Frequently I'm asked about some of the words Warren uses in his songs. You'll probably never need a dictionary to listen to anyone else's music. Here's a quick rundown, and if I've left some out, please send a message via the Contact page and I'll post a definition as soon as possible. Please note: I do not consider Wikipedia a valid information resource.
(WAR' en ZEE' vahn) I know this seems patronizing, but I get lots of mail asking me the proper pronunciation of Mr Zevon's name.
(bru' sell O' sis) 1. Undulate fever. 2. A disease of cattle caused by the bacillus Brucella Abortus and resulting in abortions in newly infected animals. (Courtesy American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition)
(rej' ih SY' duhl) Referring to killing a royal figure, particularly a king.
(SO' bri kay) A nickname.
(GOON) A hockey term, referring specifically to a type of player whose primary function is to defend his teammates with physical violence from other players, particularly goons.
(KRISH' nah mur tee) A Hindu teacher and spiritual thinker of the early 20th century.
(mo HAHM' med; Warren pronounces it mo HAM' ed) The main prophet and teacher of Islam - note that Mohammed is not a god figure, but a messenger who received the word of Allah.
Persona non grata
(per SOH' nuh NAHN GRAH' tah) An unwelcome person.
(mak GILL ih KUDD eez REEKS) One of the highest mountain ranges in Ireland.
The Seven Deadly Sins
A Christian concept, instituted in the mid 1600's along with the Cardinal Virtues. In no particular order: Greed, sloth, wrath, lust, gluttony, envy, vanity.
Chemin de fer
(shih MAN' deh FEHR') A variation of baccarat, played with cards.
Hai'ina ia mai'ana ka pu'ana
(HI' eenah eeah my ee ah na KAH' poo ah nah) "Get to the point", or "sing the chorus"
Requiescat en pace
(reh KWEE' es kaht en PAH' chay) Rest in peace. Frequently associated with tombstones, particularly in western culture.
Je ne sais quoi
(zheh neh SAY KWAH) Literally "I know not what" - denotes something indescribable.
Heartbreak Motor Oil
(HART BRAYK MO tur OYL) It's unconfirmed, but an e-mail contributor suggested it might be Guinness Stout. Any ideas?
Beef Chow Mein
(BEEF CHOW main) A Chinese dish containing steak, noodles, assoted vegetables including but not limited to onions, carrots and bean sprouts, garlic and soy sauce. A recipe is provided for your culinary pleasure.
(FATE uh KOM plee) Already accomplished, a pre-determined outcome.
(dih VAN) A sofa-like seating object, generally the size of a loveseat.
(pah lee VIE nil KLOR ide) A type of flexible plastic used in making pop bottles and vinyl clothing, among other things.
Masai, Mau Mau
(muh SIGH, MAW-MAW) The Masai are a Western African tribe with a warrior-like nomadic culture. They have been mostly resistant to influence from the Western world. The Mau Mau was a Gikuyu secret society which became a fighting force during the Mau Mau Insurrection.
Twilight of the Gods
(TWI lite uv the GODZ) The English title for the Gotterdammerung, an opera by Richard Wagner, and the final opera in his Ring Cycle. Click here for a synopsis.
(MYOO tin EER) One who mutinies, i.e. bucks lawful authority, either actively or passively.
(LAY mur sen AIR) there's a few options here, and I, a non-French speaker, will simply have to direct you to a French/English dictionary.