Cheap Trick is one of my feel good, favorite time bands. Oh Caroline may not be my favorite Cheap Trick song, but it has definitely made an impression on me.
The opening drum beat and hot lick… then Robin Zander sings:
Oh Caroline – My life shined when you walked in
Oh Caroline – My world shined when you came in
His heart dropped; he was struck by a lightening bolt – he fell in love IMMEDIATELY! He would (go to the end of the world) for your love!
The song starts off so sweet, and sincere, and full of love and hope – and then….
Can you feel my heart strings? They’re on fire. You threw it all away
He’s pissed! He’s like wicked pissed! He was rejected! He was going to go to the END OF THE WORLD for Caroline. Now, he’s like – “What, you don’t like me anymore? I’m not going to find another lover like you! How COULD YOU?!”
And then then snark happens. The singing isn’t sweet anymore; he’s sour.
He’s full of love for one thought, and then next thought, he’s full of hate. He’s yelling at her. He’s absolutely manic. And Rick Nielson’s backing vocals are his subconscious. The little voice in your head that says, “but I LOVE Caroline! I HATE Caroline! I’m a WRECK! WHAT am I going to do??!! I’ll NEVER meet another Caroline again….
Here’s the studio version of Oh Caroline. It really gets the point across – the emotion.
Here’s the 1978’s Live at Budokan of Oh Caroline. The lyrical emotional journey is still strong, but different.
Also – Cheap Trick marries hot with zany.
See you on the low end!