Thursday, November 8, 2012

Blinded By The Light

So "Blinded By The Light" came up at work today. I was asked to identify the artist (Manfred Mann's Earth Band) by someone. I also cleared up the commonly misheard lyric in the song. No, it wasn't the "deuce/douche" problem - they got the deuce part right; rather, it was the "revved/wrapped" part of that line. In any event, it's worth noting that it refers to a 1932 Ford coupe, or "Deuce coupe." That derives from the Deuce coupe's rep as an ideal hot rod car.

What's interesting is that this lyrics was changed from the Bruce Springsteen original. Bruce's line was "cut loose like a deuce." Maybe they changed it to "revved" to make it clear that it was referring to the car? If so, they failed miserably thanks to Earth Band vocalist Chris Thompson's poor enunciation. But then, wasn't it that very thing and the childish snickering it generated that pushed the song to #1?

I don't know how Bruce feels about the Manfred Mann version now, but I recall him having gone on record as hating it more than any other cover of one of his songs. I don't think it's the radically different arrangement that made him feel this way. I suspect it was primarily how garbled the hit version was that irked him. He might have been upset about the omission and alteration of some of the lyrics, but since he has commented that the song didn't become popular until it was about "a feminine hygiene product," I don't think it's a stretch to imagine the vocals themselves are/were his problem.

But then, I wouldn't call Bruce's version of the song a classic. I just read he wrote the words before the music, and it kinda shows. I have this feeling at least part of the song is autobiographical, but wrapped up in obscure phrasing to disguise its meaning. Here, have a listen.

For more info, check out this page on Bruce's version and this one on the Manfred Mann version.

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