Song Lyric Sunday | “Deacon Blues” – Steely Dan

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  Cards/Dice/Gamble/Lose/Win.

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Is there anyone on the planet who has never heard of Steely Dan and their 1977 Grammy Award winning, platinum album, Aja? Didn’t think so! It spawned several hits, including 1978’s Deacon Blues.

On the origin of the song’s name, Donald Fagen stated, “At the time, there had been a lineman with the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers, Deacon Jones. We weren’t serious football fans, but Deacon Jones’s name was in the news a lot in the 1960s and early 70s, and we liked how it sounded. It also had two syllables, which was convenient, like ‘Crimson.’ The name had nothing to do with Wake Forest’s Demon Deacons or any other team with a losing record. The only Deacon I was familiar with in football at the time was Deacon Jones.”

The song was largely written at Fagen’s house in Malibu and was prompted by his observation that “… if a college football team like the University of Alabama could have a grandiose name like the ‘Crimson Tide’ the nerds and losers should be entitled to a grandiose name as well.” The song’s protagonist has been described by Fagen as “autobiographical in that it reflected the dreams of both Fagen and Becker about becoming jazz musicians while they were living in the suburbs”. Characterized as a “loser” by Becker, the song’s subject was meant to reflect “… a broken dream of a broken man living a broken life”.

Fun Facts:

  • Deacon Blues was the duo’s fifth Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US, where it peaked at #19 in 1978. Deacon Blues remained in the Top 40 for eight weeks.
  • Jazz guitarists and Grammy Award winners Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour are both part of the Deacon Blues studio musicians.
  • The Scottish pop/rock band Deacon Blue took their name from this song.

 

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Deacon Blues

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.

12 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday | “Deacon Blues” – Steely Dan

  1. Okay, you got me with both the band and the song. I played Aja until I was sure the needle would go right through the record! This was always one of my favourite tracks. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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