May 2024

Stories and Songs – Part III: 
Addictions and Afflictions

Les Marcott | Scene4 Magazine | www.scene4.com

Les Marcott

DIVINE ALCOHOLICS

 

Hemingway had his whisky, Bukowski had his beer

Hunter S. Thompson had his Puerto Rican Rum

What I got ain’t exactly clear

Well, I’m drinking tonight till I’m feeling right

I’m drinking tonight

 

Jack Kerouac spent his last days drinking at a St. Petersburg bar

All he could think about was his old friend Neil

And that damned old car

Well, I’m drinking tonight till I’m feeling right

I’m drinking tonight

 

Maybe I’ll get it together in the morning

Or maybe by the crack of noon

I got a bottle full of something

Why do you have to leave, why do you have to leave so soon

 

Dylan Thomas went drinking across America

To see what mischief he could do

He went to Hollywood and grabbed Shelley Winter’s breasts

He held on till they turned blue

Well, I’m drinking tonight till I’m feeling right

I’m drinking tonight

 

Tennessee Williams slid off a hot tin roof

Berryman jumped off a bridge

Truman Capote walked through a bloody farm house

Jack London lived on the edge

Well, I’m drinking tonight till I’m feeling right

I’m drinking tonight

 

I once had a spirited back and forth with a guy who had his own bar themed reality show.  He was disagreeing with me over the choice of drinks the literary figures mentioned in the first verse imbibed.  But as one who does his research, whether it’s for the lyrics of a song or some other project, I was able to successfully counter his protestations.  But unfortunately, he missed the main point of the song – that these great literary figures at some point in their careers squandered their God given talent due to their copious amounts of alcohol consumption no matter their choice of drink.  Perhaps Thompson’s Rum Diaries sums it up best, a fear of “going over the hill and growing old”.  His books often contained characters that were violent, maniacal, and stumbling through their existence.  In her excellent book, The Trip Through Echo Springs, author Olivia Laing explores the deleterious effects of alcoholism on some of America’s preeminent writers. Laing cites aphasia, brain atrophy, and loss of memory as just a few of the ailments that plagued the authors she cites.  In the song, the demise of these larger-than-life characters is figurative and literal. Gore Vidal remarked upon the death of Truman Capote, “that it was a wise career move”.

 

METH AND TATTOOS

 

My baby spends all her money on meth and tattoos

You know I love her, but what’s this poor boy gonna do.

I keep rolling the dice, because she needs a brand-new pair of shoes 

My baby spends all her money on meth and tattoos, meth and tattoos.

 

And when she’s gone, I know exactly where she’s at

That parlor down the road or in that trailer out back

I enable her to do what she does over and over again.

My baby spends all her money on meth and tattoos, meth and tattoos

 

She picks at that scab in the middle of her arm

In the middle of that broken heart tattoo and that good luck charm

We never had this problem when we worked on old McDougal’s farm

My baby spends all her money on meth and tattoos, meth and tattoos

 

Sometimes late at night, she calls out her momma’s name

That woman has been dead 10 years now, and her daughter hasn’t been the same

She said can you make it thunder, can you make it rain

Fill up some buckets so I can wash away this pain

My baby spends all her money on meth and tattoos, meth and tattoos

 

She’s gonna take me down with her, she’s gonna get me in the end

I can dissolve away quickly or slowly disintegrate

There’s an unsteady hand that controls my fate

My baby spends all her money on meth and tattoos, meth and tattoos

 

What’s it like to be addicted to an addict?  The guy in this song is an enabler- enabling his lover to engage in her meth addiction.  She also has this thing about tatts.  But who doesn’t in today’s society. It’s the meth that will take them both down in the end.  She knows it, he’s resigned to it.  There was a more innocent, tranquil time when they worked  on “old McDougal’s farm”, but those days are long past.  As the old saying goes, how can you keep them down on the farm, once you’ve been to the big city?  It was a hard song to write, but the words came easy.

 

  

 

Share This Page

View readers’ comments in Letters to the Editor

Les Marcott | Scene4 Magazine | www.scene4.com

Les Marcott is a songwriter, musician, performer and a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.  For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2024 Les Marcott
©2024 Publication Scene4 Magazine

 

 

 

May 2024

  Sections Cover ¬∑ This Issue ¬∑ inFocus ¬∑ inView ¬∑ inSight ¬∑ Perspectives ¬∑ Special Issues
  Columns Adler ¬∑ Alenier ¬∑ Alpaugh ¬∑ Bettencourt ¬∑ Jones ¬∑ Luce ¬∑ Marcott ¬∑ Walsh 
  Information Masthead ¬∑ Your Support ¬∑ Prior Issues ¬∑ Submissions ¬∑ Archives ¬∑ Books
  Connections Contact Us ¬∑ Comments ¬∑ Subscribe ¬∑ Advertising ¬∑ Privacy ¬∑ Terms ¬∑ Letters

|  Search Issue | Search Archives | Share Page |

Scene4 (ISSN 1932-3603), published monthly by Scene4 Magazine
of Arts and Culture. Copyright © 2000-2024 Aviar-Dka Ltd – Aviar Media Llc.

Thai Airways at Scene4 Magazine