Sunday, November 04, 2007

ugly nora

I'm writing a preview of the (Mr.) Robyn Hitchcock show that is coming to Indianapolis this weekend. Robyn's punk-rock band, The Soft Boys was a favorite of mine back in the day.

Last night two of my friends were discussing how hard it was to find pencils, bicycle vanity plates and key chains with their names on them. Ha! I know that story, not once did I ever find anything with the name Nora on it. Yet I insisted on pawing through everything on the racks, just in case. Hope springs eternal.

The only time Nora turns up in literature she is the upstairs maid or a spinster aunt. The notable exception is Isben's A Doll House.

I was thrilled by the Soft Boys song "Ugly Nora". As a young-punk rocker I felt like it gave me some sort of credibility.

When I was assigned the Hitchcock preview, I didn't dream that I'd ever have contact with him. I sent his publicist a list of generic questions. I just about fainted when he answered then. I would have asked him more specific questions especially about the genesis of "Ugly Nora". And thanked him for it.

I could not find a recording or video of the song, so here are the lyrics:

With your eyes like rattles and your legs like stems
It's a wonder you can walk on them
You make a bee look like a flying bomb
You're so thin, you're not dead, but you're almost gone

But your bones are hip and full of soul
Come on ugly Nora (Nora, come on)
Come on ugly Nora (Nora, come on)
Hideous Nora, I wanna see your jellies roll

With your eggs like jelly and your skin like moss
What you could have been is so great a loss
But your shrivelled onion made a fool of you
Like a straw babboon in an empty zoo

It's about time I lent you my salad bowl
Come on ugly Nora (Nora, come on)
Come on ugly Nora (Nora, come on)
Hideous Nora, I wanna see your jellies roll

Let me hear myself, stand back
Aw, do it again, Robbie baby
Now use the fork
Look out for that cat
Heh heh, too bad
Told you

Well, you know I mean it, don't say you don't
It just drives me crackers when you say you won't
All the best things in your life are loud
Forget about whether this stuff's allowed

You've been making a living out of doing what you're told
Come on ugly Nora (Nora, come on)
Come on ugly Nora (Nora, come on)
Hideous Nora, I wanna see your jellies roll

Squash it, kim


Jerry said...

Jerome's not very popular in song either. The only mention I can think of, is in The Time's song Jungle Love:

Hey Jesse Jerome, yes!
Check it out!
Oh (oh we oh we oh)

terah said...

I keep looking for my name on cups and keychains and other useless crap, too. One time my mom special ordered me a cup with my name and that was very exciting! Now I find myself feeling giddy because my son's name is on everything! I want to buy it all!

King Tiger said...

Nora, Nora

A woman of many talents!

Kim said...

A great song that mentions us both! YAY for us cool girls!!

Rachel said...

I never heard that song before. I am able to find Rachel on most things. It was a very popular name a few years back.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Naomi has never been a name one sees too many places!
Now, for the first time, there is a character on TV named "Naomi" played by the amazingly talented Aurda McDonald...I think it's the first time! So I relate!

Thanks so much for your wonderfully sweet comment on my post....It means a lot!

I am unfamiliar with this group but the lyrics to the song are quite wonderful. I am sorry you didn't ask him what the song acrually stemmed from....!