Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"You Are Black And I Am White"

Of the many musical atrocities committed by bands in the nineteen-eighties, there is none more abominable than "Ebony and Ivory". Just about everything about the song is wrong. The poorly executed metaphor, the depressingly bad lyrics*, the bouncy outro - oh lord, that bouncy outro.

So gadies and lentlemen, a big round of applause for the "world's worst duet ever".

Rather than link to the original video, here's Eddie Murphy (playing Stevie Wonder) and Joe Piscopo (playing Sinatra) on SNL, re-writing the song.

Mom, Dad, I am sorry for making you spend 30 rupees (or was it 10?) and buying me the "Tug of War" cassette. I played it only 3 times and the last time I played it, someone had taped The John Peel Show over it. So the album was good for something.

*I had a mondegreen moment when I first heard the song and I still refuse to correct it. I used to hear the line "we all know that people are the same where ever you go" as "we all know bad people are the same where ever you go", I thought it lent the song another layer of equanimity. You know, Osama, Hitler, SUV drivers - bad people are the same where ever you go. Banality of evil etc.


Space Bar said...

it just proves what anyone with good tast already knows: that sir paul is worth nothing without lennon. bah!

any btw, how did you hear *bad* for *that*?! as in, a bleaty baad? how? how?

km said...

I am tempted to say Sir Paul is worth nothing, then I remember the good stuff.

About that misheard lyric: clearly, you did not live in the era of "two-in-ones" and cheap tapes :)

MockTurtle said...

What a coincidence. I was thinking about the Murphy/Piscopo version just a week ago and had Googled the lyrics when I couldn't remember any lines other than "You are blind as a bat, and I have sight". Murphy made a better Stevie than Stevie did.

MockTurtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Space Bar said...

km: ya, but the good stuff happened only when there was a lennon to compete and collaborate with.

and i strongly resent the insinuation that i only knew CDs and other sophisticated technology! i'll have you know that not only did i know two-in-ones, i thought the height of sophistication was one of those tape decks where you could record from one side to the other (it has a name. i know. but it has escaped me. i'm getting that old, ha!)

km said...

MT: Murphy could really sing well (and be funny, of course.) What the hell happened to him?

space bar: I used to pay 25 rupees to a guy who would do something called a "hi-speed dub". Play in one deck, record in another. That truly was the height of sophistication.

//The only thing I forgive Sir Paul is for "Band on the Run".

Tabula Rasa said...

not even pipes of peace?

(i'm thinking about the dabbas i used to open up to replace the worn belts with rubber bands i'd pulled off the morning newspaper and trimmed to thickness with scissors.)