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  •  The mystery of the pompatus of love (9+ / 0-)
    The line in this song, "I speak of the pompatus of love," has baffled listeners for some time. Greil Marcus provided the best explanation we've seen in a 2002 article for Los Angeles Magazine titled "In The Secret Country." The word "Pompatus" does exist in the Oxford English Dictionary, and it means "to act with pomp and splendor."

    Miller most likely heard the word on a song called "The Letter," which was recorded by the Los Angeles Doo-Wop group The Medallions in 1954. It was written by their lead singer Vernon Green, who was 16 at the time and crippled with polio. The song contained these lyrics:

    "Let me whisper sweet words of dismortality, and discuss the pompatus of love. Put it together and what do you have? Matrimony."

    The Pompatus Of Love is the name of a 1995 movie starring Jon Cryer, and Cryer tracked down Vernon Green to ask him about these lyrics. Green defined "Dismortality" as "Words of such secrecy they could only be spoken to the one you loved" and "Pompatus" as "A secret paper-doll fantasy figure who would be my everything and bear my children."

    Miller drew associations to some of his other songs in the lyrics to this one. The line, "Some people call me The Space Cowboy" is a reference to Miller's 1969 song "Space Cowboy." The line, "Some call me a gangster of love" is a reference to his song "Gangster of Love." The line, "Some people call me Maurice" is a reference to Miller's 1972 song "Enter Maurice." In that song Miller also sings about "The pompatus of love."(thanks, Patrick - Tallapoosa, GA)

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 10:25:44 PM PST

    •  that's awesome (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Klusterpuck, NancyWH, FiredUpInCA

      never would have guessed it was a real word.

      i love just about any kind of music but this is an era in which there was a real embarrassment of riches.  loved Foreigner, Toto, Steely Dan, Skynryd, The Police, Tom Petty, lots of music i was not "permitted" to listen to as a kid, but even now?  if i need a hit of Aerosmith, then Kanye and the rest have to go on hold 'cuz Aerosmith is still just as amazing now as the first time i heard it.

    •  o hai (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Klusterpuck, FiredUpInCA, NancyWH, KenBee

      did not see your comment before posting mine... uphffff

      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

      by KateCrashes on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 04:53:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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