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Psycho Killer - acoustic (Talking Heads)
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British-American post-punk from 1975. The lyrics were inspired by the character Norman Bates in the movie Psycho (by Alfred Hitchcock, see trailer). It was Talking Heads' first album. Byrne (composer and singer) never thought this would be a hit. He considered it a "silly song" at the time, and was surprised when it took off.

This is the acoustic version. The original version is here: Psycho Killer.

A more modern version by the band These Animals here.

A foolish spoof version was made in 1980 called Psycho Chicken, by The Fools.

Hi. I gotta tape I wanna play.

Can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous, Can't relax
Can't sleep, bed's on fire
Don't touch me, I'm a real live wire

Psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est?
Far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far better
Run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho-ho, aye-yi-yi-yi-yi, ooh

You start a conversation
You can't even finish it
You're talking a lot
But you're not saying anything
When I have nothing to say
My lips are sealed
Say something once
Why say it again?

Psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est?
Far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far better
Run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho
Psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est?
Far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far better
Run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho-ho, aye-yi-yi-yi-yi

Ce que j'ai fait ce soir-là
Ce qu'elle a dit ce soir-là
Réalisant mon espoir
Je me lance vers la gloire

Okay

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
We are vain and we are blind
I hate people when they're not polite

Psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est?
Far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far better
Run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho-ho, aye-yi-yi-yi-yi, ooh
























I GOTTA= (coll.) I've got a, I have a.

TAPE= A little box cotaining a magnetic tape where sound was recorded before CDs made them disappear (see picture)

WANNA= (coll.) Want to.

I CAN'T SEEM TO FACE UP TO THE FACTS= For some reason, I can't comfront reality.

BED'S ON FIRE= If your bed is on fire, you are too restless to sleep because bad thoughts or worries are troubling you.

A REAL LIVE WIRE= A live /laɪv/ wire is a wire carrying electric current, so if you touch it you get a strong electric shock. REAL is emphasizing. If a person is "a live wire", they are very energetic, restless, excited, alert...

PSYCHO KILLER= A murderer who kills because he is mad (crazy). "Psycho" is colloquial for "psychopath" = A person who engages repeatedly in criminal and antisocial behaviour without remorse or empathy for those victimized.

QU'EST-CE QUE C'EST?= (French) What's that?

FAR BETTER= Much better. FAR BETTER RUN AWAY= Your best option is to escape (from the psycho killer).

MY LIPS ARE SEALED= I won't say anything. Something "sealed" is closed with a seal, so you know it has not been opened (see picture of a seal)

-- FRENCH PART TRANSLATIONS --
Ce que j'ai fait, ce soir-là = What I did that evening
Ce qu'elle a dit ce soir-là = What she said that evening
Réalisant mon espoir = Fullfilling my hope
Je me lance vers la gloire = Headlong I go for glory (= I go for glory without second thoughts, without stopping to think first)

VAIN= Having or showing excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments; conceited.

BLIND= A blind person can't see. Metaphorically, someone who is blind is a person who can't see the truth or reality as it is.

This strange song is about the thoughts of a murderer. The French bits are meant to make the narrator sound pretentious, as if he wants to appear clever and refine (which is how psycho killers often consider themselves).That is why he also says "I hate people when they're not polite".

The reference to a bed on fire indicate that he's schizophrenic, and thus if he kills at all, he is not a product of his environment or some traumatic childhood experience, but rather an untreated mental illness.

"Je me lance vers la gloire" (I rush towards glory), are supposedly the modern dancer Isadora Duncan's last words before she got on a motorcycle with some guy and was strangled by her own scarf

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