Monday, March 12, 2007

Lyrics Blogging

I've said many times that music for me is that art of choice, that thing that brings me pleasure no matter my mood.

I often gravitate towards music that has a bipolar aspect, or tortured musician aspect, or song subjects that indicate bipolar or other mental disorder. I love Billie Holliday, Janis Joplin, Charlie Parker, Hank Williams Sr, Kurt Cobain, and similar musicians. I dig songs that have a bipolar theme.

One of my favorite singer / songwriters is a guy named Dave Alvin. Dave has done it all, was a major innovator of rockabilly music in the late seventies and eighties, played with one of the earliest and most influential US punk bands in the eighties, and has written and played virtually every musical genre since then. Dave recorded a song a few years ago that captures a bipolar frame of mind. It’s called “Out Of Control”.

I suppose this clicks as all my life I’ve been a little “out of control”. Pushing the limits, living recklessly, not caring that at any time a misstep could bring the world crashing down. I’ve thrown away opportunities, missed fortunes due to stupid decisions, and been lucky to have walked the tightrope and made it to where I am today.

In honor of that, here’s the lyrics to Dave’s song “Out Of Control”.

Dave Alvin
Out Of Control
Album: Ashgrove
(Blue Horn Toad Music, BMI)

I scored some speed in San Berdino
So me and baby could get a little bump
And now she’s in that motel room
Puttin’ on a show for some chump
Yeah, well baby’s gotta make a livin’
And I don’t mind waitin’ out in the car
‘Cause I got some nine millimeter muscle
In case things go too far.

You know I try to take it easy man
And just go with the flow
But sometimes things can get a little bit
Out of control.

Well my old man worked his whole life
In the Kaiser steel slag pit
And I worked there for awhile back when I was a kid
But I got tired of all their shit
But that was years ago man
Before they tore that Fontana plant down
And my old man smoked himself
Into a six-foot hole in the ground.

And I got the same bad habit
And it’ll probably take its toll
But sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me
From goin’ out of control.

Well my ex-wife’s workin’ evenings
At a Sizzler makin’ minimum wage
And she’s cleanin’ up other people’s houses
Every day just like some slave
She’s livin’ with the kids in a mobile home
Just off the 60 freeway
Some nights I go to see her
And sometimes she lets me stay.

Since she found Jesus
She’s always tryin’ to save my soul
Yeah but every now and then she still likes to get
A little out of control.

I used to work a little construction
But I never got along with my boss
So I do a little import/export
Makin’ enough just to cover my costs
And I’m losin’ my hair and I’m losin’ my teeth
But I’m tryin’ to keep my grip
And live to see one more day
Without makin’ any stupid slips.

You know I could have played the game man
And just done what I was told
But I guess I was born just a little bit
Out of control.

When baby gets done in there I’m gonna
Take her for a little ride
Cruise up into the mountains
Park the car and get a little high
‘Cause baby likes to look at the shootin’ stars
And make wishes as they fly by
And I like lookin’ down at the city
From way up there in the sky.

Then I pull baby close to me
When it starts gettin’ cold
Close my eyes for a little while and let the world
Spin out of control.


jane said...

Robert Downey, Jr., has at least 1 CD out. Some of the songs are pretty good.
I don't think I'm drawn to music with bipolar moods to them, but I love Joplin.

Dream Writer said...

I think it is a matter of opinion if the any lyrics and music is Bipolar related...Like Manic Monday by the Bangles!

Joplin is awesome...when I had that out-of-body-experience...I swear I thought that she was going to come out and sing "Bobby McGee!"

Total Sycadelic! I thought I was at Woodstock!

ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

I love seeing people post lyrics to songs on their a glimpse into the personality and current mindset. :-) Thanks for sharing, Jon!!!

Jon said...

Jane - I just feel a connection to some of these songs. I'll post more sometime else.

DW - Don't eat the brown acid!

Ari - Uh-oh, I hate to admit I was listening to The Scissor Sisters' "Take Your Mama Out Tonight" earlier:
"Gonna take your mama out all night
Yeah we'll show her what it's all about
We'll get her jacked up on some cheap champagne
We'll let the good times all roll out"