Parentheses are the better-known cousin of the em dash.  They imply something that is worth stating (but not quite as worth stating as the non-parenthetical text).  Or they add an extra element of information – one that you are only supposed to sort of care about.

So what makes a songwriter decide that part of the title – the TITLE, the very identity of a song – is second to another part?  Maybe because it’s an alternate title entirely.  Maybe it’s a marketing ploy when the parenthetical phrase is more recognizable than its counterpart?  Am I talking about grammar and philosophy?  Let’s get to the quiz.  Ten song titles, all of which have parenthetical elements.

Friday Lyric Quiz #428

1. “Getting sold second hand, that’s how it goes playing in a band” (mid-70s)

2.  “And when the money, comes in for the work I do, I’ll pass almost every penny on to you” (early 90s)

3.  “Don’t step out of this house if that’s the clothes you’re gonna wear”  (mid-80s)

4.  “I heard two men talking on the radio, in a cross fire kind of reality show” (early 00s)

5.   “I can make it, I know I can, you broke the boy in me, but you won’t break the man” (mid-80s)

6.   “Shrinking in the sea so cold, topless ladies look away. A he-man in a sudden shower, shelters from the rain” (early 80s)

7.  “Why in the world are we here?  Surely not to live in pain and fear” (early 70s)

8.   “I’m jonesin’ on love, yeah, I got the DTs, uou say that we will but there ain’t no guarantees” (late 90s)

9.   “I`ve got to meet you by tomorrow noon, and cut through all this red tape” (late 70s)

10.  “You’re not the only one who’s made mistakes, but they’re the only things that you can truly call your own” (mid-80s)

Answers, Friday Lyric Quiz #427

1. “Check the mirror, looking fly, round up my posse, jump in my ride” (late 80s)
Just Got Paid, Johnny Kemp

2. “I’m putting on my shades to cover up my eyes, I’m jumpin’ in my ride, I’m heading out tonight” (early 2010s)
Ridin’ Solo, Jason Derulo

3. “On the ice blue line of insanity Is a place most never see” (early 80s)
Maniac, Michael Sembello

4. “The passion’s so complete, it’s never ending. As long as I receive the message you’re sending” (late 80s)
Tell It To My Heart, Taylor Dayne

5. “Oh, my God, we’re back again. Brothers, sisters, everybody sing” (late 90s)
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), Backstreet Boys

6. “Well, I went today, maybe I will go again tomorrow. Yeah, yeah, well, the music there, well, it was hauntingly familiar'” (early 80s)
Edge of Seventeen, Stevie Nicks

7. “You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows, yes, it shows” (early 70s, mid-90s)
Without You, Harry Nilsson (remade by Mariah Carey)

8. “You got your high brow, shoes on your feet, and you wear ‘em around, like they ain’t sh*t.” (early 2010s)
Cooler Than Me, Mike Posner

9. “Without a noise, without my pride, I reach out from the inside” (mid-80s)
In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel

10. “It took so long to change my mind I thought that love was a game” (early 80s)
Caught Up In You, .38 Special

Advertisements