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Steely Dan — My Old School
Album: Countdown To Ecstasy
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 583









Released: 1973
Length: 5:36
Plays (last 30 days): 0
I remember the thirty-five sweet goodbyes
When you put me on the Wolverine
Up to Annandale
It was still September
When your daddy was quite surprised
To find you with the working girls
In the county jail
I was smoking with the boys upstairs
When I heard about the whole affair
I said, whoa no
William and Mary won't do now

Well, I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I'm never going back
To my old school

Oleanders growing outside her door
Soon they're gonna be in bloom
Up in Annandale
I can't stand her
Doing what she did before
Living like a gypsy queen
In a fairy tale
Well, I hear the whistle but I can't go
I'm gonna take her down to Mexico
She said, whoa no
Guadalajara won't do now

Well, I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I'm never going back
To my old school

California tumbles into the sea
That'll be the day I go
Back to Annandale
Tried to warn you
About Chino and Daddy Gee
But I can't seem to get to you
Through the U.S. Mail
Well, I hear the whistle but I can't go
I'm gonna take her down to Mexico
She said, whoa no
Guadalajara won't do now

Well, I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I'm never going back
To my old school
Comments (104)add comment
 Shesdifferent wrote:
Their best album IMO {#Sunny}

 
Ageed! 
Their best album IMO {#Sunny}
 junebaby65 wrote:
God Bless Jeff Baxter-who played the solo on this.

 
The guitar work on this song is frickin awesome.
One of the great byproducts of Fagen's imagery is the stuff that simply doesn't make sense. For instance, Becker and Fagen met at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson in New York. That's the old school in Annandale. But he also writes about the oleanders blooming in the spring in Annandale--pretty much unlikely because oleanders are tropical and generally hardy in Zone 8 and higher, don't survive temps much below 0 degrees Celsius, and Annandale is on the border of Zones 5 and 6.

I've read that some recently developed mutations have had middling success in Zone 6, but that wasn't going on when Fagen wrote the lyrics. I prefer to think that Fagen simply like the image, the sound of the word, and how easily its meter fit into the song's metrics.
God Bless Jeff Baxter-who played the solo on this.
EXT-PENCEY PREP

STEELY DAN'S MY OLD SCHOOL

JUSTIN BIEBER: 'PHONIES' MASSIVE FIREBALL.

FADE.

Baz Luhrman's CATCHER IN THE RYE
A low evening, and then this blasts out.

What is there not to like? The horn arrangements lift the heart, the guitar sizzles, the lyrics are wonderful SD impenetrable nonsense (to my ears), the production is faultless, and suddenly the world looks a better place.

Great song. Time to go on a SD jag. The neighbours may complain...

What the hell, I feel better. 
 Bat wrote:
The sax run between "California tumbles into the sea" and "That'll be the day I go back to Anondale" is just fantastic, especially the final little umpf of the bass sax at the very end.
 
Yeah, man!  Little details like that, the "toot, toot" horns in the background, and the guitar wailing at low volumes behind the vocals and ripping during solos, drums and cymbals being bashed throughout the enitre song ... lots of little details adding together make a truly fabulous tune.
 idiot_wind wrote:
How about Dr Wu once in awhile?

Trippy lyrics, a hint of forlorn, and great musicianship.
 
That's my favorite Dan song.  I have a soft spot for this one, cause we used to play it in the Stanford Band.
Steely Dan, the only band that sounds like them{#Crown}
oh for a steely dan free world
so bland...
I love how obsessed these guys are with the production quality of their work. No wonder this song is so good.
Call me crazy, but I love this song and it's probably one of my all time favorite SD songs. It's so well produced - I never get tired of listening to it.
How about Dr Wu once in awhile?

Trippy lyrics, a hint of forlorn, and great musicianship.
How come there is no 11 rank? 
they can do no wrong in my book.
Still among the best produced albums out there.  RIP Roger Nichols!
{#Dancingbanana_2}Steely Dan's greatest single!{#Bananajam}
 treatment_bound wrote:
Copy & paste the web address below into a new browsing session to read a really good article from about 5 years ago where Fagen discusses this song and college life:

https://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1174152,00.html

 
That was great, thanks! (For some reason, I've been thinking Annadale was in Maryland. Now I know!)

Very nice!
Copy & paste the web address below into a new browsing session to read a really good article from about 5 years ago where Fagen discusses this song and college life:

https://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1174152,00.html

My number 1 band by far!! Great album, great song!
The sax run between "California tumbles into the sea" and "That'll be the day I go back to Anondale" is just fantastic, especially the final little umpf of the bass sax at the very end.


Excellent song from an excellent album.  What a great band!
saw them in a rare 70's tour. Opening (that's right) for ELO. Early 1974.
I was thrilled to see Fagen and Becker in 1994, and was probably the only Slacker generation punk in the audience. I still love their evil cha cha music more than just about anything.
Wow this is "reeling in the years" for me. 9.
Seeing them in two weeks!  w00t!
Great double bill just announced coming to our town in October. Steely Dan and Steve Winwood.  I'm already counting the sleeps.
God, I love Steely Dan.
Saw Steely Dan live a few years ago. This is the song they blew the roof off with. Not the one I would have expected, but they totally pulled out all the stops. The live version is a good 6 minutes long.
 Dave_Mack wrote:
I always get goosebumps when I hear that sax section riff in the last verse.  Sooooooo  awesome!
 

Sax gives me goosebumps, too.

Excellent songwriters that surrounded themselves with excellent musicians.


I always get goosebumps when I hear that sax section riff in the last verse.  Sooooooo  awesome!
 apd wrote:
Song could use some more cowbell.
 
Was just going to post that!  Love those cowbells! 

 k_trout wrote:
your daddy was quite surprised
to find you with the working girls in the country jail
oooh - that's going to leave a mark!
 
Especially when he found out that you were in there because you were x-dressing as a Queen in a Fairy Tale .... and was wearing a Steely Dan III .. OMG!

{#Whipit}


Song could use some more cowbell.
All Dan great! That is all.
The last 17 songs have been great.......12/15/2010 playlist....shit I hate to turn it off but I gotta go!
Never going back to my old school either.
driving up to Humboldt State in early 70's when I heard this song for the first time.  Nearly killed myself with joy driving and swerving and jumping up and down.  To this day, it remains one of my favorites...SD forever!{#Dancingbanana}{#Bananajam}
driving up to Humboldt State in early 70's when I heard this song for the first time.  Nearly killed myself with joy driving and swerving and jumping up and down.  To this day, it remains one of my favorites...SD forever!{#Dancingbanana}{#Bananajam}
My Old School is right.....God does this CD bring it all back, kickin in London, 18 years old....great times.....love this whole album! Play any song from it...Steely Dan was at its best then! Such memories listening to this looking out my flat over Portobello Rd, drinking tea....sigh.......
 ICHawk wrote:
Love it! Probably my favorite SD tune.The horn licks on the last verse are wonderful.
 
Me too - lyrics are complete nonsense - but this track really rocks!!!!!!
your daddy was quite surprised
to find you with the working girls in the country jail
oooh - that's going to leave a mark!
Love it! Probably my favorite SD tune.The horn licks on the last verse are wonderful.
 Egrey wrote:
I know am gonna catch hell for this b/c a great many people think that Mr. Dan is one of the great innovators in Rock/Jazz. But this is slowly killing me. I am in sucko/barfo land here.
 
points and laughs.

67nj wrote:
prophetic! :music:
Prophetic indeed: my brilliant and gorgeous 20 year old goddaughter is a student at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson (the alma mater of Fagen and Becker). She's been a fan of Steely Dan since she was three years old. :dancingbanana_2: :drummer: :guitarist: :dancingbanana_2:
I know am gonna catch hell for this b/c a great many people think that Mr. Dan is one of the great innovators in Rock/Jazz. But this is slowly killing me. I am in sucko/barfo land here.
prophetic! :music:
I know there are those who think SD is fluff, but I think there is quite a bit of substance in their lyrics, even this one. You need to think a little . . .
Finally some Dan! For those of us who like our fruit round and full.
Dig the guitar, escpecially as the song fades out. :bananajam:
handyrae wrote:
I turned RP on during an instrumental part of this song, and my first thought was, "Did I get the wrong station, is this some cheesy 70s sitcom theme song?"
... Like This ... ?
I turned RP on during an instrumental part of this song, and my first thought was, "Did I get the wrong station, is this some cheesy 70s sitcom theme song?"
for me the whole song is structured around the guitar solos, works well. Horror fade out at the end
healyf52 wrote:
IMHO, Steely Dan is probablly the finest pop band ever. Musically, nobody else can touch them. Great lyrics, awesome pop hooks, monster chops, killer compositions. I've always thought that these guys were the best musicians on the planet - next to Yes, that is.
Beautifully stated. Definitely a pop band, but what CHOPS!!
ejsamuel wrote:
However, I found their vocals (even their harmonies) always lackluster because of a limited range (others I'm sure will disagree).
Donald Fagen's voice has dramatically, upwardly shifted octaves since the 70s. I prefer his earlier register, but yes, his voice wasn't as spectrally interesting as some other artists of the era. Fagen's vocal stylings peaked, imo, around '78 on "FM."
I have always liked this tune. There are like 16 different tunes played all on top of each other. With their own time signatures. And it works. Posted 12 years ago by Grizzly_old_man    [ Reply ]
ArbiterOfGoodTaste wrote:
As with just about all Steely Dan, they sound so smooth and bland... unless you are paying attention. Mind blowing.
Instrumentally, they have few peers. Lyrically - always thought them very clever. However, I found their vocals (even their harmonies) always lackluster because of a limited range (others I'm sure will disagree). I think that's where their blandness emanates for my taste. Even though I have a compilation of Steely Dan, it rarely hits my CD tray as I find the alternatives too compelling.
mshort wrote:
One word: :puke:
agreed. sounds like a prom band from hell.
The_Enemy wrote:
But there's something about their music that aggravates the hell out of me and raises my back. I can't put my finger on it.
Could it be the 12 inch thick veneer of high gloss polish? That's what gets to me.
I gotta have me more cowbell!
ArbiterOfGoodTaste wrote:
As with just about all Steely Dan, they sound so smooth and bland... unless you are paying attention. Mind blowing.
Exactly.
IMHO, Steely Dan is probablly the finest pop band ever. Musically, nobody else can touch them. Great lyrics, awesome pop hooks, monster chops, killer compositions. I've always thought that these guys were the best musicians on the planet - next to Yes, that is.
mshort wrote:
One word: :puke:
Steely Dan is one of those bands that people are either cult followers or they hate them. They always sound to me like nails across a blackboard. Not literally. I recognize that there's some talent here. But there's something about their music that aggravates the hell out of me and raises my back. I can't put my finger on it.
a_genuine_find wrote:
My Old School From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search My Old School is a song by Steely Dan from their 1973 album Countdown to Ecstasy. In its March 24, 2006 edition, Entertainment Weekly details a return trip to Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York by Donald Fagen, in which he describes a raid by sheriff's deputies on Halloween 1967.<1> Fagen, his girlfriend, Steely Dan bandmate Walter Becker, and some 50 other students were arrested. Charges were dropped, but the harassment was the origin of the grudge alluded to in "My Old School". Fagen was reportedly so upset with the school being complicit with the arrests that he refused to attend graduation. The same article speculates that a Bard professor's wife, Rikki Ducornet, was the inspiration for "Rikki Don't Lose That Number". Because of the reference to The College of William & Mary in the lyrics, "My Old School" has long been a favorite of W&M students and alumni, although the song is actually about Bard College. Steely Dan collectors should seek out the single version of this song. It is quite different to the album version and it "loops" a sax piece at the end rather than a straight "fade- out"
Ah, NOT such obscure lyrics after all...thanks! This song played live often uses the horn ending too.
Great choice for a Friday afternoon, Bill!
My Old School From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search My Old School is a song by Steely Dan from their 1973 album Countdown to Ecstasy. In its March 24, 2006 edition, Entertainment Weekly details a return trip to Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York by Donald Fagen, in which he describes a raid by sheriff's deputies on Halloween 1967.<1> Fagen, his girlfriend, Steely Dan bandmate Walter Becker, and some 50 other students were arrested. Charges were dropped, but the harassment was the origin of the grudge alluded to in "My Old School". Fagen was reportedly so upset with the school being complicit with the arrests that he refused to attend graduation. The same article speculates that a Bard professor's wife, Rikki Ducornet, was the inspiration for "Rikki Don't Lose That Number". Because of the reference to The College of William & Mary in the lyrics, "My Old School" has long been a favorite of W&M students and alumni, although the song is actually about Bard College. Steely Dan collectors should seek out the single version of this song. It is quite different to the album version and it "loops" a sax piece at the end rather than a straight "fade- out"
Such great horns! Such obscure lyrics! Such blazing guitars! Steely Dan!!
Gotta love those horns!
This run is the shiznit: Steely Dan -> Beatles-> Paolo Conte-> Air. Awesome!
most fun SD song
Just recently moved to the Hudson Valley (NY) and there is a small college here called Bard that is in a hamlet called Annandale-On-Hudson. I believe Walter Becker and Donald Fagen originally met at Bard. Not sure why they are never coming back.
G mu: 3x020x, D mu: xx0252 and A mu: x0242x Try it, you'll Like It!
Not my fave SD song.
Play anything from this album! :bounce:
One of my favorite Steely Dan songs. So perfect in so many ways.
As with just about all Steely Dan, they sound so smooth and bland... unless you are paying attention. Mind blowing.
AlienRelic wrote:
I never much cared for these guys way back when, but I think that I might have been mistaken....
I thought I was wrong once, too....but it turns out i was mistaken.
I never much cared for these guys way back when, but I think that I might have been mistaken....
Awesome.
Art_Carnage wrote:
I don't now what software was used to rip this, but it did a pretty poor job. Sounds muffled and muddy. Should be much brighter and cleaner. I've got this on both vinyl and CD, and both sound much better than this.
Which might be fixed... as it would explain why this was just listed as "Last Played: Never"
coding_to_music wrote:
This rip seems muted and not as sonically expansive as previous songs today... It's almost muffled...
Heh, glad to know I'm not the only one who noticed.
I don't now what software was used to rip this, but it did a pretty poor job. Sounds muffled and muddy. Should be much brighter and cleaner. I've got this on both vinyl and CD, and both sound much better than this.
This rip seems muted and not as sonically expansive as previous songs today... It's almost muffled...
A decade of Steely Dan? Countdown to ecstacy, surely Great number
Nothing against their later stuff (Aja and beyond) which I think is superb, but I always missed the looser guitar-driven sound of these earlier albums, and always liked this one... overplayed or not.
Oooops! Mute. No SD... No way, no thank you , no how. No. Sucko-barfo! Guy couldn't 'sing' to save himself.
One word: :puke:
You've got to see SD do this live. it's AMAZING!
Skeletor wrote:
Agreed. This one has been KILLED by FM. How about one of the side trax from, say, Can't Buy a Thrill? Midnite Cruiser, anyone? Only a Fool Would Say That?
"Only A Fool Would Say That" is being reviewed right now. Or, it's been in review status for quite a while anyways. I also uploaded "Brooklyn" from the same album but got rejected. Too bad. Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter's steel guitar is excellent in that song. There's still hope for the first one. :)
MoxyP wrote:
Ick! Steely Dan has so many great underplayed songs, why dig up this overexposed one? (Flashing back to my tenure in Top 40 radio ...)
Agreed. This one has been KILLED by FM. How about one of the side trax from, say, Can't Buy a Thrill? Midnite Cruiser, anyone? Only a Fool Would Say That?
MoxyP wrote:
Ick! Steely Dan has so many great underplayed songs, why dig up this overexposed one? (Flashing back to my tenure in Top 40 radio ...)
Don't you recognize that the sets aren't random? The tunes are usually related, Dude.
Ick! Steely Dan has so many great underplayed songs, why dig up this overexposed one? (Flashing back to my tenure in Top 40 radio ...)
It always picks up my day to hear a little of the Dan!!! Thanks for playing them!
Cyclehawk wrote:
There is just no such thing as too much steely dan. These early albums sound just as crisp as they did 30 years ago.
YUP!
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :clap:
Businessgypsy wrote:
Is that Larry Carlton? One of my favorite guitar solos of all time!(or maybe tied with LC's solo on Kid Charlemane)
Actually, it's Jeff "Skunk" Baxter doing his usual fine pickin'! I agree about Carlton, he smoked on several later Dan cuts.
Is that Larry Carlton? One of my favorite guitar solos of all time!(or maybe tied with LC's solo on Kid Charlemane)
There is just no such thing as too much steely dan. These early albums sound just as crisp as they did 30 years ago.
Talk about giving my afternoon a jump-start... Yeah! The Dan's all time best! If ever there was a ten, this is it.
Still wonderin' who Chino and Daddy Gee are.........