Song of the Day #537: ‘People Got a Lotta Nerve’ – Neko Case

Best Songs of 2009 – #4

Like Lily Allen, Neko Case had a tough act to follow in 2009. 2006’s Fox Confessor Brings the Flood is a rich masterwork and one of my favorite albums of recent years.

Last year she put out Middle Cyclone, another fine showcase of her songwriting and vocal talents that works well as an album but doesn’t boast as many “song songs” as Fox Confessor.

‘People Got a Lotta Nerve,’ the album’s first single, was definitely a “song song,” and a great one at that. Its jangly guitars call to mind The Birds and early R.E.M. and Case’s voice is distinctive as ever as she wraps it around the provocative chorus: “I’m a man eater… but still you’re surprised when I eat ya.”

The song is pretty transparently about animal rights (despite some bizarre language typical of Case’s lyrics) but it’s hard not to hear a double meaning in that chorus. There is a danger and mystery to her music that keeps me coming back.

So the saying says
An elephant never forgets
Standing in the concrete cave
Swaying silent, saying
They walked over the ocean
And their dreams they dreamed awake
Until the lights grew dim
Until the cop cars came
Everybody tells me this is crazy, yes I know

But I’m a man eater
But still you’re surprised when I eat ya

You know they call them killer whales
But you seemed surprised
When it pinned you down to the bottom of the tank
Where you can’t turn around
It took half your leg and both your lungs
And I craved, I ate hearts of sharks, I know you know it

But I’m a man eater
But still you’re surprised when I eat ya

It will end again in bullets flying…

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #537: ‘People Got a Lotta Nerve’ – Neko Case

  1. Dana says:

    nice enough song, but 4th best of 2009? Eh….

  2. Amy says:

    I guess that’s what draws Sophie and Fiona, too, huh? 😉

    I have to agree with Dana. I find this a somewhat odd choice to be in the top 5 songs of the year. She strikes me as more of an album artist than a singles lady (putting in another, not so subtle plug for Beyonce 🙂

    Still, I can see why you like this song – and her in general.

  3. Clay says:

    Wait til you see the rest of the top five! 🙂

    And remember, Beyonce isn’t eligible. I’d certainly welcome an excuse to feature her here but them’s the rules.

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