Textile samples from Farbenfabriken Bayer Aktiengesellschaft's The Application of the Benzidine Colours in All Branches of Printing, 1898
Last year I bought Play Me, a collection of Neil Diamond's six albums for Uni Records ('68-'72), and I was pretty excited about it. But it's taken me a while to actually absorb this much Neil Diamond. Some of it still doesn't make any sense to me - take 1972's Moods album, for instance. For an album with such an "easy-listening" sounding title, Moods is unexpectedly weird. The second song on the album is a two-minute head-scratcher called "Porcupine Pie".
The song starts with one of those simple-but-memorable acoustic intros that no one could do quite like Neil Diamond (except for the Everlys, who Diamond probably learned the trick from). The melody is cute/nondescript, and the lyric is a bit of doggerel about wanting to eat some unusual foods. But I think that there's a creepy undertone to "Porcupine Pie", even though it sounds like a kids' song. There's something sexual going on in it - the foods mentioned in the song are "porcupine pie", "vanilla soup", "titti fruit", "fruity blue cheese", and "chicken ripple ice cream". Am I wrong in thinking that those sound like euphemisms? And then Neil advises us not to get any of it on our jeans while we're chowing down. Ewwwww. If you're anything like me, you now have an image of Neil Diamond in your head that is even more disturbing than the cover of Hot August Night.
"Porcupine Pie" by Neil Diamond