Monday, 3 May 2010

The Poetry Bus a.k.a Watercats' Tour Bus

The Poetry Bus is driven this week by the amazing Watercats (get to know them now before they're famous and won't need us anymore). They set the challenge of writing about Sex, Drugs, Rock and/or Roll, individually or as a whole.

My effort is below and you can hear it on my ReverbNation doo-hickey over on the right (last track).
Other roadies can be found here.

WARNING: this piece contains no original sentiments, no deep insights into the human condition and I think I've even nicked the tune off somebody.

It was night on the platform and bitter as hell,
When an old guy approached me with a story to tell.
A travelling musician, his glory days flown
His battered old suitcase told a tale of its own.

He spied my guitar case, still shiny and new.
Said Son, let me tell you a story or two.
This life looks exciting when seen from outside
But music's a nightmare and a wild one to ride.

It's the sex and the drugs and the rock and the roll
And a life on the stage that has taken its toll
I gotta find shelter before it gets cold
'Cos a life on the road is no place for the old.

I started out early just playing my thing
In bar-rooms and cafes if they'd let me sing
It wasn't for money, that was never the plan.
My mistress was music and I was her man.

Then somebody heard me and mentioned my name.
The company called me and sold me on fame.
They drew up the contracts, the tours were arranged
From that moment onwards, everything changed.

I was rich, I was famous, on top of my game.
Everyone loved me or so it was claimed.
But with mo-one to guide me it went to my head.
I lost all my friends and I blew all my bread.

When the beautiful people all melted away.
And the phone's sullen silence filled day after day.
I took to the road, played for food or a beer,
I've been touring this country for forty-five years.

Son, let me tell you, you're just starting out
The point of my story, what it's really about.
I long for the good things, like a home or a wife
But music has bound me to a wanderer's life.

I gave music my body, gave music my all
'Cos music's my mistress and I am her thrall.
Music's my freedom, my journey, my goal.
Music's my mistress and she owns my soul.

It's the sex and the drugs and the rock and the roll

I'll still be playing when the final bell tolls
'Cos music's my lover and she'll make me whole.
Music's my mistress and she owns my soul.

Music's my mistress and she owns my soul.

Music's my mistress and she owns my soul.


  1. actually i think this really works as a return to the old kinda story-tellin song of yesteryear with the Argent sense of humour bringing it up to date

    I can imagine a whole room full of very slightly drunk people joining in loudly with the refrains

    There's nowt wrong with taking old ideas and re-arranging them for a new generation. That's basically all new things are. Great song

  2. Two songsthisweek! I love this, the vocals and thelyrics .I love the way your voice breaks/howls on that 'soul' and I love this verse..I gave music my body, gave music my all
    'Cos music's my mistress and I am her thrall.
    Music's my freedom, my journey, my goal.
    Music's my mistress and she owns my soul.

    Isn't thrall a great word? Lovely Argo!

  3. Great voice there, Ms. Argent! Thanks for sharing your song!

  4. love this cautionary tale, the rhythm of the writing in this is great. I actually could hear the music that went with it before I got the player working, think it comes out as one of those great folky classics. great stuff

  5. I officially declare Argent as number one song writer roundy bouts here!.. what a fecking great song! Also envy the way your voice breaks on those choruses.. I've tried to do these things.. but alas!.. love it love it, love it, love it.. LOVE IT.. *standing ovations from the watercats kitchen :-D

  6. In a word... Brilliant! As are the Watercats of course.

  7. @DFTP - Cheers, mebbes we should try it out one open mic night and see if people are just drunk enough.

    @TFE - Thanks ye, I wasn't sure about the howlin' part but it just seems to want to do that and yes thrall is a great word.

    @Jeanne - And thank you for listening!

    @Niamh - This tune is actually the third one I cam up with - the first two were too much like a couple of other songs I'd heard recently so it took a while. And now my hubs reckons the tune is the same as the protest song that Lisa Simpson sings when Mr Burns cuts off the power in Springfield 'We'll march night and day by the big cooling towers...' Oh well.

    @Watercats - You is too kind! The chorus actually sprang into my head the second I read your prompt. I don't normally go in for the old vocal tricksies like that, but it felt right, so I did. When yer famous (when, not if) I can be the eejit support act that nobody listens to because they've paid for the headline act dammit!

    @Jimmy - Cheers! And those cats are indeed brilliant (and will be famous soon).

  8. I love the word thrall, too. Funny how we all seemed taken by that word.

    Altogether, I loved this. It made me think of Arlo Guthrie. And right away, I started singing along, trying to work out a harmony. (I'm not very good at that, but I did make the effort).

  9. Love, love, love this! It's a little bit Arlo and a little bit Ancient Mariner! What a mix -- hold me in thrall for sure! Great voice. You win!

  10. It's great! Would like to hear a Willie Nelson version of this :-)

  11. I think this is great! I wish I could comment on your blog at work - that's when I read it & have all these great things to say, but by the time I get home I don't remember :(

    But I like these kinds of songs anyway - & I like this one a lot!

  12. Cool tale, Argent, and terrificly told.

  13. @Sandra - Arlo Guthrie, eh? I t does need a man to sing it and a nice harmony for the choruses - you'll have to recordjyourself and post it.

    @Karen - Thanks, Ancient Mariner, I'll have to re-read that as I haven't done so since I was a kid.

    @P Nolan - Yes! I'd like to see a Willie Nelson version too!

    @Bug - Thanks. How come you can read but not comments at work? Mayve just a setting on your browser?

    @Rachel - Cheers!

    @NanU - Thanks!

  14. Yep, the Rime of the Ancient Rocknroller! Absolutely brilliant! Love rthe rawness!

  15. How multi-talented are you?
    Great song, great lyrics, and I love the voice. It may be an old tale, but you've made it fresh and absolutely yours. I was singing along by the end. Knock-out!

  16. Blimey again, you really are brilliant.
    Doesn't anyone realise that? And publish and pay you?

  17. @Peter - Thank you. For 'rawness' read 'under-rehearsed' :-)

    @Titus - Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

    @Friko - You're very kind. Sadly, no-one has spotted my talents as yet (wanna be my agent?)


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