Monday, July 1, 2019

Fabricated Folk Lyric

My moments of inspiration as a pop-song lyricist always seem to come when I'm at the wheel of my car. Back in 2009, I wrote the lyrics to a Tango in my head while driving from St. Louis to Arkansas. I can't remember whether a similar case applies to my 2011 masterpiece, "The Temporal Anomaly Blues," but I was definitely trippin' when I wrote that. And last night, driving home from my parents' house at the opposite end of a tall, narrow Minnesota county, I mentally composed two-thirds of this. Mainly, what I wanted to achieve was a heart-squeezing effect when the key phrase comes back at the end with a different shade of meaning than before. If somebody wants to set this to a fabricated folk tune, I wouldn't object.

In Clover

Now golden-head, won't you come down
And leave these fragrant grasses?
We'll drink the health of London town
In leaded crystal glasses.
– Nay, blue-eyed one, thanks all the same;
For when all's said and over,
You'll have the fortune and the fame,
But I – I'll be in clover.

Now golden-head, come down to me
And leave these fragrant grasses!
We'll drink the coffee of Paree
In china demitasses.
– Nay, blue-eyed one, don't take it wrong;
For when all's said and over,
You'll have the dances and the song,
But I – I'll be in clover.

Now golden-head, for sea I'm bound
To leave these fragrant grasses.
When next I drink on solid ground,
'Twill be with New York lasses.
– Go, blue-eyed one, but mind the wave
Till you're the ocean over;
For that would be a lonesome grave,
But I – I'll be in clover.

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