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May 03, 2006


Patrick Nielsen Hayden

I think your leg just came off in Thompson's hand.


You're probably right.

Jim Henley

If Belle can't tell you about Tommy Keene, Belle's mom should be able to. He was very big in DC for a time. Did Google find "Meet the Flintstones" for you, by "Bruce Springstone"?


No, Who is the band.

You covering Burns and Schrieber's cover of Who's on first? Looking into Chapman's homer? No, wait, that's Pale Fire.

Jim Henley

"On First Homing Onto Chapman's Looker" would make a great parody sonnet, probably by Anthony Hecht.

joe o

WHFS would play a lot of Tommy Keene. I had forgotten about the "Meet the Flintstones" song but they would play that a lot too.

Jim Henley

Indeed they did. I found Keene easier to like than love. He did do a nice solo cover of Mission of Burma's "Revolver" once, though, opening for . . . well, I forget whom.

"Springstone" also did "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," which HFS also played.

Ray Davis

I wish I could hear those lyrics in my head instead of the ones I got. (Don't ask, you'll be sorry.) As re-writes go, I gotta say I think Thompson's is pretty funny and appropriate to the situation. I'd love to hear it in action.

Coincidentally, my all-time least favorite rewrite was of a Richard Thompson lyric. When Elvis Costello covered "Withered & Died", he fucking changed the gender, so that this:

Once I was bending the tops of the trees,
Kind words in my ear, kind faces to see.
Then I struck up with a boy from the West,
Played run and hide, played run and hide.
Count one to ten and he's gone with the rest.
My dreams have withered and died.

Turned into "Then I struck up with a girl from the West." Now, a young woman's life might well be ruined by an affair with a country boy. And a young man's life by an affair with a country boy. But a young man's affair with a country girl? That would just be a boast.


W. Kiernan

Ray: But a young man's affair with a country girl? That would just be a boast.

Bullshit, Ray, bullshit bullshit bullshit, shame on you. Maybe you've got the "guy's problem," i.e. no heart to lose or break. Well, you can speak for yourself, but you won't speak for me.

And if you ever happen to see S. please tell her I'd like my heart back, in case she hasn't toseed it in the garbage can already.

Jim Henley

Thompson also wrote "The Poor Ditching Boy," so I think he'd be on W. Kiernan's side here.

nick s

Thompson can change songs without even changing the lyrics: q.v. 'Oops, I Did It Again'.

Ray Davis

I sympathize W., having spent some miserable maudlin months with "Way Out West" as a totem song. At that time, however, my socio-economic class wasn't far removed from the ditching boy's. Maybe it's overinterpretation, but I always heard "Withered & Died" as involving loss of status, and, as one of my betters kindly informed me, I was much more likely to cause such a loss than to lose any more myself.


If you all like Richard Thompson, you should know about his audio downloads page. Also his wonderful 'news from home'. The latest installment features conversations with his philsosphically minded electrician/plumber, and the continuing saga of his attempt to give Arnold Schwarzenegger elocution lessons. Very much worth reading.

The web site also has a very handy tour calendar -- when I look back on those primitive days when I actually read the calendar section of the paper to see whether anyone I liked would be playing nearby, I feel very antiquated.

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