Showing posts with label Conversation songs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conversation songs. Show all posts

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pillow Talk

“Come on baby, I’m tired of talking,” Elvis sings in “A Little Less Conversation” (in Live A Little, Love A Little), telling his baby he wants “A little less conversation/A little more action please/A little more bite and a little less bark/A little less fight and a little more spark/Close your mouth and open up your heart/And baby satisfy me.” We all know what he means by “satisfy me,” in the same way we know what Mick Jagger means when he complains he “can’t get no satisfaction.” Since the articulation of sexual desire was proscribed by the apparatus of censorship when Elvis and Mick sang about wanting to have sex, it seems appropriate that what can be said, and what can’t, is what songs about conversations are all about. That is, conversation songs are not about having a conversation at all: they are about not having a conversation, being forced to converse about things one doesn’t want to converse about, talking “around” an issue. Elvis wants “a little less conversation,” meaning none, and “a little more spark,” meaning he wants her to use her mouth for something other than conversing. “I shot my mouth off and you showed me what that hole was for,” Chrissie Hynde sings in “Tattooed Love Boys,” and we all know what she means: she wasn’t having a conversation. There’s talk and there’s conversation—talk is reserved for the pillow, and conservation fills up the time before pillow talk. Hence talk is to fulfillment what conversation is to delay. “Let’s talk about love”—yes, but no one ever wants to have “a conversation” about love—as Elvis so astutely observed.

A Few Songs About (Not Having) A Conversation:
Alesana – This Conversation Is Over (On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax)
Atlanta Rhythm Section – Conversation (Champagne Jam)
Colin Hay – Conversation (Peaks & Valleys)
Simon and Garfunkel – The Dangling Conversation (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
Elvis – A Little Less Conversation (Live A Little, Love A Little)
Lyle Lovett – Private Conversation (The Road to Ensenada)
Joni Mitchell – Conversation (Ladies of the Canyon)
Jason Mraz – Conversation With Myself (Live & Acoustic)
Gary Numan – Conversation (The Pleasure Principle)
Lou Reed – New York Telephone Conversation (Transformer)
Hank Williams, Jr. with Waylon Jennings – The Conversation (Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound)