Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Opry Smurf Sings the Blues

I went down to the corner
to meet the bangers there
popped a cap in Johnny Blanco
heard a scream to raise my hair

There was my sassy momma
looking sweet and scared and fair
bloody-handed, looking worried
his head upon her dress

I never knew what happened
couldn't even count to three
I think Blanco's lady
popped another cap in me

I went down to St. James infirmary
in a howling snow white van
laid me on a narrow table
and the doctor shaked his head

I never knew those strangers
my baby never came to me
so cold, so cold, that woman
you know it was my own damn fault

let her go, let her go, God bless her
wherever she may be
she can search the whole world over
won't never be another loving man like me

Not that it matters, but I was trying to parse out the backstory in that ballad. Girl is dead. Guy goes down to the hospital to see her. She's stretched out cold as a mackerel, gone. Why is she dead? Childbirth? Polio? Got run down by a school bus? Stray bullet? Murder victim? Who knows? The song's not about her. She's a huge gap in the story.

He feels sorry for himself. Wants to look his best when he dies. When is that scheduled? Tomorrow? Forty years from now? Is pride in appearance all he's got left? Do clothes make the man? Do clothes attract women? He has the respect of crap shooters, but he's shooting crap himself. Big, bad, black and snazzy. Mm-mmm, look at you! He plays out a little seduction soliloquy in his head, but she left him. Get on with dying slow. Strange ballad. Catchy tune.



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