Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April is National Poetry Month


Song lyrics don't always come off well as poetry. But I have become so fond of (or obsessed with) a song by The Skeletons that I have memorized it and practiced reciting it as a poem. (You do NOT want me to sing.)

Thinking about using it as an audition piece for an upcoming Arts Guild play.

Does this work as a poem?
I Ain't Lyin'

The Isrealis built a toll road
between the West Bank and Gaza.
The Palestinians won the contract
to run the half-way plaza.
Now Arab girls and Isreali boys
are walking hand in hand.
Now I think I'm beginning to see
what they meant by The Promised Land.

I've seen you in the papers lately,
been watching you on the news.
Sometimes you get panned,
but mostly rave reviews.
At least they don't ignore you.
But remember all those ups and downs.
It won't be long till your new heroes
all start looking like clowns.

On the other hand, you know I'd never blame someone
for something they didn't do.
You shouldn't count on them
if they don't count on you.
A deal is just a deal
and here's a word to the wise:
You ain't never gonna tell the truth
til you live down all those lies.

Listen to me...
It's nice...
I ain't lyin'...

I'll tell you about this guy we knew
who thought he'd figured it out.
He said time is just a concept,
and he was gonna sit it out.
He sat down by the sewer on Wednesday
and on Thursday he died.
And at the coroner's inquest,
they called it a sewercide
(but he was a joker).

Not like this other guy
who thought he was so wise.
He spent his whole life making A's
in things you can't criticize.
Like motherhood and highway safety, the deficit.
And he may be right.
But to date his proudest accomplishment
is having been
born
white.

That was recorded in 1997 on an album produced by Hightone Records. Some people say The Skeletons were the best bar band in America. I'm not sure what that means, but I sure like the way they do this song.

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