The title implies small towns as
microcosms of America. Perhaps also alluding to the Confederacy
as a "little" America when it tried to be secede? [Ron Henry]
* Anyone who's driven cross-country out west can tell you that
"Little America" is a chain of very, very large (there
may only be a few -- hell, maybe there's only one --
but I think there's at least 2) gas stations, with restaurants,
gift shops, etc., whose primary claim to fame is the sheer NUMBER
of gas pumps they have. "Little America... 140 miles...
100 PUMPS!!!", like the kids are gonna get SO excited over
that. [billg3man] * Was also the name of the explorer Robert Byrd's
camp in Antarctica - this is where the gas station got its name.
"I don't buy a lacquered thirty/Caught
like flies, preserved for tomorrow's jewelry"
Lacquered: "coated with lacquer
to preserve". Flies are preserved in amber resin. Jewelry
is often made from pieces of amber. [Ron
"a green shellback, green shellback"
[A] shellback in the sixteenth
and seventeenth century was the term for a world-travelling sailor,
usually one who has crossed the equator. A "green"
shellback then would be a naive (or sick to his stomach? ;) world
traveller, which describes the perspective of "Little America"
to a tee. [Ron Henry] * Someone else e-mailed me about "shellback"
suggesting that it was derived from the practice of keeping large
galapagos turtles to be used for food immobilized on their backs
in the holds of ships. [Ron
"in tree beer tar-black brer sap"
Brier sap, a type of resin, appears
in some Uncle Remus stories (e.g. "Bre'r Rabbit
and the Tar Baby"). [Ron
"The consul a horse, Jefferson
I think we're lost"
The Roman emporer who designated
a horse as the consul (a position a little bit similar to a prime
minister) was the mad Caligula. [sarahk] * Jefferson refers to Jefferson Holt, the band's
then-manager; perhaps alludes to Jefferson Davis [or Thomas Jefferson].
"hedging near the givens"
Givens are assumptions that form
basis of a logical argument. See also King
of Birds. [Ron Henry]
"Diane is on the beach, do you
realize the life she's led?"
Perhaps referring to Diana, the
Roman goddess of hunting? [Ron
Little America: "Sky-lied, sty-tied,
Sty-tied = "hog-tied"?
Nero was a Roman emperor. [Ron
"Reason has harnessed the tame"
See also Feeling
Gravitys Pull. [Ron Henry]
Little America: "Another Greenville,
another Magic Mart, Jeffer, grab your fiddle"
Many southern states have a city
named Greenville. Magic Mart is a discount department store chain.
* Magic Market is a gas station/convenience store, not a
discount store. It's a generic term in the south, like saying
"Coke" to mean any soft drink. [Rob Mancini] * Nero
was said to have played his fiddle while Rome burned. [Chris Piuma] *
[Note that] the Roman Empire didn't "fall" until several
hundred years after Nero's reign -- the city did burn down
while he held the throne though (and the stories of his involvment
in the fires and the famous antectode involving his playing the
violin while the city burned are probably exaggerated.) [sarahk]