Escape (The Parenthetical Rock Song Title Countdown #7): Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me)
By Four Walls
April 27, 2017 8:02pm CST
Not planned!! Here comes the next song on my countdown of favorite songs that have a parenthetical title. @teamfreak16 started this, and I'm listing my favorites in both rock and country. And, as I said, it wasn't deliberate that today's song comes from today's album....but here it is. #7: Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me) - Steely Dan I promised more of this album, and I delivered, didn't I? "A dish of dollars laid out for all to see, a tower room at Eden Rock (a real Brooklyn apartment building), his golf at noon for free." This isn't really a down-on-his-luck guy they're singing about, is it? (And, if you think Donald Fagen sounds weird, you're right: that's not him singing lead; rather, David Palmer [who left the band after the first album].) Actually, there are many interpretations to this song (which is one of the reasons Becker and Fagen rank so highly on my list of favorite songwriter teams). I've read a lot of different takes about it being about a jerk in the apartment building who flashes his money around, or about a prostitute (the latter fitting in well with the album's cover art). My take is that it's not about one person but a group of people in the neighborhood, including the money-flasher and the hooker and the card shark ("a case of aces done up loose for dealing"). Of course, it took me about 20 years to figure out that "Kid Charlemagne" was a drug dealer, so I'm probably way off base. So ignore all of the discussion about what the lyrics are about and just enjoy Skunk Baxter's steel guitar work in the song. And even if you loathe country music (this is not a country song, despite the presence of steel guitar), you will enjoy this steel guitar work. It's marvelous. Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me) Written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen Recorded by Steely Dan From Can't Buy a Thrill, 1972 A piece of island cooling in the sea:
4 people like this
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
Yay, two Steely Dan songs in one day. They always had funky lyrics that were hard to figure out. At least once in awhile. Then again, "Put on your high heeled sneakers," one of my favorite lyrics, is pretty self explanatory.