Friday, December 5, 2008

Track of the Week: (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

It's the flip side.While I watched the Stephen Colbert Christmas special, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!, I could not help but totally dig the cover him and his friends (Elvis Costello in the form of the bear who ate him, Toby Keith, Feist, Willie Nelson and John Legend) did of this great, Nick Lowe penned song. "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," while first released by Brinsley Schwarz in 1974, is more known for the Elvis Costello & The Attractions 1979 version. The great power pop and trademark Costello snarl make the song a classic. This week I have samples of the song from Brinsley Schwarz, Elvis Costello & The Attractions and the Flaming Lips.

What the heck is so funny about peace, love and understanding? Are we just supposed to watch as people go to war all the damn time and shrug our shoulders like oh well, I guess this has to happen? Why is it naive to not want people to die if we can avoid it? What the hell? If this wasn't such a cool song I think I would lose my cool and go find "W" and punch him in the face while yelling, "Peace, you idiot! Peace!" Yeah.

Now watch as Elvis Costello out-cools us all.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions




I loved the Colbert special! Especially amazing were the two songs Colbert performed with Elvis Costello. I still have to save up a little money to get the soundtrack, but I WILL get it. You can buy it from iTunes or get the DVD if you so wish. Either way, some of the money goes to Feeding America, a charity about...feeding...America.

As for the Flaming Lips version, it comes from a Sup Pop 7" from 1989. What is really cool about it, and you'll thank me for this later, is how the song starts as a cover of the Sonics' "Strychnine" before seamlessly transitioning into "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding." Plus, the song is a real nice punk version.

Bill Murray in Lost in Translation


Lyrics
As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony

'Cause each time I feel it slippin away, just makes me wanna cry.
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony

'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

Samples
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding by Brinsley Schwarz
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding by The Flaming Lips

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