Irresistible, Bursting Roar

If I had a song, I’d play a song and
Write and fuck and drink ’til it all goes wrong
They tell me it’s rapture, if I could capture
The buzz of letting go
“Was it the liquor or was it my soul?”1
Vertigo, but my skin is paper thin
And the panic it’s barely hemming in
I feel it unravel, “Remember untangle
The threads about your whim.”
I can’t play, no
I can’t sing, no
But I’m a legend in my mind, oh
In my mind, in my mind, in my mind, oh

I’m scrambling skint, scrounging pockets
For mint and lint and springing sprockets
Hear those humble rodents, singing dire portents
They won’t cut me slack
“Laugh hard it’s a long way to the bank.”2
Crap, so my credit’s on the line
And the little girl’s dancing, stepping time
To Daddy’s kind caress, spreading indulgent largesse
Not for the populace.
I can’t pay, no
I can’t think, no
But there’s a legend in my mind, oh
In my mind, in my mind, in my mind, oh

Pass the pipe, I won’t last long
Write the music for me, Charlie-boy
I’ll bring the gin along
Pass the pipe, but no more for me
Too dear for me now, oh
The best things in life aren’t free

I can’t fall asleep, I won’t break down and weep
I’ll smoke and joke and choke so deep
On inexpensive cigarettes, high spinney pirouettes
And forget how to eat.
“A small town play boy, just a little bit.”3
Shit, and now I’m lost and dead
In vomit and maggots but maybe in my head
It’s all a dream and I’m lying in bed
With debts and arrears and misty fears
I’m alone, no
I’m on my own, no
That’s not in my mind, no
In my mind, in my mind, in my mind

Pass the pipe, it’s not so wrong
If you give a kiss and a coin, lad
I’ll sing you a song
Pass the pipe, my love has a fee
Life ain’t so hard now, but
Who will look after me?

  1. The Libertines, “Vertigo”
  2. Modest Mouse, “Paper Thin Walls”
  3. Carl Barât, “The Last Of The Small Town Playboys”
WrittenJanuary 2007

Author's Note

Title taken from Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front.