May 23, 2011

On an unrelated note




Sometimes I write poetry. Some of it winds up in "Shards", an online collection of scraps, thoughts, jots, and other random bits of poetry that I either don't feel like working into a proper composition or don't know how they relate to other things I am working on. I've published a few poems here and there, both in print and in cyberspace, but nothing worth bragging about. Recently I've begun learning how to play guitar, so naturally I've looked into some of the differences between songwriting and poetry.

I'm never going to see my name on a gold or platinum record, of course. I have no illusions about that! It is fun to play with words and forms, though. So today I decided to try writing a song about The Ugly Duck. It's a small watering hole with great food, friendly people, and a rather schizophrenic ambience that can't decide if it wants to be a sports bar, a cowboy bar, or a country pub. On Thursday nights they have karaoke from 9:00 p.m. and $1 tacos all night long. I usually get there about five, order four tacos, and then drink myself into courage while waiting for the karaoke to start. By the time nine o'clock rolls around I'm wasted enough to believe I can out-sing Toby Keith and out-perform Robert Plant. I can do neither, naturally, but at my age it's good to hold onto a few fantasies!

After playing around with ideas and metaphors, I abandoned all hope of adhering to any proper form and just started scribbling words down on a notepad. After an hour or so, this is what I came up with:

There's an Ugly Duck in Wooster
Down on Old Lincoln Way
Where bikers, bankers, and dancin' girls
Come to sing the night away

They gather there on Thursdays
When the rest of town is quiet
To feast on beer and pizza
And ignore their doctor's diet
For life belongs to the living
Memory to those who've passed away
You can find me with the living
At the end of each long day
So come on down to Wooster
And sing the night away
We'll toast your health and mine
And celebrate the day

There's an Ugly Duck in Wooster
Down on Old Lincoln Way
Where bikers, bankers, and dancin' girls
Come to sing the night away

Thursday night is taco night
A dollar for each one
Order five or ten or a dozen
And sing, "The Rising Sun"
Perhaps you prefer a ballad
Of diamonds, love and gold
Stairways that climb to heaven
Or a hip-hop style love song
With lyrics brash and bold
You'll always love your favorite
And it's even better when it's sung

There's an Ugly Duck in Wooster
Down on Old Lincoln Way
Where bikers, bankers, and dancin' girls
Come to sing the night away

So come on down on Thursdays
It's karaoke night
Tacos, beer, and pizza
It's livin' life done right

There's an Ugly Duck in Wooster
Down on Old Lincoln Way
Where bikers, bankers, and dancin' girls
Come to sing the night away

I know, I know. It's laughable and childish. I think it turned out kind of cute, though. With a little more time and some careful thought, I can probably come up with a simple melody to go with it. Nothing worth trying to publish or anything, but a fun challenge that one day might serve as the cornerstone for something more serious.







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