Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lyrics of the Day

I've been listening to my two Fred Eaglesmith CDs this week (I keep meaning to get more, but my CD wish list is pretty long these days). One of my favorite Eaglesmith songs, "Alcohol and Pills," was recently covered by Todd Snider (no slouch himself as a songwriter). The song is a retelling of a common theme: performers who overdose (see also Robbie Fulks' bluntly titled "She Took a Lot of Pills (& Died)"). Eaglesmith begins with Hank Williams, moves on to Elvis Presley, and then name-drops Janis Joplin, Gram Parsons, and Jimi Hendrix just for good measure. The third line of the chorus is my favorite:
Alcohol and pills, it's a crying shame,
You'd think they might've been happy with the glory and the fame
But fame doesn't take away the pain, it just pays the bills,
And you wind up on alcohol and pills
People are driven to create for all sorts of reasons. Some are chasing fame or fortune. For others, strange as it may seem to those who crave stardom, it really is just a way to pay the bills.

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