A stunning reversal.

A friend of mine who shall remain nameless (Blasty) has for sometime now fought a losing battle to convince us all that the fateful line in ‘I Will Dare’ is ‘bacon and cigarettes’, NOT ‘fingernails and cigarettes’. Like most others, I’ve been quietly amused by his hopeless inaccuracy (as well as his dated style of formal-wear). I’d even prepared a little column with the requisite pseudo opinion quotes:
 baykon

But then, a phunney thing happened on the way to the interweb. I happened to listen to ‘I Will Dare’ on the ‘Don’t You Know…’ compilation. It’s the first time in ages I’d heard the tune that I wasn’t playing some concert bootleg. And I’ve never heard a live version where he doesn’t sing ‘cigarettes’. But on that original?  Sweet Fancy Maureen, he says ‘bacon’ . Now, I’m not suggesting that he does. I’m not wondering if he does. He DOES. Case closed. Turn out the lights. Tip your waitress. The fat lady’s singing, curtains are falling, Smeagol’s burning, and the roadies are finishing ‘Hootenanny’.

So, a tip of the hat to my anonymous friend Blasty (real name & phone: Eduardo Corochio 612-867-5309). The pork grinds are on me.

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12 Comments

  1. Robert 19.Sep.07 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve always heard the line as “bacon and cigarettes,” because Paul’s talking about a lousy dinner, right? Yes, fingernails and cigarettes would be even worse, but I never doubted he was saying “bacon.” Now you’re saying I should? Geez, what else should I doubt? Official statements from the White House? Never!

  2. JimDracula 19.Sep.07 at 3:41 pm

    Yeah, never understood the confusion over this lyric. It’s ALWAYS been “bacon & cigarettes” to these ears. However, Paul is renowned for improvising lyrics live & ‘fessed up that “fingernails & cigarettes” = nervous anxiety; imagine a cartoon character w/ its fingernails between teeth & eyes bugged out of its head, is how he once described it.

  3. ElegantMule 19.Sep.07 at 8:43 pm

    Oh bullshit. You and Blasty are just in cahoots and won’t let this ridiculous argument die.

  4. Joey Ramone 19.Sep.07 at 9:44 pm

    Mule is certainly wise tonight. I can’t believe anyone would fall for the bacon hoax.

  5. pzp 19.Sep.07 at 10:02 pm

    Well, Stephen Hawking seems to feel it has some merit.

    And Mule is just pissed cuz me and Blasty are making a killing on our bacon-flavored cigarettes.

  6. Wolfdog 20.Sep.07 at 12:25 am

    I’m in the fingernails camp. Have been since 1984. But all this talk about bacon has muddled my ears. Occasionally I hear bacon. Sometimes when I’m not even listening to anything. Has my sub-conscious been influenced by lunatic lobbyists? Could be.

    Maybe if Rhino gets around to releasing a remastered Let It Be, and we get the crime lab to analyze the phrase, I can feel confident I have made the right choice.

    But then again, like the staged moon landings, nothing may satisfy the conspiracy/bacon zealots. Even confirmation from the man himself will be called ‘misleading’.

  7. Lyndale 20.Sep.07 at 2:26 pm

    You know the world is in a sad place when a man like PZ can cave so easily.

  8. Robert 20.Sep.07 at 4:54 pm

    Have any of you heard any news about the Rhino and Ryko reissues lately? I used to work with a guy who had recently written the liner notes for the reissue of “Tim,” but that was two years ago. He said there had already been plenty of delays because of each member of the Replacements wanting to make sure he got properly paid this time around, but apparently the band still owed money to Sire/Reprise from the late ’80s and early ’90s, so there was a lot of red tape to get through. I haven’t heard anything about the box set(s) so far this year. It looks like Rhino might not be releasing the Lemonheads’ “It’s a Shame About Ray” reissue before the end of 2007 either.

  9. Color Me Impressed 20.Sep.07 at 8:12 pm

    The album version is kind of muffled, I can totally hear it being both “fingernails” and “bacon”, but if you listen to the Fat Roadie bootleg (which I’m assuming most of you have), it’s blatantly obvious that it’s “fingernails and cigarettes.” “Bacon”‘s 10x more amazing though.

  10. scooterboy 24.Sep.07 at 7:22 am

    as much as i love bacon (see you on wednesday at the triple rock), i just can’t accept it. i can’t, jerry… I WON’T.

  11. Peter 21.Mar.10 at 4:58 pm

    No way people, the lyric is “Bacon and Seagrams” and it is the saddest, most beautifulest, sad sack line in a rock n roll song…well…..pretty much ever.

  12. Jay 22.Mar.10 at 1:22 am

    bacon and cigs.
    the.
    end.