2.12.08

"I Don't Know How You Came To Get The Betty Davis Knees,

but worst of all young man you have Industrial Disease!"

I don't know how I lost track of this song for so many years, but it was like bumping into a friend I hadn't seen in ages when I heard Dire Straits "Industrial Disease" on the radio the other day. I immediately found it on my iPod and have listened to it repeatedly most of the way to and from work the past two days. The lyrics are very fun to sing along to in the car, you see! One of the best sing-along songs I've ever found. It's got a great beat for running and clever lyrics to boot!

"Industrial Disease" was on almost every running list I made from my freshman year on through the '90s, and Love Over Gold was one of my favorite albums all through high school. I discovered it, and Dire Straights/Mark Knopfler, through this clever song. It may be even more relevant today considering the state of the economy.

You can listen to it here while reading the lyrics below. Unfortunately, Dire Straits didn't produce a video for it to rival the one they did for "Money for Nothing." To quote Jareth* (as I do): "Such a pity." (*ButterNugget: Note that I linked to Jareth's Escher costume on what may be an addition to my "favorite blogs" list. You're welcome!)



Warning lights are flashing down at quality control
Somebody threw a spanner and they threw him in the hole
There's rumors in the loading bay and anger in the town
Somebody blew the whistle and the walls are coming down
There's a meeting in the boardroom, they're trying to trace the smell
There's leaking in the washroom, there's a sneak in personnel
Somewhere in the corridors someone was heard to sneeze
Goodness me, could this be Industrial Disease?

The caretaker was crucified for sleeping at his post
They're refusing to be pacified its him they blame the most
The watchdogs got rabies, the foreman's got fleas
And everyone's concerned about Industrial Disease.
There's panic on the switchboard, tongues are tied in knots
Some come out in sympathy, some come out in spots
Some blame the management and some the employees
And everybody knows its the Industrial Disease.

The work force is disgusted downs tools and walks
Innocence is injured, experience just talks
Everyone seeks damages and everyone agrees
That these are classic symptoms of a monetary squeeze
On ITV and BBC they talk about "The Curse"
Philosophy is useless, theology is worse
History boils over, there's an economics freeze
Sociologists invent words that mean "Industrial Disease"

Doctor Parkinson declared, "I'm not surprised to see you here
You've got smoker's cough from smoking, brewer's droop from drinking beer.
I don't know how you came to get the Betty Davis knees,
But worst of all young man you've got Industrial Disease!"
He wrote me a prescription he said, "You are depressed.
I'm glad you came to see me to get this off your chest.
Come back and see me later. Next patient, please!
Send in another victim of industrial disease."

I go down to Speakers' Corner and I'm thunderstruck
They've got free speech, tourists, police in trucks.
Two men say they're Jesus - one of them must be wrong
There's a protest singer he's singing a protest song, he says
"They wanna have a war to keep us on our knees!
They wanna have a war to keep their factories!
They wanna have a war to stop us buying Japanese!
They wanna have a war to stop Industrial Disease!"

"They're pointing out the enemy to keep you deaf and blind!
They wanna sap your energy, incarcerate your mind!
They give you Rule Brittania, gassy beer, Page Three,
Two weeks in Espana and Sunday striptease!"
Meanwhile the first Jesus says, "I'd cure it soon:
Abolish Monday mornings and Friday afternoons."
The other one's on a hunger strike, he's dying by degrees
How come Jesus gets Industrial Disease??

2 comments:

Sarcasm is just one more service I offer. said...

Dang, I haven't heard that song in ages. I can defiantely see how it would be a good one to jog to. I should add it to my ipod. :o)

Anonymous said...

But what are bette davis knees!?!??!