[Music] “A-cute-cute in a stupid-ass way”

The last paragraph shows how devolved society has become if you can’t play a wonderful song by one of the most intriguing artists of his generation. So be it. Still, much respect to Ben Zimmer for the read of the day – commenting on the rendering of “stupid-ass,” which seems so non-offensive now, but which must have caused headaches for the censors back in the day.

Strong Language

With the passing of Scott Walker, who found pop-music fame as a member of the Walker Brothers before setting out on an inimitable solo career, the singer’s best-known work has been making the rounds online. One particularly memorable song from Walker was his first solo single, “Jackie,” released in December 1967. “Jackie” was an English-language rendering of Jacque Brel’s “La chanson de Jacky,” translated from French by Mort Shuman (a Brill Building songwriter who would go on to co-create the musical revue Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris). Both the French and English lyrics were quite racy for the time. The English chorus, as unforgettably delivered by Walker, goes:

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
A-cute-cute in a stupid-ass way

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2 thoughts on “[Music] “A-cute-cute in a stupid-ass way”

  1. I find Walker to be a riveting figure, and some of his songs really kick down your front door and never leave. But a lot of his stuff is hard to get a grip on, and the wife is usually around and she has a low tolerance for oddity or turgid tempos. Now that Scott is no longer with us, maybe I’ll be tempted to dig a little deeper into his body of work. RIP!

    “Jackie” is one of the great tunes to lay on girls you’ve just met, it really brings out the best in the female psyche.

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    • My friend, I couldn’t agree more. I remember you somehow hipping me to his early work, and I had just gotten into his freakier elements at around that same time. It’s a bummer he’s gone.

      And considering he pilfered from Jacques Brel, ladies man extraordinaire, I agree on the romancing capabilities of this tune.

      Like

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