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View Full Version : Hang 'Em High: What's your take?



rustoffa
11-23-2004, 11:23 PM
Theologians, philosophasters, Heads of State, drunks....I've heard from just about every manner of VAN HALEN fan regarding the inspiration and meaning behind this little diddy.

Most seem to favor the obvious:
A tip of the perverbial hat to the ghosty Clint Eastwood westerns.

Others have mentioned the Mad Max flick.

"Carnie magicians", "Crazed roadies", "A shady promoter"...all manner of opinionated pontifications have passed my way.

Personally, I think it's just good-ol' stream of consciousness DLR ramblings.

Somewhere, I'm lost in a turn....explain this thing please.


Somewhere, lost it in a turn
Trouble seems to fit him like a glove.
First come, First served, he's serving it back,
Travels light, without a pack, without love.

He comes from nowhere, returns on his own,
late for the hanging, he's heading for the moon
Hang `em High.

Leather, across his thighs,
Blasting out the night, he's terrified to drive.
One eye on the road, crashed upon his head,
One ear to the ground, he's listening to the dead.

He comes from nowhere, returns on his own,
late for the hanging, yes he's heading for the moon
Hang `em High.

Alone to himself, he's laughing up his sleeve,
Looking back in anger, the city is releaved.
Vision of Light,
Child of the night,
Passing by.

JCOOK
11-24-2004, 07:30 AM
I like to believe the Eastwood stuff...just feels right

LookN4AMootBeat
11-24-2004, 11:30 AM
I think it's just Dave's poetic mastery (I like that better than "ramblings")

I prefer the bootleg version of the song with different lyrics called "Last Night"........I think it's a better song and they should've gone with those lyrics instead. Cooler guitar too.

"Last night I tried to call her on the telephone..
These busy signals only gave me no reply...
Tell me babe, where you spendin all your time..
Tell me babe, tell me all those lies

Where were you.......where were you......last night!"

Curious since I drove by your lights weren't on..
(somthing in mush-mouth) told me that you weren't at home...
Tell me babe, are those tears in your eyes.....
Just another part of your disguise.....

Check it out, you can find it on kazaa but i bet the bootleg section here has a link for it somewhere.

Carmine
11-24-2004, 11:36 AM
Whatever the inspiration....the tune kicks ass!

rustoffa
11-24-2004, 12:15 PM
Come on folks...gimme some allegory.

"Somewhere, lost it in a turn
Trouble seems to fit him like a glove"......

Death or change in lifes direction?

Bad luck or born to lose?

DlocRoth
11-24-2004, 12:21 PM
He's just a bad motherfucker who gets into shit cuz he dont take any.

DeadOrAlive
11-24-2004, 03:53 PM
Love this song!!

RogueHorseman
11-25-2004, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by rustoffa
Come on folks...gimme some allegory.

"Somewhere, lost it in a turn
Trouble seems to fit him like a glove"......

Death or change in lifes direction?

Bad luck or born to lose?


Go with the Eastwood analogy, trust Rogue on this one.

When Dave writes about a turn, and he does quite often use the term, it is a dramatic turn of events.

"trouble seems to fit him like a glove" -- Trouble is at the core of the mans being... it always finds him no matter where he goes, he accepts it, he welcomes it, and he wears it well. "First come, first served, he's serving it back- travels light, without a pack, without love".

I dig it.

RogueHorseman
11-25-2004, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by RogueHorseman
Go with the Eastwood analogy, trust Rogue on this one.

When Dave writes about a turn, and he does quite often use the term, it is a dramatic turn of events.

"trouble seems to fit him like a glove" -- Trouble is at the core of the mans being... it always finds him no matter where he goes, he accepts it, he welcomes it, and he wears it well. "First come, first served, he's serving it back- travels light, without a pack, without love".

I dig it.

And further, Dave actually sings it with the words "he" and then "now" (placed before "trouble") used, like this-

Somewhere, he lost it in a turn
Now, trouble seems to fit him like a glove.
First come, First served, he's serving it back,
Travels light, without a pack, without love.

The "turn" signifies a significant, life changing event of some sort.

He lost the chick... took out someone, is on the lamb, etc.

Now, all he knows is trouble, and he is apparently taking some measure of pleasure from it as long as it lasts. No stakes, no love. He's headed for the moon...

But, this wasn't always the case.

aesop
11-25-2004, 05:43 PM
There is a measure of vengeance being dealt out as well. "Serving it back" would tend to support this assumtion. Also, in "he lost it in a turn", the "it" would seem to be everything that mattered to most people, and used to matter to him.

Most people would think of family, friends, home, etc. when they think of happiness. He has none of those. He disovered that he was born to be renegade and a loner. "Bad luck or born to lose?", it doesn't matter. He is where he is and is dealing with it.

Definately fits the CE theory with the spagetti westerns. Or maybe it is actually about James Dean?

RogueHorseman
11-25-2004, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by aesop
There is a measure of vengeance being dealt out as well. "Serving it back" would tend to support this assumtion. Also, in "he lost it in a turn", the "it" would seem to be everything that mattered to most people, and used to matter to him.

Precisely.

Well said.

DeadOrAlive
11-25-2004, 08:33 PM
Great song, great song! Last Night was the original unreleased tune...

rustoffa
11-25-2004, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by RogueHorseman

The "turn" signifies a significant, life changing event of some sort.

He lost the chick... took out someone, is on the lamb, etc.

Now, all he knows is trouble, and he is apparently taking some measure of pleasure from it as long as it lasts. No stakes, no love. He's headed for the moon...

But, this wasn't always the case.

Great stuff Rogue.
Wherever "Somewhere" was really doesn't matter maybe?


Originally posted by aesop

Most people would think of family, friends, home, etc. when they think of happiness. He has none of those. He disovered that he was born to be renegade and a loner. "Bad luck or born to lose?", it doesn't matter. He is where he is and is dealing with it.


Precisely....5-star stuff right there.

"He comes from nowhere, returns on his own,
late for the hanging, he's heading for the moon
Hang `em High."

"Coming from nowhere and returning on one's own" would certainly support the nature of having "nobody waiting at home".

Was he "late" to the point of seriously fucking up?

Is he "heading" the wrong way on purpose?

Maybe he just avoided his own hanging.....

Theories abound!
:D

Matt White
11-25-2004, 11:47 PM
"Hang 'em High"

Hang 'Em High (1968)
Directed by
Ted Post

Writing credits
Leonard Freeman
Mel Goldberg

Tagline: The hanging was the best in town. But they made two mistakes. They hung the wrong man and they didn't finish the job.


Plot Outline: When an innocent man barely survives a lynching, he returns as a lawman determined to bring the vigilantes to justice.

I believe that the movie inspired the song. Watch it and give me your opinion.

I think he describes Clint Eastwood's MAN WITH NO NAME perfectly (Eventhough this character has a name):
"He comes from nowhere, returns on his own"
'Leather, across his thighs, Blasting out the night, HIS PAIR OF NITROUS EYES!"

rustoffa
11-26-2004, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by Matt White
"Hang 'em High"

I think he describes Clint Eastwood's MAN WITH NO NAME perfectly (Eventhough this character has a name):
"He comes from nowhere, returns on his own"
'Leather, across his thighs, Blasting out the night, HIS PAIR OF NITROUS EYES!"

"Fist full of dollars", "For a few dollars more", " The good, the bad, and the ugly"....

Spaghetti westerns....the man with no name trilogy.

They borrowed the premise later in "High plains drifter".

It's cuntfusing if the CE thing is the thing.
;)

Loons The Great
02-28-2007, 03:17 AM
I was born for hard luck.

chi-town324
03-03-2007, 07:07 PM
the song kicks ass love it!

Eyes of the Night
03-03-2007, 08:32 PM
This is prob one my worst liked =vh= tunes ... the chorus absolutely kills the song ...

I can listen to the song and dig it right up ti'll the chorus ... albiet this song is in my top 5 most liked opening riff songs ...

Eyes of the Night
03-03-2007, 08:37 PM
Fuck, wrong song ... I was thinking "sinner's swing" ... lmao Rips from the bong ...