Some Folks

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Some Folks

Post by wind_up_toy » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:59 pm

I'd be interested to know people's thoughts on this song, especially the context of the lyrics.

I assume it's about alcohol but it occurred to me the other day that it could be about, ahem, his manhood :)
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Re: Some Folks

Post by mr.barlow » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:56 pm

I always thought this it was about love or of being in love. The line "crave a blue lady" I always felt could be taken two ways--the first being that they want the one that they love dead or second as a sly nod to "Cold Ethyl" and someone loving a dead body. Steven is singing about not being able to live without love or being in love and looking for a woman to save him. This makes a nice segue into "Only Women Bleed".

Again--that's just the way I always read it--I could be way off!

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Re: Some Folks

Post by wind_up_toy » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:10 pm

That's interesting, thanks for posting.
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Re: Some Folks

Post by Swinger » Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:15 am

Well my interpretation of the song sort-off ties into my interpretation of the whole album: Steven is driven by his nightmares to murder someone, a woman probably his wife or mother. Basically:

Welcome to my Nightmare - Just the introduction.
Devil's Food - The lady's gonna be a treat, know's her precious life and her death. She's devils food = a woman's gonna die.
The Black Widow - A spider who kills it's mate after sex, but is refered to as male and "me" rather than female as usal.
Some Folk - He feels the need to kill, probably for a sexual thrills, but doesn't want to = "Baby, save me.".
Only Women Bleed - Men uses and abuses women.
Department of Youth - No idea.
Cold Ethyl - Pretty obvious, dead lady - sexual thrills.
Years Ago - Trying to escape his murderous thoughts by revertingt to his childhood.
Steven - He murders someone while sleepwalking. Dream and reality mix and the person screaming is the dying woman.
The Awakening - He wakes up and realizes what he's done. He has now indeed killed a woman and therefore feels "like a man", like the ones in Only Women Bleed.
Escape - He escapes from what he's done and what he's feeling by becoming a rockstar instead.

I don't see it as a straight story really, it's after all a nightmare, more a character study. But the reacurring themes of the abuse and death of women are certainly there for me at least.
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Re: Some Folks

Post by evil syd » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:48 am

Swinger wrote:Well my interpretation of the song sort-off ties into my interpretation of the whole album: Steven is driven by his nightmares to murder someone, a woman probably his wife or mother. Basically:

Welcome to my Nightmare - Just the introduction.
Devil's Food - The lady's gonna be a treat, know's her precious life and her death. She's devils food = a woman's gonna die.
The Black Widow - A spider who kills it's mate after sex, but is refered to as male and "me" rather than female as usal.
Some Folk - He feels the need to kill, probably for a sexual thrills, but doesn't want to = "Baby, save me.".
Only Women Bleed - Men uses and abuses women.
Department of Youth - No idea.
Cold Ethyl - Pretty obvious, dead lady - sexual thrills.
Years Ago - Trying to escape his murderous thoughts by revertingt to his childhood.
Steven - He murders someone while sleepwalking. Dream and reality mix and the person screaming is the dying woman.
The Awakening - He wakes up and realizes what he's done. He has now indeed killed a woman and therefore feels "like a man", like the ones in Only Women Bleed.
Escape - He escapes from what he's done and what he's feeling by becoming a rockstar instead.

I don't see it as a straight story really, it's after all a nightmare, more a character study. But the reacurring themes of the abuse and death of women are certainly there for me at least.
Great post!
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Re: Some Folks

Post by pitkin88 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:46 am

The album would be just that bit tighter without it.

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Re: Some Folks

Post by Babysquid » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:46 am

"Blue lady" could refer to a prostitute

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Re: Some Folks

Post by Swinger » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:31 am

Couple of things I forgot in my last post:
The woman is his wife (I forgot about the line in The Awakening which actually mentions wife).
In Some Folks he claims he's not a man at all without "it", in Only Women Bleed he defines what a man is and in The Awakening he finally feels like a man.
The whole thing is a mental breakdown as mentioned in the song Welcome to My Nightmare. The man represents the killer and the boy the innocence.

(I use he/him to refer to Steven/the killer not Alice himself)

This is just my interpretation of the album and it's just for fun. ;)
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Re: Some Folks

Post by mestreech » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:12 pm

I don't react on the text but for me this is the weakest track on WTMN 1.
It's the direction I didn't want Alice to go. I don't like it.

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Re: Some Folks

Post by concolz » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:35 pm

Alice and Bob missed a trick here - they ought to have asked (75-year old) Fred Astaire to tap dance his way through the middle section.

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Re: Some Folks

Post by mr.barlow » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:57 pm

concolz wrote:Alice and Bob missed a trick here - they ought to have asked (75-year old) Fred Astaire to tap dance his way through the middle section.
I think that this was the first attempt to soften Alice's character and stretch out to the mainstream. The whole WTMN idea was based and I'm sure written with the eventual theatricss for the show in mind. Both the staging of the TV Special and the eventual tour.
One can clearly see the songs that were written for the stage show in mind. "Some Folks" is clearly a stab at old cabaret or vaudeville and most likely written for the eventual skelton dancing routine in mind.

The whole album is more of a very loose concept with some conceptual ideas and with other one-off songs mixed in. Alice used this method all through his career.

To me the only part of the album that is really a "concept" is "Years Ago"-"Steven"-"The Awakening", other than that the album is a mix of ideas and songs that fit the general mood anf theme of the album but not really an actual concept.

Here is my take on it:

"Welcome To My Nightmare"--likely the song was written around the title and it went from there. Also, it added a very jazzy element to the Alice sound which was an attempt to take him away from standard hard rock sound.

"Devil's Food"-To me this song always sounded incomplete or abbreviated on the album. I always wondered if this was to make room for the Vincent Price monologue which may have been contractually secured after the writing of this song. That they cut the song down to make room for the intro. For those who were not around before digital audio, back before the cd, downloads, etc--there was limited space of an album side. The tv special had an extended version. Also, Alice performed this live with additional verses makes me think that this was the case. At any rate--I also always felt that this song fit more in with the Steven concept of side two.


"The Black Widow"---I would think that this song was written especially for the stage and eventual prop/set piece. It fits in nice with the overall theme and mood of the album and is one of the best tracks on the album. The Vincent Price into was genius and I'm sure it was also done to broaden the appeal of Alice. Vincent Price one of the most beloved horror villians ever--even at that time. This was the beginning of Alice changing himself into the loveable villain instead of the replulsive rock star that he was known to be at that time by the general public. His appearance on the album and tv special really helped Alice in that respect.


"Some Folks"-written strictly for the stage show and special--also a real stretch for Alice as it was really going into softer territory. The guitar playing in the song is incredible!

Only Women Bleed--again--this was to broaden Alice's appeal. His first attempt at soft rock and he hit it big with this one. One of Alice's best songs ever. I'm not sure if the "controversy" around the title and menstruation was real or a creation of Shep, but it got the song some hype and it was a hit. I always liked the single version better.

"Department Of Youth"--absolutely no connection to the album concept. This was written to be a hit single. Keeping with the "rebellious youth" theme of "School's Out", Alice tried to mine gold again.

"Cold Ethyl"--I'd have loved to have been there when this was written as it was probably a lot of laughs. Alice just having a lot of fun with words and taking it as far as he could--likely with the stage show in mind.

"Years Ago"-"Steven"-"The Awakening": all concept--the meat of the album. A great trilogy. I often wondered if they tried to expand this further and it was abandoned to make room for more commercial sounding songs. The album was successful as it had a little bit of everything--something that I'm sure they purposely set out to do. It really helped Alice break out on his own. It opened him up to new audiences. It had the right mix of hard rock, pop, soft rock with a little schmaltz, horror, humor and most of all--incredible musicianship.

"Escape": A song written to wrap it up and to lighten up the mood after the darkness of the Steven trilogy. To leave the listener in an upbeat mood--and to not take anything too seriously about what they had just heard. It was all in fun and all a show.

It's my take that this album was not really a concept album but rather an album that contains many concepts. Basically, like nearly every Alice Cooper album.

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Re: Some Folks

Post by wind_up_toy » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:15 pm

Really enjoying this discussion, fascinating to see different views on the song and album.
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Re: Some Folks

Post by concolz » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:15 pm

Like Mr B, I've never thought of 'WTMN' as a particularly cohesive concept album, rather a series of wonderful musical vignettes that give a loose, overall feel. The criminally underrated 'Goes To Hell' is probably the more genuinely conceptual of the two.

What I really like about '75-'83 Alice is that he was 'all over the place'; usually successfully, occasionally disastrously - hello 'L&W'! That obviously polarised 'fans', and the general music-buying public, but for me it's where his solo creativity exploded like a musical kaleidoscope. I love the overt Broadwayisms of 'Some Folks' and those first two albums in general; love the Muppets/Miss Piggy duet; love the confessional sketches of 'FTI'; (mostly)love the stripped down quirkiness of 'SF'/'ZCS', and love the 'triumph through adversity' of 'Dada'. (Then I loathed virtually every single track he released over the following 'hair metal hell' years!)

My Fred Astaire suggestion for 'Some Folks' wasn't tongue-in-cheek. I really wish Alice had recorded a collaborative album with all his 'golden era' Hollywood chums. AC crooning, Fred tap-dancing; Groucho interjecting some zany humour; Peter Sellers declaiming on one of the old ACG numbers - like he did with 'A Hard Day's Night'. Alice and Frank - ol' black & blue eyes - Liza, Mae West etc. etc. As Fred said:- "Do it big, do it right and do it with style."

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Re: Some Folks

Post by sumorider » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:58 am

(As always, I'm sorry about my poor English.)


I think many listeners (especially outside US&UK) "misinterpret" this album.
(In my opinion) They just think this album's theme is about inner conflict of a boy, not about killing.

In WTMN DVD commentary, asked about why many people are captured in "Steven", Alice could not answer.

Before beginnings of the Internet,
I (not only I, also many Japanese music critics) didn't know "Steven" is about killing his wife,
, I (and they) always thought "Steven" is about inner conflict of a lonely boy.

I think "Some Folk" is about perversion, a thing that we can't tell anyone.
Late Dick Wagner's guitar play in this song is really great,
also broadway-style rhythm is great.
I don't know the story of this song. (from the viewpoint of concept album).

Song like this make Alice more artistically unique.

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Re: Some Folks

Post by A_MichaelUK » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:24 am

From sumorider:
"always thought "Steven" is about inner conflict of a lonely boy."

Yes. There was a disussion here a while back about whether Steven was a child or an adult which actually makes a difference as to who it is that is having the nightmare. Maybe there is a nightmare within a nightmare.

>I think "Some Folk" is about perversion, a thing that we can't tell anyone.

Yes - vague, perverted desires, although the interpretation Swinger gave fits as well. I think part of the problem is that people see the phrase 'concept album' and think the songs are supposed to represent a clear and well - definined narrative and I don't think a 'concept album' necessarily has to be that. For example, one could argue that "School's Out" is a concept album, but it doesn't have a narrative.

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Re: Some Folks

Post by Lucius Morthem » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:38 pm

I thnk lots of people get lost in the "interpretation" of the album because of the music.
I Really think it's cohessive album except for Department of Youth which we all know was there only to give a "hit" to the album.

Musiclly I do't like that much the letting go of the rockstar persona only to go to this cabaret/vaudeville act (which I love but I prefer rock) but lyrically I do think there's a full concept and that was what atracted me to Alice, and Ezrin,

The same happens with Goes to Hell, It's a complete masterpiece lyrically but because of the music, there are lots of people that don't like the album.

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Re: Some Folks

Post by Shoesalesman » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:15 pm

Showtune Alice at his finest!!! In my top ten. Second best piano bits next to Crazy Little Child.
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