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#121 04-15-2008 8:47pm

hitnothated
Member
Registered: 04-15-2008
Posts: 1

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

Man! I'm new to this discussion, and I'm just so blown away by not only the quality of it, but also the duration. (What - three years this has been going on? I'm sorry I missed it - though you might not be, since I'm about to write at some length, and perhaps tendentiously...) It's a testament to this guy's remarkable lyrics. And it's nice to come upon so many fellow Kozelek geeks. So, making up for lost time, I want to weigh in on a couple things:

(1) I've always heard that first lyric as "hit", not "hated". I've never questioned it really, because hated wouldn't be historically accurate. (That's not to say that an artist of Kozelek's caliber might not be tweaking the history - poets do stuff like that all the time to make a subtle point - but I'm hardpressed to figure out why, in this instance, he'd avail himself of that kind of that license.)

Liston was not a liked guy. Before he fought Clay, he'd been accused of beating up a police officer (the facts of which are not without controversy, but we're talking about public perception here) and rumored to have ties to the mob (which led to long delays in his bid to fight Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight title.) And when Liston returned to Philadephia after beating Patterson, no one was there to greet him at the airport.

The perception of Ali wasn't always a rosy one (not the one he now enjoys - as a key figure in the Civil Rights movement, the subject of an admiring biopic, and, of course, as a gentle old man with - Parkisons, is it? - who seems always to be surrounded by children, or garlanded by presidents...) But much of the ire directed at him post-dated the name change and the conversion to Islam that prompted it (which large swaths of white America took as a threat) and his refusal to fight in Vietnam. In other words, stuff that happened when he wasn't called Cassius Clay.

It's hard to imagine any boxer being hated more than Sonny Liston, let alone Clay.

By the way, I particularly like that one guy's gloss on the lyric (I don't remember his username, or the date - it's somewhere back there) about it being a metaphor for artistic success - or any success, for that matter - coming after enduring hardship, but of that I'm a lot less sure. I just like it, is all.

(2) I'd always heard "buried my first victim etc etc" as a self-consciously macho (and consience-beset) way of of talking about sex. I'd never thought it as a surprise ending - the revealation that it was being sung from the perspective of a serial killer. Whew, that's interesting - totally opened up the song for me. That said, there seems to be, among this group, a desire to pick one or the other, when in fact, the more I think about it, the more it seems that the ambiguity is purposeful. The metaphor equates sex with violence - which seems in keeping with the tenor of a lot of Kozelek's lyrics (in which there is often a kind of barely restrained violent streak - a restrained rage - tempered by the sensitive, articulate, self-reflective macho.) I went to a concert once at the Magic Stick in Detroit - this must've been nine, ten years ago, when I was in college - where I saw that rage on full display. He stopped a song in the middle and chewed out the guitarist (loud for everyone in the back to hear) for being out of tune, he stopped another song in the middle to chew out the sound man...I'm not saying this is proof that he's a bad guy - he might've just been having a bad day, and on my bad days I've done a lot worse than act the prima donna - but it's about the way he lashed out. Lotta anger there. Whatever, he seems to have mellowed with age - the two times I've seen him since (the last time at the Bowery Ballroom a couple yearts ago) he was a perfect gentleman...

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#122 04-17-2008 9:38pm

lament
Site Owner
From: Bay Area
Registered: 09-24-2003
Posts: 1,699
Website

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

hitnothated wrote:

(1) I've always heard that first lyric as "hit", not "hated". I've never questioned it really, because hated wouldn't be historically accurate.

according to the official lyrics, it's "hated."

I need to update the lyrics to be official now that the book has come out.


Welcome to the forum, btw.. smile

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#123 04-18-2008 2:27am

sheeshumunga
Member
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 12-11-2007
Posts: 51

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

I'm sure glad Mark released "Nights of Passed Over" to end all the debate on what the actual lyrics are. One of the things my girlfriend found frustrating at the concert last night was she couldn't tell what the hell he was saying in his songs. I couldn't relate due to the fact I've heard each song hundreds of times already. After reading some pages out of the book, she does agree that Mark is quite the lyricist.

Last edited by sheeshumunga (04-18-2008 2:29am)


Dude, fix your fucking face.

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#124 04-19-2008 3:28am

Phil
Member
From: Padua, Italy
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 101
Website

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

Hey guys i'm waiting for the book and the official lyrics here updated!!!!
Help a poor non-english mother tongue speaker!!!!

Phil from Italy

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#125 06-19-2008 9:34am

Eugene
Member
Registered: 06-19-2008
Posts: 6

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

Yep, I was always a HIT fan myself.  Mainly cause that lyric made the most sense and I really like it better than hated.  In fact when I hum the tune to myself, I will still use the word HIT,  But..., it really is HATED, which makes no sense.  I've played and replayed the song first verse over and over today, and lo and behold...HATED.  I mean, WTF?   First of all Cassius Clay, when he "became" Muhammad Ali, did in fact take a career time load of punches more than any other boxer, and has trauma induced Parkinson's to prove it.  And despite his arrogance as a young man, was clearly loved by the crowd.  Can't say the same for ol' Sonny...(tragic story that; read about the life story of Sonny Liston sometime..it's truly heartbreaking).   So yeah, this controversy anyways is layed to rest with the official lyrics published.   Which brings another issue to my mind.  I like Mark Kozelek, I really do... he's not my favorite songwriter nor lyricist, but he is one of the great lyricists of all time.  My only criticism of his delivery is that he mumbles his lyrics, consistently and persistently...hence, this discussion thread.

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#126 11-17-2009 6:53pm

j-ho
Member
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 10-20-2009
Posts: 37

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

Salvador Sanchez

First, in the fourth verse, it should read:

Ghosts of the Philippines
Choirs and angels sing
Ukelele strings play for his legend
Iloilo King

There is a Filipino boxer named (Ceslo) Gozo, but he's not dead and never really won consistently. Iloilo is a town that Pancho Villa, also Filipino, moved to right before he started fighting.


Eyes of Las Villas
(instead of Los Rios)

Paret was from the city of Santa Clara in a region of Cuba that is called Las Villas.

I love this song so much, especially the chorus, it's so sad, but uplifting at the same time. Although it does irk me a bit when Mark refers to them as 'fell by the leather' when 2 actually dies outside the ring related to different events.

Last edited by j-ho (11-17-2009 6:56pm)

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#127 11-19-2009 11:11am

BadSeed
Member
From: Scotland
Registered: 03-18-2007
Posts: 338

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

About Glen Tipton I've always heard it as "hated"

"Hated" makes much more sense in that in the next line he says "Some like KK Downing more than Glen Tipton"
Sort of a juxtaposition of "hate" and "like" ? Then he says some other things about liking people and that he likes them all smile So it doesn't seem right if in the first verse  he said "hit" that would have nothing to do with the rest of it

Last edited by BadSeed (11-19-2009 4:56pm)

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#128 11-19-2009 7:10pm

j-ho
Member
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 10-20-2009
Posts: 37

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

BadSeed wrote:

About Glen Tipton I've always heard it as "hated"
"Hated" makes much more sense in that in the next line he says "Some like KK Downing more than Glen Tipton"
Sort of a juxtaposition of "hate" and "like" ? Then he says some other things about liking people and that he likes them all  So it doesn't seem right if in the first verse  he said "hit" that would have nothing to do with the rest of it
Last edited by BadSeed (Today 10:56am)

I cant believe the debate is still going about this lyric. It's obviously 'hated'.

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#129 11-20-2009 1:30pm

BadSeed
Member
From: Scotland
Registered: 03-18-2007
Posts: 338

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

j-ho wrote:
BadSeed wrote:

About Glen Tipton I've always heard it as "hated"
"Hated" makes much more sense in that in the next line he says "Some like KK Downing more than Glen Tipton"
Sort of a juxtaposition of "hate" and "like" ? Then he says some other things about liking people and that he likes them all  So it doesn't seem right if in the first verse  he said "hit" that would have nothing to do with the rest of it
Last edited by BadSeed (Today 10:56am)

I cant believe the debate is still going about this lyric. It's obviously 'hated'.

It's not really, I just clicked this thread and without realising the date of the last post on the very important issue of wither it's Hated or Hit, felt the need to give my opinion

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#130 11-22-2009 3:29pm

j-ho
Member
From: Melbourne Australia
Registered: 10-20-2009
Posts: 37

Re: Lyrics to Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'

BadSeed wrote:
j-ho wrote:
BadSeed wrote:

About Glen Tipton I've always heard it as "hated"
"Hated" makes much more sense in that in the next line he says "Some like KK Downing more than Glen Tipton"
Sort of a juxtaposition of "hate" and "like" ? Then he says some other things about liking people and that he likes them all  So it doesn't seem right if in the first verse  he said "hit" that would have nothing to do with the rest of it
Last edited by BadSeed (Today 10:56am)

I cant believe the debate is still going about this lyric. It's obviously 'hated'.

It's not really, I just clicked this thread and without realising the date of the last post on the very important issue of wither it's Hated or Hit, felt the need to give my opinion

I don't mean it the way it came across, I just find it wierd that this lyric has been debated for 6 years or so

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