Song of the Day #4,986: ‘Chips Ahoy!’ – The Hold Steady

I’m not sure how I came to own the 2006 album Boys and Girls in America by alternative rockers The Hold Steady, and I don’t think I’ve ever listened to it.

The band has made only one other appearance on the blog, in a post about a song they performed for the closing credits of a Game of Thrones episode.

Today’s song is the second track on the band’s third album, and it’s a wonderful Random Weekend find. It’s sharp, propulsive and fun.

Here’s what Hold Steady founder and lead singer Craig Finn had to say about ‘Chips Ahoy!’:

It’s about a horse. It’s called “Chips Ahoy!,” but it’s not about the cookie, which we do believe are delicious. However, it’s about a horse, which is named Chips Ahoy, and he’s in a horse race. But it’s not really about the horse, it’s actually about this girl. The thing about this girl that makes her interesting is if she closes her eyes and thinks really hard, she can tell which horse is going to win in any horse race. Which is cool. But it’s not even really about her. It’s about this guy. He’s dating her or trying to date her. And, uh, the thing is if you had a girlfriend or a pseudo-girlfriend that you know could predict horse races with 100% accuracy, you’d think that all your problems would be over because you’d have all the money you want. But it turns out, they still got some problems.

[Verse 1]
She put nine-hundred dollars
On the fifth horse in the sixth race
I think its name was Chips Ahoy
Came in six lengths ahead
We spent the whole next week getting high
At first I thought that she hit
On some tip that she got from some other boy
We were overjoyed

[Verse 2]
I got a girl and she don’t have to work
She can tell which horse is gonna finish in first
Some nights the painkillers make the pain even worse
Came in six lengths ahead
We spent the whole next week getting high
I love this girl, but I can’t tell when she’s having a good time

[Chorus]
How am I supposed to know that you’re high
If you won’t let me touch you?
How am I supposed to know that you’re high
If you won’t even dance?
How am I supposed to know that you’re high
If you won’t let me touch you?
How am I supposed to know that you’re high
If you won’t even dance?

[Bridge]
She’s hard on the heart and she’s soft to the touch
She gets migraine headaches when she does it too much
She always does it too much

[Chorus]
How am I supposed to know that you’re high
If you won’t let me touch you?
How am I supposed to know that you’re high
If you won’t even dance?
How am I supposed to know that you’re high
If you won’t let me touch you?
How am I supposed to know that you’re high
If you won’t even dance?
And you won’t even dance

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,986: ‘Chips Ahoy!’ – The Hold Steady

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Based upon the two songs you have featured on the blog, I’m not a big fan of this band’s sound, though the concept of this song (and video) is clever.

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