[cb_profit_poster Guitar1]Clinton, S.C., Thursday, December 26, 2013, 9:55 a.m.
Lo and behold. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is on TV.
I’m just half watching it. I’ve seen it a dozen times, at least, and many more if I count half watching. Jean Arthur just greeted James Stewart at the train station.
It’s romantic, idealistic pap, but in Frank Capra’s film lies the essence of America. I wish we could find it again.
I had a funny thing happen the other day. I was looking for something in the pile of books, magazines and miscellany that covers the loveseat. I found two sheets of paper edging out from the edge, on the floor. I looked at it and discovered a song I’d completely forgotten writing. The paper, typewritten because it was printed from my laptop, is slightly stained from what is likely spilled coffee. It’s saved, of course, but the folder dubbed “lyrics” is crowded with old songs, new songs and snippets I haven’t yet turned into songs. It’s easy to get lost in there.
I started fooling around with it, but I couldn’t remember the original tune. I adapted a chord progression that is simple. Maybe I’ll remember the way it was, eventually, or maybe I won’t. I’m going to sing it the way it is now Thursday night in Columbia at my friend Bentz Kirby’s open mic. In fact, I’m going to perform two new songs, “The System’s Down” and “It’s Only Fiction.”
Here’s the song, “The System’s Down,” that came in from the couch.
Some fool in California / Deleted my account / And some dude that owes me money / Lessened the amount / The man who fixed my washer / Took me for a spin / And when I checked the mailbox / It all began again.
The system’s down / Tension’s up / Bills are high / Banks corrupt / I’d rather be a writer / Than a pencil-pushin’ fool / And I’d rather break the law / Than obey these dadgum rules.
The bozo at the register / Tipped himself my five / My doctor checked my blood / And declared me still alive / The cowboy with a badge / Said I drove too fast / And if I didn’t shut up / He’d gladly whip my ass.
The woman I’ve been dating / Likes my brother twice as much / The bottom of my feet / Are painful to the touch / My ex-wife thinks I’m / Overwhelmed with cash / But all that’s really overwhelmed / Is the can that holds my trash
My favorite ball team / Has lost five out of six / My mother got mad at me / And called me a sonuvabitch / I couldn’t help but question / Who it was that shared her bed / Looking back those are words / I wish I hadn’t said.
I’ll shoot a video of it tonight if I can remember.
By the way, if you’re in Columbia or just happen to be in town, stop by Utopia Food & Spirits (3830 Rosewood Drive) at 8 p.m. Or, bring your guitar or whatever and be there by 7:30 to sign up. It’ll be fun either way.