Musical Musings on my Bike – I Want to Know HOW…and WHY

Yesterday I had a lovely bike ride – and as always, my mind wandered -thinking of a myriad of topics – stories, philosophy, general contemplation etc.  And as is typical, I was also listening to music.

This song came on:

I love this song. I’ve LOVED this song from the get go. I’ve been listening to it since I was 19 years old – I’m now 42. For me it was one of those songs that just resonated with me the very first time I heard it. I listen to it and think HOW CAN ANYONE LISTEN TO THIS SONG AND NOT LOVE IT? This song made me want to play bass guitar.

And because I’m curious – I want to know why people DON’T like this song (or why you do).

In general WHAT is it about a song that makes one person think “HOW COULD I HAVE LIVED THIS LONG WITHOUT HEARING THAT SONG???” and another person want to run screaming from the building in musical pain (that Gangnam Style song comes rapidly to my mind)???

So please – if you have the time – indulge me – listen to this song and tell me why or why not… I won’t be insulted.  I’m genuinely curious about the effects of music on individual people.

I’m also interested in a song that you cannot believe people can listen to and not immediately love.

I implore you – listen – post! I WANT TO KNOW!!!!

Gang of Four : Outside the Trains Don’t Run on Time

he’s become nostalgic
wants to own tomorrow
discipline – is his passion
now he says there’s none

outside the trains don’t run on time
he believes it’s not coincidence
he thinks sunlight will drag him down

home – it’s no castle
he wants his wife to run and fetch
order – he’s obsessed with order, order

discipline – is his passion
now he says there’s none
order – his obsession
order – his obsession
now he says there’s none

outside the trains don’t run on time
he believes it’s not coincidence
he thinks sunlight will drag him down

home – it’s no castle
he wants his wife to run and fetch
order – the trains don’t run on time

discipline – is his passion
now he says there’s none

outside the trains don’t run on time

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
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42 Responses to Musical Musings on my Bike – I Want to Know HOW…and WHY

  1. says:

    Hey, thank you so much! This seems to be the only correct version of the lyrics in the Internet. The ones you can find at are somewhat strange.

    • You’re welcome! I hope they are correct – I would only really know if a Gang of Four person confirmed it first hand – but they sound right and they make sense. I, too, wondered where some of the weird lyrics that I saw for this song came from as well. Thanks for reading.

  2. Jillian says:

    Hmm… gotta admit I’m not a huge fan of the song either. I think I tend to enjoy more melodic voices, and harmonizing patterns. When it first started, the song reminded me of “Brick House” (not sure why, since they’re completely different – I guess the voices must have registered as similar?), and I can’t stand “Brick House”, so part of not liking the song for me, could stem from just associating it with another song I’m not fond of. I did like the chorus all right – when it got to the chorus the first time I thought maybe it was one of those songs I’d just have to build into – but then it de-built. 🙂

  3. leesa jackson says:

    DEVO meets Captain Beefheart is what first came into my mind. actually reminded me a bit of the Capt.’s song on Doc at the Radar Station that i believe is called “Telephone”.

  4. I didnt’ know what to epexct but it sounded quite 80’s… I adore 80’s music :D. I didn’t listen very well, but I will someday, ’cause it was surprisingly good.

  5. I haven’t heard that song in donkeys years. Never liked it too much but back the times I saw them live. They were good! Cheers

  6. TAE says:

    I did not run away at your song…but I did lower the volume. I would like to see somebody run to this, though. I imagine you running from one tree to the next like a bunny and then hiding behind it for a moment…

  7. runningonsober says:

    Loved 16 Horsepower, but sorry girl, I’m not feeling this one. The lyrics don’t do a lot for me, so didn’t connect with it that way. I’m not crazy about the beat, too sporadic and inconsistent for me to run to or to zone out to or to sit and cry to. Nothing hooked me at the beginning. And it didn’t sound “original,” like man I’ve never head anything like this; nothing really stood out! Plus the voice tone was a little grating to me.

    Sorry, I wanted to like this, but I didn’t. What else you got?

    • Oh Runningonsober – I got a lot of different music in my life. It’s funny, I find Gang of Four totally in synch with my biking and running. I’m so intrigued with how we respond to music.
      Thanks for listening and commenting. It’s funny not one person has liked this song – and all the respondents have been female so far. I’m curious to see what men chime in with

      • runningonsober says:

        The good news is they’ll never play it to death on the radio or tv ads and make you sick to death of it. That’s like horrible when it happens. You feel like a little song you discovered and loved was “all yours” and then they go and play the hell out of it.

        But see, there’s tons of stuff I love that I’m sure you don’t. You probably didn’t like that Outkast “Hey Ya” song, even though I think it’s great fun with a perfect beat to run to. You’re probably not a TI or Eminem fan either.
        See if you like the “Ain’t Love Strange’ song by Paul Thorn on today’s post. See, I love his growly voice, the lyrics and stories stick with me, I want to sing along with the hook, my foot taps along… Music is so individual, that’s for sure….

        I bet some guys will love that Gang of Four song! They remind me a little of Madness, no?

        • Ha ha – to me Gang of Four sounds like Gang of Four! You’re the second person to hear some Ska in their music.
          And no – they will never get played on the radio the way Stairway to Heaven did/does (I haven’t listened to the radio in over 20 yrs so I’m guessing it’s still on a classic rock station).

          I’ll give ‘Ain’t Love Strange’ a listen!

  8. Kim says:

    I didn’t love it either. I don’t really like the ska guitars. I did like the bass part of it. I like ska and reggae bass grooves. It did make me want to pogo. 🙂 I can’t think of a song that I LOVE and don’t understand why others don’t love it. Everyone has their own tastes. I am sometimes baffled that fans of certain bands don’t love certain songs by that band. When I asked my hubby about a song that I love he said, “Master of Puppets.” I told him I would not understand if a *Metallica* fan didn’t love it, but I would understand if other people didn’t like it.

    Songs are also good in different contexts. I would like that song if I was at some club and wanted to pogo! I would like it exercising because it’s upbeat and uncomplicated. I would’ve liked it when I lived in So. Ca. as a teenager and we’d go to the beach. It’s a good beach song.

  9. unfetteredbs says:

    Can’t say that I like this song one tiny bit.. sorry. I wasn’t be fan of this style back in the day( you are a tad bit younger) and I really don’t like it now.

  10. I remember having this discussion with a friend of mine when Bjork came out with that song “Human Behavior” about 20 years ago. I love that song, but so many people I know absolutely LOATHE it. Having said that, I have to admit I don’t love this Gang of Four song, sorry.

    • Don’t be sorry – you absolutely don’t have to love it! That’s what I’m curious about – what is it about the song that makes someone say “Blah” or “WHOO HOO”

      • Ah, okay—I think it’s that there’s an absence of a musical “hook” for me–it doesn’t have to be a real radio-friendly one, but something that my ear can grab onto. This song doesn’t really have one. I do like the odd rhythm of the song, though.

  11. Okay… I don’t love this song. I honestly couldn’t listen to the whole thing. And here are just a couple of my thoughts, for your indulgence. I’m not a fan of the rhythm of the guitars which is too repetitive. That alone would not do in the song for me, but combined with the chant-like vocals, it just about did me in. I tend to be drawn towards more melodic styles, and this is not really in that vein. Those were the first major things that stood out to me.

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