My Fault (a punk song)

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.


My Fault (a punk song)

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.

 You felt your way 
 I was insensitive
You gave me your all  
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.
And sometimes 
the wind comes
    F            A7         Dm     D7
and tears at the fountain's veil
and blows droplets 
on to the cellar window
droplets too small 
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

D/a     Em9   C9/g
D/a     Em9   C9/g
D/a     Em9   C9/g
D/a     Em9   C9/g

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

4 thoughts on “My Fault (a punk song)

  1. Hey,

    pretty good crossover-style song. Are the lyrics mixed together from the two poets and your friend?

    Could you send me the chords, please. There’re some nice ones and I want to use them for inspiration on new songs. Thanks a lot.

    I’ve had read this intire page, it’s just full of very good articles and of course the tabs and lyrics of Bob himself.

    Greetings from Germany
    Ray B.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I’ve updated the post to include the chords as well.
    The text is only my own translation and reworking of the one Norwegian punk poet, Gene Dalby. I’d consider it a 75-25 ratio in his favour…
    The Danish equivalent and my friend’s tune was a different song.

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