Thursday, February 20, 2014

Just one damn drink

I have had so much fun tonight.

The man had a damn fine
head of hair.
Maybe or maybe not everybody has a novel in them (not) but everybody's got a bad country song, right? Something about mama? And drinkin'? And a train?

Maybe two weeks ago at work we remembered the best country song ever, David Allen Coe's You Never Even Called Me by My Name, which has all those things and more and of course we passed around the video and all got earworms and got drunk and cried.

It doesn't help I have some Patsy Cline and some Willy and even a little Alabama on my playlist, having overcome my young hatred of country music in 1983 after a stint working for people who never listened to anything else. I'm a better person for appreciating Conway Twitty, and I never, ever thought I'd write those words. Hello, darlin'.

And then I read a book that was a little bit country and I read a line where I thought, damn, that would make a fine country song. Somebody should write it.

And I was lost.

Of course I had to rationalize it. It's like your first novel -- sure to be bad, but you have to write it to get rid of it. (And then burn it.) Or your first 100 poems -- they're all bad. (Also to be burned, or put on a lightly trafficked blog.) Or the first pancake. (This is not pretty but could be eaten.) I don't want to write country songs -- good or bad -- although it might be fun to write a song with somebody who really knows what they're doing. But I digress.

Tonight? Girls just want to have fun. Too bad I have no musical ability, I can't write any notes, which is a little frustrating, but who cares? Here's my one and only, get-it-out-of-my-system bad country song, and damn it was fun to write. I EVEN WROTE A BRIDGE.  Anyway, it's called 'One Damn Drink' and I think maybe Rascall Flatts should sing it. Or maybe Tim McGraw. It's got beer, and loneliness, and slapping, and fightin', and did I say beer? If you make it to the end there's a real country treat.

One Damn Drink

Our house is too empty
Our bedroom too cold
Out here on the porch
The night’s gettin’ old
I’m sittin’ here lonely
Just me and my beer
The words you threw at me
Repeat in my ear
I might be damn drunk
But I’m not drunk enough
To not care what you said
Guess I’m not that tough

(Ed. Note: I wrote a chorus!)
Tough enough for one more round
Tough enough to be unbound*
Tough enough to care what you think
Tough enough for just one damn drink

I thought we’d get lucky
When I walked in that door
My night’d been damn good
But you’d seen this before
My welcome had worn thin
Your patience long gone
One kiss got me slapped
Damn baby, fight on
Those loud ugly words
The truth hit me rough
Not that I cared cause
You know I’m damn tough

Tough enough for one more round
Tough enough to be unbound
Tough enough to care what you think
Tough enough for one more drink

(Ed. Note: I wrote a bridge!)
What we had here wasn’t so bad
Baby c'mon please don’t be so mad
You know I tried, damn, I didn’t lie
This here beer just helps me get by.
Relax baby it’s just one damn drink.

The night got real quiet
Once you said good-bye
Your face told me plenty
When you didn't once cry
Guess you left all your tears
Back home here with me
Guess you took all the mad
And left me to just be
Be drunk and be lonely
Be cold in this chair
Be waiting for morning
Not too tough to care

Tough enough for one more round
Tough enough to be unbound
Tough enough to care what you think
Tough enough for one ... last ... drink.

Written and performed by Conway Twitty. Dude could write a country song and that little growl in his voice, wow:


*This is the only word in the song that borders on poeticism, I think. I could have used 'unwound,' which has some good connotations, but I got attached to the unbound and since it's my bad country song I'm keeping it. Rascall Flatts or Tim McGraw can change it if they want.

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