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Iggy Pop wikipediaLUMPENPROLETARIAT—If you’ve ever heard a song a single time and, then, never again, yet it has echoed in your mind for decades, you know that’s an arresting song, which has left an indelible impression on your mind.  That was undoubtedly a memorable song.  This is a rare phenomenon within the human experience. [1]  Such is “Untouchable” by Iggy Pop for some of us.  Your author hasn’t heard this song since first hearing it during the live performance on MTV’s 120 Minutes over two decades ago when he was a kid and used to watch TV. [2]

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“Untouchable” (live on 120 Minutes) (1994) [3] by Iggy Pop

She’s untouchable
I’ll wrap my arms around
She’s alien
And I try to understand
But I lose my mind
‘Cos I cannot get in
And I find myself alone

Dreams of her, they rip
Through my head like bullets, bright
Looking at her makes
Me want to rip my eyes
She’s a hollow space
One, that cannot be filled
And I find myself alone

She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen
She’s the most beautiful; I crouch at her feet
She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen
But when I’m with her
Yeah, when I’m with her
I destroy myself

She’s untouchable
I’ve emptied myself out
And I’ve just caved in
I leave my blood at her feet
I destroy myself
And I try to understand

She’s untouchable
I’ve emptied myself out
And I’ve just caved in
I leave my blood at her feet
I destroy myself
And I try to understand
But I find myself alone

She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen
She’s the most beautiful; I crouch at her feet
She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen
And when I’m with her
Yeah, when I’m with her
I destroy myself
That’s why I find myself alone
That’s why I find myself alone
That’s why I find myself alone, alone
That’s why I find myself alone
I couldn’t do you no better
Don’t break what’s left of my broken heart, baby

Songwriter:  POP, IGGY (likely)

“Untouchable” lyrics © unreleased

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[1]  GONZO:  A musical composition by Dave Grisman from Songs Of Our Fathers is another such example.  I’ve only heard that recording once when music professor (harmony and musicianship courses), Professor Gustavson, played it for us on his surround sound stereo system in class.  I have yearned to hear it again for almost two decades now.  (I remember it being a slower tempo piece.  Professor Gustavson trained us on something called focused listening, which often involved the closing of one’s eyes (with a single caveat:  don’t fall asleep!)).

[2]  GONZO:  This song is apparently unreleased.  I’ve never heard it ever again since I first heard it live on MTV’s 120 Minutes back in 1994 (until now).  If memory serves me, 120 Minutes used to air Sunday nights, which would make the most likely original air date of this broadcast Sunday, September 25, 1994.

But it has come to my mind time and again over the years.  And this morning, on my commute to work, I heard it in my mind for some reason.  And I could only sing the only words I could remember:  She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen…  These lyrics are in psychic counterpoint to Prince’s The Most Beautiful Girl In The World”, a much more optimistic romantic pining.

“Untouchable” by Iggy Pop is much closer to Prince’s earlier song, “The Beautiful Ones“, in articulating how our desires can cause us sorrow and pain.  (This is a classic Buddhist principle, yet one many of us find the most challenging to reconcile with a non-monastic lifestyle.)  After all, beauty is only skin deep.  Beyond that, it becomes a question of soul or spirit or the intangible aspects of the human experience.  But it’s amazing, the chasm between what we find appealing to the eye and what we find appealing to the touch, as Quentin Tarantino once articulated in Pulp Fiction (1994) via the character, Fabienne.  Some of us are so shallow (i.e., lazy).  Thinking (and appreciating the truth) is work.  But some of us strive toward perpetual self-improvement in order to reduce the suffering of others (i.e., hard-working).  We welcome all insight toward such an end.

[3]  During the 120 Minutes broadcast, Iggy Pop explained how the song “Untouchable” was inspired by his reading of a Henry Rollins book of poetry entitled See A Grown Man Cry.

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[1 MAY 2016]

[Last modified 06:17 PDT 5 MAY 2016]

 

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