Extend That Metaphor

 Posted by
Jul 152020

If you want lyrics, you can find them in the description at this video.

Now be honest, who knew that Randy Bachman & Burton Cummings covered this song?!

My question to the Hall is…Are extended metaphor songs like these the province of soul songs? I know there are plenty of rock & roll songs that use cars or the road as a metaphor but I’m looking for ones more like these three where the metaphor extends through the whole song.


  16 Responses to “Extend That Metaphor”

  1. H. Munster

    Do you draw the line between blues and soul? I’m thinking of “Little Red Rooster”.

  2. I like “Little Red Rooster”! I’m not drawing any lines really. I’m just checking with the collective mind of RTh because I was drawing blank on any rock & roll songs that fit it.

  3. You had mentioned this topic a while back and recently when I heard this song, I thought about how it qualified and how it didn’t.

    It actually uses two extended metaphors, which sort of mucks up the game, but the relevance of the first, and the delightfully lewd specificity of the second make it worth a mention.

    Hearing this song is perfect illustration how much of Dylan’s early sensibility came right from Woody Guthrie.


  4. Of course there are a number of songs that metaphorically address masturbation, usually as some vague dance move. I’m thinking here of Beefheart’s “Low Yo-Yo Stuff,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Rattlesnake Shake,” and “She-Bop” by Cindy Lauper, although the first two are close to being metaphorical only in the sense that they don’t mention the specific word.

  5. By the way, remember I don’t think “New Pony” by Bob Dylan is really about a horse.

  6. Geo, I have heard people say that.

  7. H. Munster

    While we’re on the topic of Dylan, “Neighborhood Bully”.

  8. H. Munster

    And then there’s “Blackbird.” Any other Beatles examples?

  9. What about The Kinks’ “Last of the Steam-Powered Trains”?

  10. My instinct when I read your suggestion Mr Mod was immediately: no!

    Then I read the lyrics and thought, yeah, that fits.

    Then I thought some more and thought, well, it’s not that extended in the sense that I meant it. It’s extended through the whole song but it’s really just that one thought – I’m outdated, my time has come and gone.

    On balance, I like it though, it fits.

  11. BigSteve

    My favorite Lightnin’ Hopkins song, Let Me Play With Your Poodle, may not be about a dog:


  12. Whew, I knew I was cutting it close, Al! Thanks for the passing grade. I’ll keep thinking about this. If I knew anything about country music, I’d expect country artists to do this more than rockers.

  13. BigSteve

    Love Is Like a Bottle of Gin by The Magnetic Fields


  14. ladymisskirroyale

    BigSteve: good one. “Love is like a bottle of gin. And a bottle of gin is a lot like love.”

    A couple of songs come to mind:
    1. Ministry’s cheesy but catchy “Work For Love.” Back when Al was sporting a faux English accents
    2. The more profound Go-Betweens number, “Dive For Your Memory.”
    Both are analogies are pretty self-explanatory.

  15. H. Munster

    Another soul example from the period Al is talking about — “I’m Your Puppet” by James and Bobby Purifoy.

  16. Just heard a rock song that fits my theme here – Paul Westerberg’s Dyslexic Heart

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube