Music: Black coat, white shoes, black hat, Cadillac, yeah, the boy’s a time bomb

I see these lyrics (Black coat, white shoes, black hat, Cadillac, yeah, the boy’s a time bomb) mentioned quite frequently on Twitter, so I thought I should take a moment to explore them a bit.  They are the chorus of the song “Time Bomb” by the group Rancid.

Wikipedia has this to share:

Time Bomb” is a song by punk band Rancid from their third album …And Out Come the Wolves [Epitaph, Aug 1995]. It was the album’s second single and peaked at number 8 on US Modern Rock chart, marking the highest initial charting single in Rancid’s career.  The lyrics for the first verse of the song were sampled from an earlier song, “Motorcycle Ride”, which appeared on the group’s Let’s Go album.

Rancid’s official website notes that “…And Out Come the Wolves” “…both invoked and transcended the punk rock genre, cementing Rancid’s place forever as one of the great rock bands of all time”.  Also that Time Bomb is a successful punk / ska hybrid sound that Armstrong and Freeman pioneered in their first band, Operation Ivy.  Link to Rancid on TwitterRancid on MySpace.

The album was apparently named after the competition of other record labels for the band after their previous successful albums.

Ska as a musical genre originated in Jamaica and was a precursor to Reggae.

Rancid music video doing “Time Bomb”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLxgjsVQgiU

TimeBomb on Lala

Lyrics to Time Bomb :
If you wanna make a move then you better come in
It’s just the ability to reason that wears so thin
Living and Dying and the stories that are true
Secret to a good life’s knowing when you’re through

Black coat, white shoes, black hat, Cadillac, yeah, the boy’s a time bomb
(repeats)

Well, he’s back in the hole where they got him living
Like a rat but he’s smarter then that, nine lives like a cat
Ten years old they take him to the youth authority home
First thing you learn: you got to make it in this world alone

Black coat, white shoes, black hat, Cadillac, yeah, the boy’s a time bomb
(repeats)

Now he’s gotten out, he’s gotten free, he’s gotta go, got a car
He’s 21 years old, he’s runnin’ numbers from the bar
His pager’s beepin’, he’s gettin’ deep in
Whatever he can move on in, you know that kid’s a creepin’ in

Black coat, white shoes, black hat, cadillac, yeah, the boy’s a time bomb
(repeats)

…The boy’s a time bomb!

Tears come from the razor that’s been tattooed below his eye
His mother cries, she knows that he is strong enough to die
He’s rollin’ in the Cadillac, it’s midnight, sunroof is down
Three shots ring out, the hero’s dead, the new king is crowned

Black coat, white shoes, black hat, Cadillac, yeah, the boy’s a time bomb
(repeats) [x2]

…Ooh…Time bomb!!

The lyrics both capture a slice of life image of a street hustler trying to make something — anything work, and the unfortunate but frequent outcome of a life lived on the edge.

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