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Andy Whitman

The Funky Western Civilization

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I see that the traveling edition of "So You Think You Can Dance?" was at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio last night, featuring many of the amateur dancers who are now celebrities on your TV screen. To mark this momentous occasion I offer you one of my favorite dance tracks:

come on everybody

get on your feet

get with the beat

there's a brand new dance craze

sweeping the nation

and it's called the funky western civilization

well there's a riot in the courthouse,

there's a fire in the street

there's a sinner bein' trampled by a thousand pious feet

there's a baby every minute bein' born without a chance

now don't that make you want to jump right up and start to dance?

let's do the funky

the funky western civilization

it's really spunky

it's just like summertime vacation

you just grab your partner by the hair

throw her down and leave her there

they put jesus on a cross,

they put a hole in j.f.k.

they put hitler in the driver's seat

and looked the other way

now they've got poison in the water

and the whole world in a trance

but just because we're hypnotized,

that don't mean we can't dance

we've got the funky

the funky western civilization

it's really spunky

it's just like summertime vacation

you just drag your partner through the dirt

leave him in a world of hurt

you get down, get funky, get western

(own up to it boys and girls)

and if you try real hard maybe you can even get,

you know, kinda civilized

(mesdames et messieurs, bon soir. this is joan of arc. tonio has asked me to personally deliver a rather special message. he say he just cannot get enough of my 15th-century wisdom. he say he loves it when i talk with him like this. and after many a saturday night of doing ze funky western civilization together, i know for a fact he agrees with me when i say [in french]:you can bullshit the baker and get the buns, you can back out of every deal except one)

this is the funky

the funky western civilization

it's oh, so very spunky

it's just like summertime vacation

all's you gotta do is find some little kid somewhere

and throw him way up in the air (never mind the parents)

yes it's a funky

a funky western civilization

and it may seem kinda skunky, you know

but it's hitting every nation (all across the universe)

that's 'cause all's you gotta do is grab your partner by the hair

throw her down and leave her there

-- Tonio K., "The Funky Western Civilization"

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I love that track! I used to play it on my radio show all the time.

If I had a radio show, I would play that song everyday. Tonio simply must record something new. Did anyone ever attend one of his "pancake concerts?"

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Andy - next time I'm in Columbus, I'm buying you a beer (or a coke, whatever your preference). I haven't thought of this record in a few years, but it's the work of twisted genius. I truly my thought that my brother and I were the only two humans under Tonio K.'s sway. I wish I could post an mp3 here, but my absolute favorite song (and one of the greatest kiss-off songs ever) is the album closer "H-A-T-R-E-D". It's funny, profane, honest, searing and ultimately, conciliatory. I especially love the bolded lyrics, and I love Jackson Browne.

I've edited the vulgarisms as best I could. If it's still too offensive, feel free to delete.

Now I know it's not unusual

There's nothing so unique

There's probably hundreds of wonderful love affairs

That go bad in this town every week

(It's a big town)

But all of them others

Them sad hearted lovers

Could cry in their beer what the hey

It didn't concern me

Was none of my business

I never had nothing to say

But suddenly darlin'

The table has turned

You have left me for somebody new

And it's now it's hard

To express the resentment I feel

For the years that I wasted on you

But let me put this another way

Okay

Ienz, Zwi, Dri, Fere!

(*Repeat above)

I'm so full of

H-a-t-r-e-d

I'm bitter I'm malign

You got me

P-i-s-s-e-d-O-f-f

I'm angry most of the time

Why don't you

G-o-t-o-h-e-double

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Andy - next time I'm in Columbus, I'm buying you a beer (or a coke, whatever your preference). I haven't thought of this record in a few years, but it's the work of twisted genius. I truly my thought that my brother and I were the only two humans under Tonio K.'s sway. I wish I could post an mp3 here, but my absolute favorite song (and one of the greatest kiss-off songs ever) is the album closer "H-A-T-R-E-D". It's funny, profane, honest, searing and ultimately, conciliatory. I especially love the bolded lyrics, and I love Jackson Browne.

Teek, I think you'll find at least a few Tonio K. fans here. Our own mrmando maintains the best and most detailed Tonio K. website, and I'm sure there are other fans here as well.

Me? I love the guy, and would probably consider Life in the Foodchain as one of my Top 10 Desert Island disks (okay, LPs; I bought that one a long time ago. And yes, I share your enthusiasm for "H-A-T-R-E-D" as perhaps the greatest kissoff song ever). Tonio became a little more blatant about his Christian faith in later years, and made some good albums that far surpass the usual CCM schmaltz (particularly Romeo Unchained). But, in my opinion, he was never better than in his wiseass philosophy major phase, which included Life in the Foodchain and Amerika. Words cannot express how much I love those albums.

Edited by Andy Whitman

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I'm writing about Tonio K. for Paste. This is a labor of love.

-------------------------

the english hate the irish

the arabs hate the jews

the whole world's got its black man

in a pinch

the cowboys hate the indians

the chinese hate 'em too

the french hate everyone

but that's just part of being french

now your spaniard loves a bullfight

and your russian loves a trial

italians love his holiness

because he dresses real snappy

and the germans like a good old

fashioned war

every once in a while

and we americans love everyone

we keep the whole world laughing

yes we're just one big happy family

'neath the sun

all full of you and me and he and she

and it and everyone

oh it's a wacky zany place

that we come from

we call it heaven

please take your shoes off

don't ask no questions

are you having fun?

now the thin ones laugh at fat ones

and the smart ones laugh at fools

you know that everyone thinks

somebody else is funny

the hot laugh at the cold

the old are laughing at the new

and six-gun yassir and bokassa and

the rockefellers

laugh at everybody

still it's just one big happy family

'neath the sun

it's all full of you and me and he and she

and it and everyone

gosh it's a goofy loony place that we

come from

me/i ain't laughin'

in fact i'm leavin'

you keep the car dear

i still don't need it

don't tell the children

don't tell the germans

don't tell the rockefellers

don't tell no one

-- Tonio K., "One Big Happy Family"

Edited by Andy Whitman

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