Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dishonesty & Lies: Step Right Up

Tom Waits: Step Right Up


Boyhowdy is responsible for the pictures on the sidebar that accompany our themes. When I saw this week’s, I knew what my first song had to be. Step Right Up is Tom Waits’ brilliant send-up of late night TV advertising pitches. These contain, in the words of Douglas Adams, “much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate.” Tom Waits takes this to its logical extreme. Since Tom Waits wrote this song, these kinds of pitches have moved from late night TV to cable infomercials. So the song is at least as relevant now is it was then. Ironically, a version of Step Right Up with different lyrics was once used as an advertising jingle by Enron. In the company’s messy collapse, the only tape of this version known to exist mysteriously vanished.

Actually, I know of no one who ever tried to use Step Right Up for any sort of jingle. This was my first lie of the week.

blog comments powered by Disqus