Speaking of poetry…
I have never written much of the stuff myself, but do write a lot of song lyrics which are kind of similar in some ways (as I mentioned in my last post). I like writing lyrics much more than I like singing, but sometimes the lyrics are pretty perfunctory or just thrown-together nonsense. And on very rare occasions I have started writing lyrics but abandoned the song, yet kept the lyrics around anyway, somewhere in my brain. What do you call song lyrics without the music? Doggerel. Usually.
I thought recently of the following charming bit of rhyme, an ex-song from around 1997. How awful that I called Michael Stipe and Bono old at the time! Michael Stipe would only have been around 37 — not old at all! Sorry Michael Stipe! And I don’t know why I claimed Lou Reed was not famous.
Here is a scan of this silly pseudo-poem, click through for a full-size legible version:
Here is a transcription, slightly corrected (i.e., “tinnitus” for “tinninitus”).
Michael Stipe, he shaves his head while David Bowie follows trends Neil Young, he never changes Lou Reed never quite got famous. Thinning hair and aged appearance, Rock stars looking like grandparents Some sell out and some stay true What's it mean to me and you Comeback albums, comeback tours Comeback hours, comeback whores Rock 'n' roll was made for teens So now what does Bob Dylan mean? Bono doesn't seem to like us Pete Townshend has got tinnitus Springsteen's still an average guy The Rolling Stones are just a punchline When all ex-Beatles have been knighted Will John Lydon get invited? Who knew Patti Smith existed? Rock 'n' roll is pushing 50 And what about that place in Cleveland? Another building no one needed Kids who tried to break the rules Now end up trapped in exhibit halls Background music in a bar's the Last insult to aging rock stars Music written from the soul is turned to muzak, bought and sold The critics say you've lost your edge Or that the fame went to your head Biographies full of attacks and Your catalog's owned by Michael Jackson So tell me now what are you feeling When you play sold-out arenas Where every single person knows The words you wrote 20 years ago Do those words ring true today And do you still have something to say? When you sling on that guitar and play Is it for the future or yesterday? Do you still believe in rock and roll? I guess that's what I want to know
Ouch! Take that rock stars! Getting awkwardly called out by a snotty 20-year old, I bet that stung. Actually I mostly remember this “poem” from time to time based on the line about “thinning hair and aged appearance”… How quickly things change.