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One More for the Road

Dr. Spin answers another car commercial question.

by Dr. Spin
December 13, 2004

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Hello, do you by any chance know the title of the song in an older Mitsubishi commercial, lyrics go... days go by and still I think of you... any answers?  Thanks so much.
Dear Shawn,
At the risk of starting up this trend again, the song you’re looking for is “Days Go by” by Dirty Vegas.
Who was "Semolina Pilchard", in I am the Walrus?
Dear Person with no name,
Semolina pilchard is not a who, but a what. According to my American Heritage Dictionary:
semolina: The gritty coarse particles of wheat left after the finer flour has passed through the bolting machine, used for pasta.
pilchard: Any of various small marine fishes related to the herrings, esp. a commercially important edible species, Sardina pilchardus, of European waters.
So there you have it; pasta sardines climbing up the Eiffel Tower. One could argue that Lennon is referring to Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish, but I don’t think that is what he means (I don’t know if the popular snack food was even around in 1967). In the end, it’s just another weird image in a song full of weird images.
* * *
Finally, Dr. Spin would like to comment on a few points his colleague Drew McManus made in his last column.
McManus drew an interesting line from classical music to modern Rock, noting that the size of the “band” has devolved, as various forms of music have evolved (this wasn’t the point of his article, but it’s what I’m using). Indeed, performed music has, with the help of technology, diminished the size of “bands” form the hundred-piece orchestras to the 30-piece “big bands” to the jazz sextets and quintets, to traditional four-piece rock band, to “power trios,” and now two-piece acts like the White Stripes and the Black Keys, and even a “one-man band” like Simple Kid.
Perhaps because of its simple structure, Rock continues to be one of the most accessible and therefore popular forms of music. The fact that a two-piece ensemble can create the “raw” sound of Rock (how could a two-piece band not sound raw?) speaks volumes (no pun intended) to how accessible it is. Unfortunately, Rock’s d/evolution has also led to many examples whereas my mother used to say, “They all sound the same.”

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