Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday Diet of Worms

Warren William Zevon (1947 - 2003).

You've got an invalid haircut
And it hurts when you smile
You'd better get out of town
Before your nickname expires
It's the kingdom of the spiders
It's the empire of the ants
You need a permit to walk around downtown
You need a license to dance

Life'll kill ya
That's what I said
Life'll kill ya
Then you'll be dead
Life'll find ya
Wherever you go
Requiescat in pace
That's all she wrote...

I absolutely love this song, which -- in an irony that's frankly almost too perfect -- the mortality-obsessed Zevon recorded two years before he was diagnosed with the cancer that killed him. I don't know exactly what it is that gets me about it; perhaps it's the contrast between the glorious hymnlike Coplandesque piano figures in the intro and verses and the sound of the cheesy electronic keyboard they're played on. Or maybe it's Zevon's name checking of two of the crappiest horror films of the 70s -- starring William Shatner and Joan Collins, respectively -- in a meditation on one of the most profound mysteries of the universe.


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Yep. It’s not dark yet but it’s getting there. Intimations of mortality is a good thing, generally, I think; maybe we’ll waste fewer days when we have it. I also get this insight (with similar irony re Roy Orbison) from the Wilbury’s End of the Line & on a more slapstick note but still to good effect, Kasey Chambers’ “We’re All Gonna Die Some Day.”

Anonymous said...

Someone went to a lot of work to match the Anime images to the lyrics, great job and a great song. Thanks Steve.