America Drinks

Notes and Comments

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  The Real FZ voice
  On this side of the album there are two versions of this set of lyrics. This version which opens side two, is in effect an abstraction (in advance of) the set of lyrics which close side two. The opening lines of 'One, two, buckle my shoe' and 'doopie, doopie' are derived from a tune called 'My Little Red Book.'
One, two, buckle my shoe
(doot, doot)
(doopie, doopie)
Oh, I don't know
From: Charles Ulrich <>
  For those who don't know, the beginning of "America Drinks" is a parody of Love's "Little Red Book" (and/or Manfred Mann's), which was written by Burt Bacharach (currently in resurgence...). The introductory "doopie doopie" part is specifically from "Little Red Book". FZ acknowledged this in the International Times, 8/31/67.
  The Burt Bacharach/Hal David/Manfred Mann/Love song is, of course, not about quotations from Chairman Mao, but an address book full of girls' phone numbers.
From: johan wikberg <>
  "One and two and buckle my shoe" was used as a count-off by Marc Bolan on "Lean Woman Blues", on the Electric Warrior album, with Flo & Eddie on it.
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I tried to find
How my heart
Could be so blind,
Wanna buy some pencils?)
From: Patrick Neve <>
  Perhaps its the singer's blind heart that's selling the proverbial pencils? There is a common American stereotype, that probably hasn't actually happened since the depression, of a blind person selling pencils out of a tin cup on the street. This image has been perpetuated in movies and cartoons and probably has very little basis in fact. But I'm wondering if the lyric about his heart being so blind inspired the pencil question... I dunno.
  See "Wanna buy some..." theme lengthy discussed along with Bob Dylan chemical passions here SHEIK YERBOUTI. Flakes.
How could I be fooled
Just like the rest
You came on strong with your
Fast car and your class ring
Sad eyes, and your ... ...
From: Patrick Neve <>
  Sad eyes and your ... ...???
From: Biffyshrew <>
  Actually it's "Soft voice & your sad eyes."
From: Patrick Neve <>
  I don't think that's it. Right at 0:45 it's very clearly; "Sad eyes and your".... fill in the blank.
  Now in America Drinks And Goes Home, it IS "soft voice and your sad eyes." But it's different in America Drinks. Help!! I cannot go on living until I or someone else deciphers this lyric!!!!!
From: Charles Ulrich <>
  It's obvious that Ray screwed up the lyrics in "America Drinks". He may actually have sung the word "something", but I think he just mumbled something unintelligible.
From: "D.G. Porter" <>
  I think it's "Sad eyes and your CLASS RING." -DGP (who was in High School in the mid-to-late-60s & knows about pep ralleys, class rings and cheerleaders who wore thick undergarments and tried not to flash & it sucked!)
From: Patrick Neve <>
  No, the class ring is mentioned in the line before.
"Fast car and your class ring
Sad eyes and your....."
  I think Dr. Ulrich is on the right track. As I listen to it again I'm thinking it's either;
"Sad eyes and your ..something"
"Sad eyes and your clothing"
  Either way, it does sound unintentional to this ear as well.
From: Patrick Neve <>
  I nearly fell of my chair laughing just now. After listening to "America Drinks", and for about the millionth time, trying to figure out what the heck Ray Collins mumbles right at about :45.
You came on strong
With your fast car
And your class ring
Sad eyes and your.... (something)
  This came up before, and the most plausible explanation was that he had actually forgotten the words, and mumbles the word, "something." But what made me laugh so hard was reading along to a photocopy of the original libretto that someone was kind enough to send to me.. (the best source if Absolutely Free lyrics so far)... and it reads the following;
You came on strong
With your fast car
And your class ring
Sad eyes & your BRAN FLAKES
  Now, Ray clearly does not sing this, and I'd think it would be an easy line to remember (how could you forget that?), so I think it's more likely that Ray misplaced the line before it and sort of went on from there. Frank must have put the libretto together after the fact, and in reconstructing Ray's brain fart, stuck in a lyric he deemed appropriate.
I've done it too
Now I know
Just what it feels like
From: Gary Worsham <>
  What was the original source of the fragment in "America Drinks" starting at about 1:20 that also appears in "I'm a Beautiful Guy"?
From: Biffyshrew <>
  The part IMMEDIATELY at 1:20 is "Entry Of The Gladiators" (aka "the circus lick"). But since you also mention "IABG," I think you're really referring to the "silent movie chase scene" music on the keyboard on the right channel--I have no idea what that's called.
From: Vladimir Sovetov
  Circus lick was later once again used in BROADWAY THE HARD WAY. Rhymin' Man song.
From: OnTheCornr (
  There's also a bit of Rossini in there, and those bits of silent movie/Keystone Kops music--I have no idea what that's called. There are plenty of other quotes on AF besides the ones you mentioned, it's just that they aren't all CLASSICAL quotes. There's "Baby Love" in "Soft Sell Conclusion," "White Christmas" in "Uncle Bernie's Farm," "My Little Red Book" in "America Drinks," and probably others that I can't think of offhand. Not forgetting that, even though it's stretched all out of shape on the album version, "Plastic People" remains a paraphrase of "Louie, Louie."

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