CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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Inflationary Lyrics

Payphones used to take dimes, but now they take quarters.  Isn't it time to update song lyrics to reflect the realities of inflation?  Alas, it's vastly easier to rhyme the word "dime" than the word "quarter," but here at Inflationary Lyrics Headquarters we have risen to the challenge.  Please join the fun and share your own inflationary lyrics, with both the "before" and "after" versions!

November 9, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Call Me
ARTIST: Randy Muller

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Though your girlfriend's a friend of mine
Here's my number and a dime, call me anytime

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

Though your girlfriend's a t.v. reporter
Here's my number and a quarter, call me McWhorter
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October 30, 2006 (permalink)


Quarter stack photo by Checkered and aMUSEd.
SONG: Buicks to the Moon
LYRICS: Alan Jackson and Jim McBride

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

When a nickel's worth a dollar
And gold ain't worth a dime
When they build a ship on waters
That will take you back in time

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

When a nickel's worth a fiver
And gold ain't worth a quarter
When they build a ship on waters
That will make the trip seem shorter
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October 17, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Status Seeker
ARTIST: Dream Theater

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Nothing's sacred...
You draw the bottom line
with a dollar sign
Change of opinion...
At the drop of a dime

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

Nothing's sacred...
You draw and quarter
a would-be thwarter
Change of opinion...
At the flip of a quarter
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September 28, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: The Royal Scam
ARTIST: Steely Dan

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

And they wandered in
From the city of St. John
Without a dime
Wearing coats that shined
Both red and green
Colors from their sunny island

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

And they wandered in
From the city of St. John
Without a quarter
Wearing nylons and garters
Both red and green
Colors from their sunny island
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September 4, 2006 (permalink)


Dime photo by drwhimsy.
SONG: A Letter to Mama
ARTIST: Josie And The Pussycats

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Savin' a dime, wastin' my time.

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

Savin' a quarter, tryin' to barter.
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August 28, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: I Got a Dime
LYRICS: John McCutcheon and Si Kahn

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

I got a dime, you got a dime
I know someone with a quarter and she's a friend of mine

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

I got a quarter, you got a quarter
I know someone with a dollar and she's a change sorter
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August 14, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Like a Rolling Stone
ARTIST: Bob Dylan

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

You threw the bums a dime in your prime

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

You threw the bums a quarter in your (athletic) supporter
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August 2, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: So Fine
ARTIST: Ginuwine

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

She's so fine, fine, fine
She's a dime, dime, dime
She's so fine, fine, fine
She's all mine, mine, mine

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

She's my boarder, boarder, boarder
Not my warder, warder, warder
Got a disorder, -order, -order
Pays per quarter, quarter, quarter
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July 24, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Heartaches For a Dime
ARTIST: Wynn Stewart

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

I only know I've held you close and kissed you my last time
And that's a lot of heartaches for a dime

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

I only know I've held you close and obeyed your every order
And that's a lot of heartaches for a quarter
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July 3, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Slow Motion
ARTIST: Blondie

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Slow motion you can stop on a dime
Slow motion you ought to try it sometime

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

Slow motion you sedately escort her
Slow motion you ought to lend her a quarter
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June 26, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: If I Didn't Have a Dime
ARTIST: Gene Pitney

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

If I didn't have a dime,
and I didn't take the time

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

If I didn't have a quarter,
and I didn't tip the porter
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June 19, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
LYRICS: Yip Harburg

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Once I built a tower, up to the sun,
brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it's done.
Brother, can you spare a dime?

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

Once I built a tower, up to the sun,
brick, and rivet, and mortar;
Once I built a tower, now it's done.
Brother, can you spare a quarter?
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June 16, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: If a Girl Isn't Pretty (from Funny Girl)
Lyrics: Jule Styne and Bob Merrill

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

If a girl isn't pretty
Like a Miss Atlantic City,
She should dump the stage
And try another route.
Any guy who pays a quarter
For a seat just feels he oughter
See a figger that his wife can't
Substitute.

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION AND CULTURAL REFERENCES
by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

If a girl isn't pretty
Like a "Sex in the City,"
She should dump the stage
And try another route.
All these guys paid fifty dollars
To get hot under their collars
When a showgirl shows them something
Sweet and cute

(Thanks, Jonathan!)
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June 5, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Penny For Your Thoughts
ARTIST: Tavares

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Penny for your thoughts, a nickel for a kiss
A dime if you tell me that you love me

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

Penny for your thoughts, a nickel for a kiss
A quarter if you'll talk to the reporter
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May 29, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Dime at a Time
ARTIST: Norma Jean

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Two dollars in the jukebox...
And I'll put in the jukebox a dime at a time

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

Two dollars in the jukebox...
With each song on the jukebox I'm a quarter shorter
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May 28, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: I Love Rock 'N Roll
ARTIST: The Arrows (covered by Joan Jett)

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

I love rock n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock n' roll
So come an' take your time an' dance with me

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION-RESISTANCE:

I love rock n' roll
So drop another token and let's get smokin'
I love rock n' roll
The juke's not broken so dance with me

(Thanks to Gordon for suggesting this song)

Literary humorist Jonathan suggests that one day jukeboxes might accept only card-swipes,
a la Kinko's self-serve machines.  Just in case that happens, he suggests the following adjustment:

I love rock n' roll
So swipe your stripe in the jukebox, baby
I love rock n' roll
The time is ripe to dance with me

On a semi-related note, software engineer Gordon Meyer says:

I recently read that the latest jukes have become Internet-enabled to allow huge catalogs of sounds, streamed on demand.  A natural evolution, I suppose.  But one idea that surprised me was that at least one model allows you to pay extra and have your selections moved to the front of the playback queue!  It also allows you to schedule repeats of the song at regular intervals at a reduced rate.
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May 22, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Dime Piece
ARTIST: Nick Cannon (feat. Izzy)

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

are you a dime?
(it's drivin me outta my mind)

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

be a quarter?
(that's what I say when I court her)
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May 17, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Homeboy
ARTIST: Coolio

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

If I got a quarter then you got a dime
And you can call me up no matter what the time

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

If I got a dollar then you got a quarter
And you can leave a message on my tape recorder
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May 3, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)
ARTIST: Jim Croce

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Thank you for your time
Oh, you've been so much more than kind
And you can keep the dime

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION AND CULTURAL TRENDS by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

Thanks for listening hard
On a cell phone in your yard
There goes my calling card

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April 30, 2006 (permalink)

SONG: I Wanna Be A Dancin' Man
ALBUM: The Belle of New York Soundtrack

ORIGINAL LYRIC:

Gonna leave my footsteps on the sands of time,
If I never leave a dime.

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION:

Gonna leave my footsteps in bricks and mortar,
If I never leave a quarter.
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