BY MINDI SCOTT
At the tippy-top of this blog, a question in tiny print appears: Who needs action when you have words?
You might read that and believe that we came up with it all on our own. (We didn’t.) Or you might think that the line sounds familiar, but you can’t quite place it. Or maybe you know exactly where it came from, and you’re wondering why, oh why, did we misquote “Plateau” by the Meat Puppets on our blog?
I have an occasional habit–a bad one, in my husband’s opinion–of deliberately changing songs when I sing along. Sometimes it’s because the lyricist’s grammar or usage doesn’t work for me. Other times, I simply use different words that, for whatever reason, I prefer. Here are a few examples:
Sonny & Cher’s most famous song can change from, “I Got You, Babe” to “I Have You, Babe.”
Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” can become, “The One Who Got Away.”
The line in Death Cab’s “What Sarah Said,” can change from “I looked around at all the eyes on the ground” to “I looked around at all the eyes toward the ground.” (Because yuck! The original line makes me envision literal eyes rolling on the literal ground. Which makes me figuratively shudder.)
And so it happens that in “Plateau” by the Meat Puppets (which Nirvana helped make famous by performing it with the Meat Puppets on MTV Unplugged), the line “Who needs action when you got words?” can become “Who needs action when you have words?”
I wanted to use the line for our blog when Michelle and I were naming it because it’s cynical (by my interpretation), but also because it’s so very fitting for two girls who love reading and writing. We don’t need action! 😉
But two writers announcing to the world: “WE GOT WORDS”? Maybe we could have pulled it off, but . . . I like my version better. Forgive me, Meat Puppets!