect name for a female rock band in that ad: The Conjugated Estrogens.

This post might create another group among women reading it: The Rising Hackles.

 

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