Wednesday, April 2, 2008


What do you do when your Better-Half hates something you thought you done good? I realize that a writer of ANY type has to be in love with the newest thing... and I always am to some extent -- even when I know the piece has limitations that might be made worse by my lack of real talent. Then the Writing Prof shot me down.

My much-much better half says that there is nothing redeeming in this song lyric - it doesn't "reach" for anything; that the subject is a cliched version of a man, there's a million songs where the "mine done failed", and that while there is some good pacing and careful wordplay (she liked the "rack of wood" line), there is nothing to spark interest and any need to understand motives... and she's the English Perfesser. My much-much better half also does not like writing in "Vernacular" (Even though she has a whole book of short stories in it).

The lyric is full of Regional references that are limiting -- that I understand, but I don't see why you have to steer clear of cliche, as long as it is handled right. John Prine does it all the time. Fred Eaglesmith even voices it all the time. And although I admit this song does not have that Prine-like twist and human revelation at the end, it doesn't need it -- the song is a reflection of the subject: an all-too-common man, who isn't going anywhere. Ever. Surrounded by failure, he IS failure.

So I did what I had to do to preserve myself. I ignored her, for the most part.

Lyrics here:



Chuck said...

Not to sound trite, but this one reaches by not reaching.

If you haven't done so, you should read The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake, the most gifted writer WVa gave to the field of literature. His stories don't reach, either. They just ache, and you walk away knowing someone has felt it.

jackscrow said...

Thanks Chuck. It was nice to read that you had a great Worship Service and good trip.