Sunday, April 17, 2005

When Good Ideas Go Wrong

The first line of a new lyric popped into my head the other day. It was a killer; seemingly perfect in every way. The catch--you knew there was a catch, didn't you?--was that the last word of the line was unrhymable, and another word of it, at a point where another rhyme would have to go, was rhyme-poor.

When something like this happens, there's nothing for it but to work the idea through to the bitter end, and get it out of the system; otherwise, one will never be able to move on to the next idea that may come along. The result is a song that may charitably be called an etude or finger-exercise.

It's to the tune of Allie Wrubel's The Lady in Red, a 1930's song recorded by Xavier Cugat, not to be confused with the maudlin 1980's hit, Lady in Red.

Oh! the Lady Macbeth!
There's no one as crazy
As the Lady Macbeth:
Mad as a hatter,
She'll splatter
Blood on your upholstery.

Oh! the Lady Macbeth!
The John Cam'ron Swayze
Of the Culture of Death.
Mother of Mary!
It's scary,
When you know the whole story [see what I mean?].

She keeps on tickin'
The names of all of her prey
Off, one corpse at a time,
But all the lickin'
Can never scour away
The one damned spot that hints at her crime.

Oh! the Lady Macbeth
Is never so lazy
As to pause for a breath;
Constantly killing,
And spilling
Blood on the upholstery.
And that's the whole story!

Lyric © 2005 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

I can't deny my fondness for "the John Cam'ron Swayze of the Culture of Death." I can't explain it, mind you. But I like it.


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