A Career in Virtue

Great Southern Steve – A Career in Virtue (mp3)

Here’s some more banjo folk from the Live at Home album, as a few folks liked the Golden Retriever tune from a few posts back.

This song, however, is anything but jaunty, although it does have kind of sombre sea-shanty thing going on. It’s based on a banjo riff I wrote when I was about nineteen. It’s worth remembering the things you wrote when you are nineteen because they are often more natural than things you write later.

Anyway, I had in mind for the lyrics the character of a priest in a remote location, who had brought his wife along, promising glory in the service of God, but delivering misery in the service of his alcoholism.

Yes, I know, what a cheery thing to write about. I’m such a ray of sunshine.

The final part was written over here in Melanesia. ‘Blacktop’ is what they call a ‘tar’ road, to distinguish between that and most of the roads, which are just dirt. It is dusty, hot and everyone drinks too much.

Anyway here it is.

So starch my collar up and bring my liquor down

And I’ll kill the memories that dog my days

Even if I’d lived across the other side of town

I’ll bet this would have happened anyway

I gave up a career in virtue

For the chance to hold you by my side

I promised that nothing could hurt you

Sweet innocence,

You know I lied.

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I’m a Golden Retriever

Mp3 link – Golden Retriever.

My long-standing ambition to write a tune for Sesame Street resulted in this song, Golden Retriever.

I love guide dogs, often more so than their owners, and was imagining an old-style, flickery super-8 film to complement this clunky acoustic folk track about the noble beasts. But the Sesame Workshop has gone very modern and the music is hip hop, as recent viewers will note. I guess they have to cater to what kids are interested in now, and don’t have time for their old fans any more, probably rationalizing this on the basis that people in their thirties should no longer be watching the show. Point is, they just don’t have time for the old-style folk any more. Even so I might send them a copy.

The song is from an album of folksy-rock I did in 2006-2007 called Live at Home. Other than sending a copy of it to my mate Soursob Bob, I haven’t done much with it so far but might put the cover art and more tracks up at some point.

Lyrics – extract

Oh when I grow up I’d like to be a seeing eye dog

When I grow up I’d like to change the world

But there’s so many muddy fields i want to explore

Sometimes I think I’ll never change the way I’ve been since I was born

I’m a Golden Retriever

I said I like to retrieve

And I will go anywhere you want

Just so long as my leash will reach

I can do anything

that a doggy can nominally do

Just so long as I can see you throw

Then I will bring it on back to you

You better believe that I like to retrieve…

(pant pant)

Cheers,

S.