Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Real Clever Vs. Fake Clever

There's clever. There's different levels of clever. There's Real Clever and Fake Clever.

I have examples of both from the collected songs of Weezer. Not really my thing, that band, but they're on at least three of the radio stations I listen to so I abide them.

Fake Clever is the opening couplet of Weezer's "Pork and Beans" (a title I've never liked, but I digress), and that couplet is
They say I need some Rogaine to put in my hair
Working out at the gym to fit my underwear
Sounds clever, doesn't it? I feel it's not. I think it's a reach, to find a rhyme for "hair," and not an organically written lyric. Also, I guess I've never worn a wide variety too many different kinds of underwear, but isn't most men's underwear fairly comfortable? Doesn't it usually fit? Boxers, they have lots of room. Even briefs can be roomy. (I hope someone's enjoying this imagery.) Anyway. It's another reason the song doesn't do much for me.

Real clever? I'd say it's the rhyme in "Troublemaker" -- a song that gets its humor from the rather non-demonstrative Rivers Cuomo going all "I am a Golden God of rock" but in a completely deadpan way -- that goes
Gonna be a star, and people will crane necks
To get a glimpse of me and see if I am having sex
I had NEVER thought to rhyme "necks" and "sex." And for them thinking of that, I salute them. That, I'd say, is clever. Well done.
Tags: language, music

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