Stranger than Fiction, Larger Than Life: the Finn Brothers song-by-song discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    I find the sociopolitical commmentary in this song a bit too strong and controversial for my tastes. This is challenging and emotional subject matter to mine for a song and I find it darkly disturbing. That feedback sound just won’t end.

    Oh wait, got mixed up with the Lou Reed thread.

    2.0/5 for “Melon-Cauli Baby”.
    Mooserfan, StefanWq, Ryan Lux and 5 others like this.
  2. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter


    I neglected to credit Jenny Morris (we’ve discussed three of her songs in this thread) and Tony Backhouse sing backing vocals on this one.
    StefanWq and Ryan Lux like this.
  3. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    It’s funny but I actually do find the ambiguity about the baby’s gender to be subtly topical and perhaps reflects a strand of Polynesian culture.

    Plus there is the whole issue of inter-species breeding. Things are wild in NZ.
  4. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Vallentuna, Sweden
    I bought the "The Underwater Melon Man" book/CD (I didn't know until today that there was also a DVD) back when it was new but haven't listened to it for ages and can't remember the songs, so it will be interesting in the next few days to hear them again.
    "Melon-Couli Baby" is quite good. I like the piano part, it has a bit of an early Split Enz feel to it, and Tim's vocals are good too. If this song had been developed a bit more and been longer than 1:15 I think it could have been really good (for adult ears, maybe children of the right age love this song as it is).
  5. This is funny - I'm the same boat... book's been sitting on the shelf forever and I never knew about the animation. I like the project overall in that it's "cute," but it doesn't have any appeal to me beyond novelty value. Not bad, but not substantive.

    StefanWq and Lance LaSalle like this.
  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I tried unsuccessfully to buy the book (and now have lost interest -- I have MP3s of the music.) It's a pity that most of the DVD isn't on YouTube though; I think the animation is really excellent and the video really enhances the songs, in my opinion.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    StefanWq and NorthNY Mark like this.
  7. Paul H

    Paul H Senior Member

    Nottingham, UK
    If you want a higher res, Lance, PM me.
  8. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for for "Melon-Cauli Baby".

    StefanWq likes this.
  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Most of the songs from The Underwater Melon Man aren't on YouTube -- a real pity, as the animation is really beautiful and I find it really enhances the music, which is odd because I normally hate videos. However, I do not wish to spend NZ$ 50 on it.

    So I want do the remaining 4 Finn related songs from it two at a time and thus start with Say It Is So on Monday.

    So, today's songs are: "Neville the Enchanted Rug" and "The Girl From Godknowswhere". Both songs were written by Peter Dasent and Fane Flaws. Neil Finn sings lead vocals on both.

    Neville the Enchanted Rug:

    Neil Finn: Vocals
    Darren Watson: guitar
    Fane Flaws: guitar
    Peter Dasent: piano
    George Barris: Bass
    Jim Lawrie: guitar
    Performer[Louise] -Linda Topp

    "The Girl From Godknowswhere"
    Neil Finn- Vocals
    Fane Flaws: guitar
    George Barris: bass
    Jim Lawrie: drums
    Jenny MOrris: backing vocals
    Tony Backhouse: backing vocals

    Neville the Enchanted Rug:

    For ten years on the parlour floor
    It lay forlorn and cluttered
    Until by chance one afternoon
    The magic word was uttered

    It shook itself and burst its tacks
    And furniture aboard
    It flew twice around the living room
    And out the kitchen door

    The Girl From Godknowshwere

    There was a girl from Godknowswhere
    Who wore a mop instead of hair
    And for her eyes, two butterflies
    Her ears playing cards - one pair
    Her nose was made of marmelade
    Her neck a glass of ace of spade
    A rusty zip composed her lips
    Her hands and fingers, fish and chips
    Her tassle was a letterbox
    A breast two plugs her arms two socks
    Her ...)in slippers pink
    Her pelvis an old kitchen sink
    Headposts for legs
    Doorknobs for knees
    Her feet and toes were locks and keys

    the Girl from Godknowswhere
    She ran off with a porcupine
    Why? Your guess is as good as mine
    And where they asked her would she go
    Her answer was "God Only Knows".

    The Girl from Godknowswhere
    factory44 and StefanWq like this.
  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Both songs are a 4 for me: really great songs. Probably with the video is a 5.

    I wasn't actually joking about the gender thing with Underwater Melon Man and I also see depths in these songs, too, however, of course they are ultimately bits of whimsy.

    1. Neville the Enchanted Rug,it's a thrilling piece of music, very catchy!

    2. "The Girl from Godknowswhere" I find it very dark; I'm probably reading too much into it, but the it's a song about a girl who essentially is made up of parts of inanimate objects: someone who is stuck between life and unlife.

    All three songs essentially are about inanimate objects: the loving couple of the watermelon and the califlower; the rebellious rug who flies the coop; the assorted objects of the girl who wanders the world aimlessly.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  11. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    failed state
    Neville the Enchanted Rug and The Girl from Godknowswhere are both fun songs when they come up in my playlists. They came out when I had a two year old, and I probably wouldn't still be enjoying them if I'd played them for him at the time. He would have wanted me to explain what they're about, and when you get right down to it they are very dark lyrically.

    Sonically, they're very fun when they play after the Try Whistling This era and act a bit like a brief palate cleanser. They deserve to be included should Neil's solo albums ever get deluxe editions. (keeping my fingers crossed)

    StefanWq and Lance LaSalle like this.
  12. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to these songs.

    Melon-Cauli Baby - Oy. The cartoon is cute. Shame about the song,

    Girl From God Knows Where - This starts out sounding just like Sexy Sadie to me. It doesn’t really go anywhere.

    Neville the Enchanted Rug - I like this one a lot. It sounds like the kind of song Andy Partridge might write. I would probably listen to it more than once every 10 years if the character voice wasn’t there.

    It may sound like I’m anti-cartoon. (I said something the other day about I Can See Clearly Now sounding cartoony.). I’m not. Moana is one of my favorite movies, and I love How Far I’ll Go from that film. Lin-Manuel Miranda is obviously a better songwriter than the people who wrote the songs for Underwatermelon Man. ;)
    StefanWq and Lance LaSalle like this.
  13. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

  14. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    The Girl from God Knows Where is an interesting track, and has a lot of ToLM elements in it.

    Somewhere around we have a copy of The Underwatermelon Man. I haven't played it enough to be really familiar with it. I was a fan of The Crocodiles and saw them live several times. Both in their original format and during disintegration with Mike China on bass.

    If this was an isolated song, I might give it 3/5, but the lyrics work well in its intended context. So, I'm going:

    StefanWq, BeSteVenn and Lance LaSalle like this.
  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Holy resurrection Batman! Hope you’re ok @HitAndRun!
    D.B., StefanWq and HitAndRun like this.
  16. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    All fine. Sorry for dropping out for a long while. I wondered if I could sneak back in without people noticing :)
    D.B., StefanWq, robcar and 1 other person like this.
  17. dthomas850

    dthomas850 Forum Resident

    Cleveland, Ohio
    The Girl from...….sounds pretty good 3/5
    Neville.….not so much and its very short 2/5
    StefanWq, HitAndRun and Lance LaSalle like this.
  18. Let's see...
    I like the song A LOT it but it doesn't go anywhere and then the voice comes in and keeps me from liking it the same amount all the way through.

    The Girl from:
    This sounds like an unenthusiastic cover of a really good Dukes of Stratosphear song.
  19. NorthNY Mark

    NorthNY Mark Forum Resident

    Canton, NY, USA
    Interesting--I was able to find "Neville," but not "Girl from God-Knows-Where" for a listen. I enjoyed both "Neville" and "Melon-Cauli Baby" more than I would have expected. I don't find the lyrics especially dark--they seem to be about celebrating (rather than fearing) uniqueness, a theme in children's entertainment going back to classics like "Free to Be You and Me" and even "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Both Tim and Neil seem to fit the styles of their respective songs like the proverbial glove. The various voice-over effects are pretty funny, especially the "romantic" sounds made by the two amorous vegetables. The mother in "Neville" is as annoying as intended, and provides a more easily understandable (for children) interpretation of the more open-ended transformation evoked by the lyrics. I'm not sure it makes sense to rate them, but these two songs were really enjoyable.
    StefanWq, HitAndRun and Lance LaSalle like this.
  20. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Where’d you find them mark?
    HitAndRun likes this.
  21. NorthNY Mark

    NorthNY Mark Forum Resident

    Canton, NY, USA
    StefanWq, HitAndRun and Lance LaSalle like this.
  22. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Thanks for the link!
    NorthNY Mark and HitAndRun like this.
  23. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    Neville sounds a bit like a CH First Album b-side, but it's a fun song.

    Normally I'd go for three-ish, but I'm going to go up to a 4/5 because it's got a Topp Twin on it. I remember seeing them busking on Queen Street.
    BeSteVenn, Lance LaSalle and StefanWq like this.
  24. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    I like both of these quite a bit. There's a vague psychedelia about them, particularly on "The Girl From Godknowswhere", that calls to mind 1968-era Beatles. Never delved into the lyrics too deeply but, yeah, there's some disturbing stuff going on in that track. "Neville The Enchanted Rug" is more comical and is indeed very catchy.

    3.3/5 for "The Girl From Godknowswhere"
    3.1/5 for "Neville The Enchanted Rug"
  25. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Vallentuna, Sweden
    Both "Neville The Enchanted Rug" and "The Girl From Godknowswhere" are really good, fun and deserve to be better known. The former is a bit short and underdeveloped (at least to my adult ears) while the latter is more fully formed. At the very least, "The Girl From Godknowswhere" would have been a quality bonus track on one of the singles from "Try Whistling This", in fact it would have deserved a place on the album as well.
    3,6/5 for "Neville The Enchanted Rug" and 4,3/5 for "The Girl From Godknowswhere".

Share This Page