28 April 2006

Friday Funk Lyrics, 28 April 2006

Friday wouldn't be Friday without a little funkiness. In light of the release of this film, and the upcoming protests, I thought a little mid-80s James Brown patriotism was in order for the day. This song was made to be included in Rocky IV (though subsequent films used it as well).

Here's what Jason Elias writing for Allmusic.com had to say (**spoiler warning** plot detail to Rocky IV revealed in song review)
Sure this song is no "Spank," but "Living in America" catapulted James Brown into the Top Ten where he belonged. The song is produced by Dan Hartman and written by Hartman and Charlie Midnight; they had the honor of writing for the Godfather and responded with a punchy, potent track. Hard-driven, flashy, and filled with punchy horns, this ended up being one of Brown's better vocal performances. Unlike a lot of his work, this had actual lyrics. Throughout the song, Brown finds a charm in all things "American" as he sings, "All-night diners/Keep you awake/With hot coffee and a hard roll." This track brought Brown all the way back and it was the first time he had cracked the Top Ten since 1968's classic "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud." The song also has the distinction of being part of Sly Stallone's lucrative Rocky franchise. Brown is featured singing this track in the film, providing Apollo Creed music to showboat by until he met his maker by way of Ivan Drago. Thankfully, Brown was out of the ring before the punches were thrown. In an era when play lists had experienced a level of segregation not seen since the days of Big Joe Turner, this song had no boundaries and was an instant classic.

I guess that says it all, doesn't it.

Without further ado, (and as Al Gore would say (yes this is my new catchphrase), EXCELSIOR!)


Yeah, uh! Get up, now! Ow! Knock out this!
Super highways, coast to coast, easy to get anywhere
On the transcontinental overload, just slide behind the wheel
How does it feel
When there's no destination - that's too far
And somewhere on the way, you might find out who you are

Living in America - eye to eye, station to station
Living in America - hand to hand, across the nation
Living in America - got to have a celebration
Rock my soul

Smokestack, fatback, many miles of railroad track
All night radio, keep on runnin' through your rock 'n' roll soul
All night diners keep you awake, hey, on black coffee and a hard roll
You might have to walk the fine line, you might take the hard line
But everybody's working overtime


I live in America, help me out, but I live in America, wait a minute
You might not be looking for the promised land, but you might find it anyway
Under one of those old familiar names
Like New Orleans (New Orleans), Detroit City (Detroit City), Dallas (Dallas)
Pittsburg P.A. (Pittsburg P.A.), New York City (New York City)
Kansas City (Kansas City), Atlanta (Atlanta), Chicago and L.A.

Living in America - hit me - living in America - yeah, I walk in and out
Living in America
I live in America - state lines, gonna make the prime, that
I live in America - hey, I know what it means, I
Living in America - Eddie Murphy, eat your heart out
Living in America - hit me, I said now, eye to eye, station to station
Living in America - so nice, with your bare self
Living in America - I feel good!

1 comment:

SippicanCottage said...

God, how I love that song. Dan Hartman was very talented. James Brown is a force of nature.

The local sports talk radio station uses it as the bumper music for the afternoon drive time show. I smile every time I hear it, and have vowed many times to never listen again if they change the intro music.

They never do -- why would you?