The unbearable lightness of disco

Just now, I happened to be within earshot of a radio loudly playing an ‘oldies’ station; and, as is liable to happen on such occasions, I heard a familiar old song for about the ten thousandth time. And as is also liable to happen, I had never before paid much attention to the lyrics; partly because they were sung in a screeching nasal falsetto, hard to distinguish, and partly because they are not really meant to draw one’s attention. They are merely mouth noises to carry the tune, and the tune is merely a noise to tell the stridently funky disco band when to change key. And that is merely the signal for people on the dance floor to do bad John Travolta impersonations.

But this time I did pay attention; and with a little help from the Internet (that infallible source of nothing but petrified truth), I deciphered them at last. Now I know what the Banshee Guys were actually singing about. I think that was the name of the vocal group; it was either that or Banana Grinders; but it is hard to recover the information at this late date in history, for they had a stubborn habit of using only the initials B. G. At any rate, here are the words, as reconstructed by the latest techniques in the science of musical archaeology.

(Cut for mild anatomical vulgarity…)

Well, I was buildin’ a table for my lodge
On the workbench out in my garage;
Tried to fasten down my carpentry
So I could work with both hands free.

Now it’s all right, I’m OK,
Torsion makes me sound this way.
And we can try to understand
Ace Hardware’s effect on man.

Let me tell you, brother, I’m hurtin’ like a mother,
Got my balls in a vice, balls in a vice.
There’s no way of fakin’, we all know what is breakin’,
It’s my balls in a vice, balls in a vice.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, balls in a vice, balls in a vice.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, balls in a vi–i–ice!

Followed by the poor maimed vocalist crying, ‘I’m goin’ nowhere, somebody help me,’ which is quite reasonable considering his predicament. I would not want to leave that place without help, myself. But it does seem a bit over the odds that he repeats this refrain (to a maddening disco beat) for twenty-four minutes and forty-seven seconds.

At any rate, that is one of the great mysteries cleared up, for the benefit of those who, like myself, have never quite got the hang of this whole Pop Culture thing.


  1. Wendy Delmater Thies says

    Hang the pop culture thing? Please do.

  2. ….sadly, the only thing that suggested this was a parody (besides the polite little tag at the bottom!) was the mention of Ace Hardware.

    I offer as evidence, the entire record of “Mickey Mouse Disco,” with focus on “Macho Duck.”

  3. Andrew Parrish says

    Worthy of Swift. Crying laughing.

  4. Of course, the best use of that song comes from “The Office”.


  1. […] odd thing about the Banshee Guys, or Bratwurst Grills, or whatever B. G. stands for (as previously mentioned), is that they did not start off as a disco band. No indeed, their roots lay deep in the American […]

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