Song of the Day #4,129: ‘My Old School’ – Steely Dan

I’ve never been a fan of Steely Dan. I enjoy a lot of artists and genres that are Steely Dan-adjacent (I’m even into Donald Fagen’s solo work) but for some reason the band itself has always left me cold.

In fact, Steely Dan leaves me so cold that this is — astoundingly — the first ever song of theirs I’ve featured on the blog. Eleven years and more than 4,100 posts without a single ‘Hey Nineteen,’ ‘Deacon Blues’ or ‘Do It Again.’ That’s dedication to not giving a damn about Steely Dan!

They break that streak today, however, by virtue of releasing one of 1973’s most-acclaimed albums. Countdown to Ecstasy didn’t contain any big hits but earned critical accolades as a smartly-produced blend of jazz, pop and rock.

I’m not surprised to report that I didn’t get very far into this album before checking out, but I will give it credit for being called out by the great Joe Jackson as a major influence.

[Verse 1]
I remember the thirty-five sweet goodbyes
When you put me on the Wolverine
Up to Annandale
It was still September
When your daddy was quite surprised
To find you with the working girls
In the county jail
I was smoking with the boys upstairs
When I heard about the whole affair

[Chorus 1]
I said oh no
William and Mary won’t do
Well I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I’m never going back
To my old school

[Verse 2]
Oleanders growing outside her door
Soon they’re gonna be in bloom
Up in Annandale
I can’t stand her
Doing what she did before
Living like a gypsy queen
In a fairy tale

[Chorus 2]
Well I hear the whistle but I can’t go
I’m gonna take her down to Mexico
She said oh no
Guadalajara won’t do
Well I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I’m never going back
To my old school

[Verse 3]
California tumbles into the sea
That’ll be the day I go
Back to Annandale
Tried to warn you
About Chino and Daddy Gee
But I can’t seem to get to you
Through the U.S. Mail

[Chorus 2]
Well I hear the whistle but I can’t go
I’m gonna take her down to Mexico
She said oh no
Guadalajara won’t do
Well I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I’m never going back
To my old school

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,129: ‘My Old School’ – Steely Dan

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I really don’t get your opinion on Steely Dan — at least not as to some of their greatest hits, including today’s song. I guess at this point, you are not likely to change your views, though you did soften on the Eagles, so who knows?

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