Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sally Went Down

Keeping with the double theme of Snackplate and songs that flew through the production line...


In August 1989, about a year after graduation from UT, a number of my buds converged on ye olde heimatstadt Denton for a couple of weeks of hanging out and catching up. I was back from the Carolinas, Mookie came in from Chicago, and Snackplate was back from a year at the University of Freiburg in West Germany. "So," I asked him at one of many backyard cookouts held in that short period, "Is there any chance that Germany will be reunited?"

Man," he answered, "They're not even dreaming about it."

Note: I saw recently that in January 1989 East Germany's President Hohnecker stated that the Berlin Wall would still be standing "a hundred years from now.)

Imagine our surprise when, on November 9, the wall came down. It was a world-shaking event, and I decided to commemorate it with a song and decided that the whole thing had to be completed that day. Thus was "Sally Went Down" born, for better or for worse.

It's a simple song and fairly rocking, so the Dentones ALWAYS begin their gigs with it.

Another component: Someone I had known in high school had actually gone to Berlin to live for a while. I think she had lived a bit fast there and had been left a little empty by the experience.


Sally Went Down

sally went down where the east meets west
with an open heart and a party dress
and sheened around* forever and a day
she never really meant to sin
but you don't have to mean in west berlin
it seems it's always turning out that way
chorus 1

oh, oh, let the ocean come
oh, oh, let the ocean come
oh, oh, let the ocean come
oh, oh, let the ocean come

she met a man named peter stein
he was kind of dumb but looked real fine
and made her feel like she was something else
and there by the gate of brandenburg
he said he would do anything for her
you know-- some things you just can't do yourself

chorus 1
by and by the days went by
like one long blur for mrs. stein
and every night the neighbors heard her say--
she said, "move it out, move it in
a pink carnation and a drop of gin,
I wish my life could always be this way"
sally went down where the east meets west
with an open heart and a party dress
and sheened* around forever and a day

she never really meant to sin
but you don't have to mean in west berlin
it seems it's always turning out that way


could someone take this bitter cup away
could someone take this bitter cup away
could someone take this bitter cup away
could someone take this bitter cup away

note:::: * To "sheen" is to promote oneself in a way that has to do with personal status or pleasure, especially when one thinks one is doing so surreptitiously but there is at least one other person who is aware and is possibly slightly disapproving or embarrassed. I think Snackplate coined the term, though he would never define it for me. I hope I got it right!

4 comments:

Stephen said...

my brother and i threw a 50th birthday party for our parents that year. mom's day is november 9th. it made a great addition to the party.

on a side note, your entries have very little contrast in my rss reader.

mrpod said...

"Sheen" is also used to simply mean to convey oneself from one point to another with an immense casualness that belies the solipsistic intentness of the task.
e.g. "Guess I'll be sheening down to the store to get some beer."

Po said...

I understand from practice last night that someone other than Snackplate coined the term. Please explain.

zo said...

Without a rigorous timeline I can't attest to your acquiring a usage of "sheen" from a different origin. I remember it as a term Mike N. in Denton used as an all-purpose term, a verb and nouned verb that could serve as "do," "have," "show,", "say," or pretty much any damn thing.

This does not discredit your description of the origin of the term. It's possible the origin of one usage came from evolution of the other.