Tom Lehrer once said: “If you can’t communicate, the least you can do is shut up!”
I’ve been living by that adage: if I don’t think what I have to say will make any difference, then why say it?
I don’t have an expressive urge, and history is filled with great art, made and transmitted by people who did have that urge and who did know what to do with it.
I fool around, though. Here’s a song, and this is the story:
A friend of mine was a character, not exactly centre stage but perhaps a little to the side, on the Danish punk scene in the early 80s. After several years of doing other things, she suddenly found out she wanted to make some music again. We met up and worked out a song from her translation of a poem by the Danish punk icon, Michael Strunge. The result wasn’t exactly punk, but it wasn’t exactly not punk either.
In the process, I happened to dig out a collection of poems by the Norwegian punk poet, Gene Dalby, from my bookshelf. The result wasn’t exactly a translation, but it wasn’t exactly not a translation either.
D Em9/b C9 All my fault, It was D Em9/b C9 all my fault D Em9/b C9 Spoke to you in keywords. D Em9/b C9 Choice be- tween F G crossword and jigsaw puzzle. G7 A7/add6 crossword and jigsaw puzzle. D Em9/b C9 I thought jigsaw was out. D Em9/b C9 My fault. D Em9/b C9 all my fault. F You felt your way G I was insensitive F You gave me your all G it gave me nothing Am7 G/b C C#m7-5 Dm7 G7 Your words are shrapnels under mental finger nails G A7 Someone has run a plow through your pretty head G A7 and planted hatred like mad. D /c# /b /a But I didn't come to reap bitterness G /f# Em7 A7 or duck from the bricks of theory D Em9/b C9 that you hurl at me D Em9/b C9 I don't give a damn F G7 if you replace your emotional life F G7 with doctrines and vibrators. G A7 You're trying to commit suicide with aspirin. G A7 That's never going to work. Am G/b C Bbmaj7 It's like playing Russian roulette with an unloaded gun. E7 D/a Em9 C9/g Let me lend you a knife. D/a Em9 C9/g D/a Em9 C9/g My heartbeat is just a recoil. D/a Em9 C9/g From a gun in the cellar of an empty house. Bb F Gm7 C7 In front of the house there's a fountain. Bbmaj7 And sometimes C7 the wind comes F A7 Dm D7 and tears at the fountain's veil Gm7 and blows droplets C7 on to the cellar window Db7 droplets too small Bbm to look like tears at all Gm7-5 E7/g# A but they still remind me of something. D Em9/b C9 I just came by to tell you D Em9/b C9 that you can keep my bulletproof vest Bbmaj7 C7 D/ Em9/b C9 I don't need it anymore. D/a Em9 C9/g D/a Em9 C9/g My heartbeat is just a recoil. D/a Em9 C9/g I will never get used to it. D/a Em9 C9/g But I keep on D/a Em9 C9/g shooting. D/a Em9 C9/g D/a Em9 C9/g D/a Em9 C9/g D/a Em9 C9/g ========================= Chords ========================= D xx0232 D/a x00232 Em9/b x2x032 Em9 020032 C9 x3x030 C9/g 332330 A7/add6 x02022 C#m7-5 x42000 Bbmaj7 x13231 Db7 x4342x Bbm x13321 Gm7-5 3x332x E7/g# 422100