Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 2 19:14:19 UTC 2005

At 10:51 AM -0800 11/2/05, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>So far as I know, "chicken" was not and is not and kind of
>recognizable drug slang. In my experience, incoherence, impenetrable
>personal allusions, and intensionally mystifying ambiguity have been
>frequent features in rock lyrics since the late ' 60s.
>And the beat goes on.

It is an item of sexual slang, of course, but that's not relevant in
the context of the song, unlike the allusion in the last line of
Stanza 3 below.   No, I repeat my conviction that the airborne
chicken is all too literal.


>Lois Nathan <LBNath88545112 at AOL.COM> wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender: American Dialect Society
>Poster: Lois Nathan
>Subject: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Re:=20=A0=20=A0=20=A0=20Re:=20chicken-slang=3F?=
>OK, Larry, if you're right, your story is coherent. Mine has a missing
>link. Maybe the text doesn't have the dimension I expected it to have.
>However, the two other stanzas of the song are suggestive of
>possible drug-related
>images (stanza 2) or are at least ambiguous (stanza 3) :
>stanza 2 :
>There's a guy with a ticket to Mexico
>No, he couldn't look much stranger
>Walking in the hall with his things and all
>Smiling, said he was the Lone Ranger
>(Mexico was well know for drug trafficking...and anyone looking strange and
>claiming to be the Lone Ranger has got to be under some influence.)
>stanza 3 :
>Hip woman walking on a moving floor
>Tripping on the escalator
>There's a man in the line
>And she's blowing his mind
>Thinking that he's already made her
>("moving floor" is ambiguous : floors move to carry you somewhere OR they
>don't really move, you just perceive them that way if you are under
>an influence.
>"Tripping on the escalator" is also ambiguous : falling or tripping as in
>"on drugs". Etc...
>So, I was looking for coherence on that theme in the first stanza. I
>couldn't find any reference to "chicken" as drug slang, but I don't
>have easy access
>to RHHDAS or OED. But, perhaps there is none and the song isn't as coherent
>as I would have liked.
>  Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

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