Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent
athelind

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Midnight Music Double Feature: PRESSURE

Whenever I hear one of these songs, I think of the other.

They were both released in 1982, the year I graduated high school.

Says something about the zeitgeist, doesn't it?







Pressure
Billy Joel
from the 1982 album
The Nylon Curtain


You have to learn to pace yourself
Pressure!
You're just like everybody else
Pressure!
You've only had to run so far
So good
But you will come to a place
Where the only thing you feel
Are loaded guns in your face
And you'll have to deal with
Pressure!

You used to call me paranoid
Pressure!
But even you can not avoid
Pressure!
You turned the tap dance into your crusade
Now here you are with your faith
And your Peter Pan advice
You have no scars on your face
And you cannot handle
Pressure!

All grown up and no place to go
Psych 1, Psych 2
What do you know?
All your life is Channel 13
Sesame Street
What does it mean?
Pressure!
Pressure!

Don't ask for help
You're all alone
Pressure!
You'll have to answer
To your own
Pressure!
I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale
But here you are in the ninth
Two men out and three men on
Nowhere to look but inside
Where we all respond to
Pressure!
Pressure!

All your life is Time Magazine
I read it too
What does it mean?
Pressure!
I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale
But here you are with your faith
And your Peter Pan advice
You have no scars on your face
And you cannot handle Pressure!
Pressure!
Pressure!

One, two, three, four
Pressure!









Under Pressure
David Bowie and Queen
from the 1982 album
Hot Space


Umm boom bah day
umm boom bah bay
umm bah boom bah bay day

Pressure, pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man asks for
Under Pressure
That burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

Umm bah bah bay
Umm bah bah bay
Ea day da
Ea day da
That's okay!

It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming, "let me out!"
Pray tomorrow takes me higher
Pressure on people
People on streets

Day day day
Umm... Buh da bah bah bah
O-kay!

Chippin' around
Kick my brains 'round the floor
These are the days
It never rains but it pours

Ea doe bay dup
Ea da doe bah bup
Ea doe bup
Bay lup

People on streets

Ea da dea da day

People on streets

Ea da dea da dea da dea da...

It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming, "let me out!"
Pray tomorrow takes me higher-higher-high...

Pressure on people
People on streets

Turned away from it all
Like a blind man
Sat on the fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love
But it's so slashed and torn
(Why, why, whhhhhyyyy??)
Love love love love

Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking

Can't we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love give love give love?
Give love give love give love give love give love

Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care
For the people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way
Of caring about ourselves

This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves... under pressure
Under pressure

Pressure




Joel's song is such an explosion of stress, but Bowie and Queen's, despite its similar themes, is a release. It's celebratory: yes, the world is closing in around me, but I'll see it through. It's hard to listen to it without singing along with those last few lines, as the music rises to an epiphany.

Can't we give ourselves one more chance?

I do my best ... under pressure.


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