Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mean, Nasty, Horrible, Miserable, Evil, Scathingly Vituperative... and Just Plain Vicious. I Love It! ~~ Reprinted Without Editing from "David'Z Rantz," 12/04/08

Well, fellow babies, as the title above says, the following post is being presented exactly as it was first posted on my old blog almost nine years ago... but with a little surprise from Yours Truly in a postscript at the very end. So dive right into it!

*  *  *  *  *

From the late 1960s until the middle 1970s, a Canadian rock band called The Guess Who (fronted by the incomparable Burton Cummings, pictured above in lieu of the entire band 'cause I felt like it) had several Top 40 hits: "These Eyes," "American Woman," "No Sugar Tonight," "Clap for the Wolfman," "Undun" [sic], "Laughing," and many, many more.

But they also had a whole slew of material on their albums which equaled or surpassed their output on 45 RPM singles. One of those classic cuts is a tune that absolutely screams for "anger management" classes, a lengthy musical diatribe called "Long Gone," from their 1974 LP, "Flavours."

I wanted to transcribe the lyrics for this all-but-unknown beauty, so to save time, I Googled the lyrics on the 'net with the intention of doin' the ol' copy-and-paste...


I was absolutely flabbergasted to discover that virtually every single lyrics website on the freakin' internet has incorrectly transcribed the first line of the song! That's right! Every single site lists the line as "Who in the Hell are you to criticize?" although the lyrics are "Who in the hell are you to try and criticize?" which is plain as day from simply listening to the song!

And I know that no one got it right, because I did a second Google search utilizing the terms "Guess Who," "Long Gone," "lyrics," and the correct phrase, "try and criticize!" Nothing! Zip! Nada!

How could this possibly have happened, I wondered? Especially when the lyrics to all the songs on "Flavours" are printed on the freakin' album sleeve itself?

So I went to my shelves of 2,000 or so LPs, pulled out the album in question, and...


The offensive -- and incorrect -- lyrics are actually printed on the album's inner sleeve. But they're wrongListen to the song! They're wrong!!! They must have composed the song, written the lyrics down, sent them to the printer (or whatever), and then changed them to something that flowed better musically, before -- or even while -- recording the tune!

If I ever meet Burton Cummings -- and I hope I do, so I can tell him how much his singing style influenced my own -- I'm going to ask him about that. I'm also going to ask him why he and Mr. Troiano wrote "Long Gone" in the first place, because it's a killer!

See for yourself. (And yes, I've corrected the mistake... on this RantZ page only. Another exclusive from the people at "David'Z RantZ," meaning... me.)

Who in the hell are you to try and criticize?
Every day and every night you're just a drag
You've been long gone, long gone...

You are working from a point of depression
Isn't it amazing when you find you're slipping
You've been long gone, long gone...

I guess you've always been a power-hungry specimen
You were raised with rank in mind
I'd gladly give away everything I've ever owned
For the chance to stab you from behind
Cause I'm tired of what you're saying
It's not worth the paper it's printed on
It just doesn't cut it anymore.

Each time the sun greets the new dawning
I'll try to kick you while you're down
Welcome to the Kingdom of Hatred
You'll find out soon that I wear the crown.
I'm tired of what you been sayin'
It's not worth the time to discuss it
You just don't cut it anymore.

Who in the hell are you to try and criticize?
You're still learning how to form an opinion
You've been long gone, long gone... *

Whew! I'd hate to be the person who inspired that little ditty! Isn't it great? Kinda peels the skin right off your back with a dull knife, dunnit?

(By the way, I absolutely love the line "I'm tired of what you're saying. It's not worth the paper it's printed on." Isn't that some kind of Goldwynism?)

Unfortunately, -- Damn! -- as my (bad) luck would have it, it figures that there wouldn't be a YouTube video for this gem, eh? (Oops. Sorry about that "eh." Told you they were a Canadian band.)

And as for the reason why "I wanted to transcribe the lyrics for this all-but-unknown beauty," I...



I guess, to quote Sam Kinison, "I'm just in that kinda f**kin' mood, folks!"

Well (he asked defensively), whattya expect from a guy who writes a column called "David'Z RantZ," anyhoo?

Nope. No real point to all of this, in case you were wondering. So it goes.

Thanks for your time.

*Lyrics to "Long Gone" by Burton Cummings and Domenic Troiano, ©1974 Cummings-Troiano Associates

P.S. ~~ Guess what, fellow babies? Nine years later, the song "Long Gone" IS on YouTube! So here it is!


  1. With schedules for recording, covers, lyrics printed, etc. I can see how it may get changed in recording and not get followed up in print. I wonder how many of those sites actually listened before putting the lyrics up. One just probably slapped them up and the rest hit copy and paste. Someone sure must have pissed them off though for that song to come due.

    1. I know one song in particular -- I'll probably post about it someday -- that has a glaring error that appears on every lyrics site I've checked, leading me to agree with your statement "One just probably slapped them up and the rest hit copy and paste."

  2. It might be cathartic to sing along with when you are really mad at someone who tried to screw you over. But not my cup of tea for everyday listening.

    Never had a Guess Who album, so no telling what I missed that I would have loved. Will have to do some listening online.

    1. They were a terrific group, with lots of hits and some great album cuts, too.

  3. I hear "who in the hell are you to try and criticize." Remember when some people were fascinated by the name The Guess Who and speculated that they were really The Beatles? I never thought they sounded Beatlicious, but I always liked them.


    1. Well! I read your comment and figured that I'd better take a really close listen to those lyrics! What I heard was also "who in the hell are you to try and criticize," but he doesn't enunciate the "who in" very well, does he? It sounds more like "hoon," and is really easy to miss! I changed my post (and the original David'Z RantZ post) accordingly! Thanks!

    2. So many songs are almost impossible to understand.

    3. So true. Misheard lyrics are legendary, like "'scuse me while I kiss this guy" and "There's a bathroom on the right."

    4. I misunderstand lyrics all the time. It's one of my specialties. I've added misreading signs in recent years. What I think I see on a sign is always much more amusing than what it says.

    5. As my eyes get weaker with age, I often see things incorrectly, at least at first. It's made for some pretty funny results at times, like a few weeks ago when I saw your blog's URL,, as

  4. Now, that was quite interesting. They still play The Guess Who on the classic rock n' roll stations around here. I have gone to see Burton Cummings perform a few times. He plays Mohegan Sun once in awhile, maybe you can catch a show there and ask him your question.

    1. I'm going to have to start watching the Mohegan Sun website for Burton Cummings shows! I've been there a lot for oldies concerts, and a few comedians (like Kevin Hart, Sarah Silverman, Lewis Black, and even Robin Williams).

      So, True, are we neighbors, or what? (I live in the southernmost part of Massachusetts, on the Connecticut line.)

  5. Lyrics seem quite apt for this mo in history. Lots of super angry folks about.

    Enjoyed the music, thank heavens for youtube!

    1. If only we could all resort to music alone to unleash our pent-up anger.

  6. I used to enjoy Burton Cummings' voice quite a bit, back in the day. I have a fondness for anyone whose voice is unique, and he had such a richness with a bit of sandpaper.

    Thanks for resharing your original rant!


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