Songs that could be films: Panic Beach

I listen to the Sound Opinions podcast because I usually miss it on the radio. I always learn something new when I listen to it. You should check it out, too.

But since I listen to the podcast (and I’m a little slow about it), I miss out on things. For example, on the April 13 episode (with Alabama Shakes), the guys pose a great question: What albums could be made into films?

Here’s an excerpt from the footnotes:

There’s no limit to the inspiration Bob Dylan provides in every medium. The latest example? A Brazilian production company has acquired the rights to adapt Dylan’s 1975 album Blood on the Tracks into an English-language feature film. Whether you subscribe to the theory that the album was inspired by Dylan’s marital woes or Anton Chekhov short stories, as Dylan asserts, the producers plan on capturing the “feeling” of the album. Jim and Greg suggest some albums that might make better cinematic adaptations:

The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, The River (Bruce Springsteen), The ArchAndroid (Janelle Monae), Parklife (Blur), Zen Arcade (Husker Du), The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Genesis), and Funeral (Arcade Fire).

That, of course, got me thinking. What songs or albums do I think would make a good movie? That though, of course, jogged my memory of this song. So, I said all that to say this: if I would have listened to the show in time, I would have submitted this song.

I have always thought Maria McKee’s song “Panic Beach” from her first solo album was plum for making into a short story or movie. I may have even started a failed attempt to do so. (Ah, the blissful early 90s ego …)

It’s about a vaudevillian/circus show that has a lot of old-time performers on the end of their careers and the singer/protagonist is just starting out. At least that’s what I think it’s about …

My favorite line is about Miss Billy Begonia. “She don’t sweat she sours and melts like ice cream in the sun.” Yum. And of course McKee’s voice is the perfect blend of innocence and world weariness … I’ve loved her voice since her Lone Justice days.

So, thanks Sound Opinions for helping me remember this song. I just wish I would have remembered it in time to tell you about it.

What about you? What songs or albums would make good movies? Leave a comment below.

P.S. The Wall does not count.

Here’s the full lyrics (push video and follow along):

Well the dog act got drunk again last night
And the king and queen of the waltz clog team
Had another fight
King was careless with his tango grip
Nearly lost his queen in a dip
Yeah, she righted herself, straightened out her slip
And kicked him in the shin

Miss Billy Begonia thinks she’s hit the “big time”
She wants a thick red rug
From the dressing room door to the front line of the footlights
She’s got a sky blue swansdown powder puff
And a corset to keep her spirits up
Yeah, she don’t sweat, she sours and melts
Like ice cream in the sun
She’ll be out of a job at the end of this three week run

We’re havin’ fun out here
On Panic Beach
All the Vaudeville bums are here
Out on Panic Beach
I hear them talk about the Palace
But it’s so far out of reach
So I’ll do my time
Then say goodbye to Panic Beach
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

The visionary theatric
Strikes a juggler’s seesaw tune
And the dying swan pirouettes and fawns
By the light of the street lamp moon
When my trunk is filled with taffeta
Those “big time” hacks won’t laugh at us

When my taps are made of silver
I can make the kiddies thrill for just one buck and wing
Yeah, I will nail them to my heel
And the Panic Choir sings
Here comes a lucky little thing
To Panic Beach
Yeah, you know we got to teach him how to sing
While we’re stuck on Panic Beach
Ah, the way ya hear ’em say it
Doesn’t seem so outta reach
So I’ll do my time
Then say goodbye to Panic Beach
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

Well the landlord gets a free show
Every Saturday at six
Sometimes on a Sunday,
All dependin’ on whatever kind of mood he’s in
I keep his glass filled up with Sherry
And sing him all his favorite songs
If a tear comes to his eye he may let a month go by
Before he takes away my key

Oh, that Sherry starts to taste real good to me
Hey Mama, look at me
On Panic Beach
I may be hungry but my rent is free
Up on Panic Beach
Yeah, I can almost see the Palace
No longer outta reach
So I’ll do my time
Then say goodbye to Panic Beach
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye


2 thoughts on “Songs that could be films: Panic Beach

  1. Pingback: Happy Anniversary Ziggy Stardust | The 10-Minute Ramble

  2. Pingback: Car Rental Soundtrack: Lexington to Cincy | The 10-Minute Ramble

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