George Martin stopped waiting around for a Beatles reunion and decided to start producing the California folk pop trio, America in 1974. The first fruits of this labor were Top 10 songs, Lonely People and the first release, Tin Man, which made it to #4 as well as #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. All 3 guys took turns singing lead and writing songs and on this one, it was sung and written by Dewey Bunnell, who I’m sure fancied a J or two.
America was becoming the king or songs that make no sense. And Tin Man was the icing on a what-the-fuck cake. That this song made sense to me as a kid, might tell you what level of lyrical writing is on. Seriously, what hell is the Tropic of Sir Galahad? Have these guys ever owned a globe? It feels like he’s just coming up with words as he sings. Don’t believe me? What the hell does this mean?
Sometimes late when things are real
And people share the gift of gab between themselves
Some are quick to take the bait
And catch the perfect prize that waits among the shelves
But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
That he didn’t, didn’t already have
And Cause never was the reason for the evening Or the tropic of Sir Galahad.
So please believe in me
When I say I’m spinning round, round, round, round
Smoke glass stain bright color Image going down, down, down, down
Soapsuds green like bubbles
Ok so here’s me take on it:
Dewey is chilling with some buds, and after many drinks, bong hits, tabs, yellow jackets, it strikes 3 AM. That’s when, as everyone knows, shit gets real. That’s when Dewey catches a friend of his sneaking over to his bookcase to find that hidden stash of Acapulco Gold, possible inside of a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle book. When Dewey confronts him, he drops some L. Frank Baum knowledge on him. Tin Man already had a heart. You already have a nicklebag dude. Hands off my stash. And his confused friend asks Why? which Dewey responds to with ‘Cause…! ‘Cause, why?’ the response echoes, wherein Dewey drops some Kung Fu answer how this night was supposed to be us having fun like the Knights of The Round table and also admits he’s freaking high. No really, he swears. Dewey is spinning around, laughing and pointing at his glass neon bong when it tips over, which to him is in slow motion, and he spills bongwater all over his avocado rug.
Yes? No? You decide.