Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Overread at the Counter: Kill the Pope

Verble says, "I love this guy!  I show him a cool tweet and give him a song idea and within a week, he comes up with a  full lyric.  It's like I have the ideas and he puts in all the blood, sweat, and tears!  Speaking of tears though, I don't cry.  He got that part wrong.  I wouldn't cry.... OK, maybe just a little.  But not like a little baby.  Like a grateful grown man!"

Kill the Pope

Twelve blokes outside a Tesco, shouting “Kill the Pope
They buggered off quite nicely when I said, “Someone get a rope
Met a girl from Derry headed for a street parade.
She said, “Are you out or in?”
I said, “My mind’s not made.”

This Derry girl she laughed and led me to Royal Avenue
I lost her in the crowd and rain and din of the revue.
Then two lads tugged my sleeve, and handed me a beer
They said, “You’re from Texas, mate,
But fook, we’re glad you’re here!”

Just then I turned and bumped into one from Tullamore
A woman I had dated some thirty years before
I recalled the nights we’d watch Nighthawks and she would call me “Pet.”
I said, “I bought your novel
But I haven’t read it yet.”

She introduced her lover, a girl from Ballina
Who had a tattoo on her wrist, it was the eye of Ra.
Those three eyes stared through me, laying every secret bare.
She said, “That day at Shannon,
You just left her standing there.”


The Derry girl tapped my arm, said “Let’s head to Ryan’s Bar.
The regulars know every song in the Wolfe Tones repertoire.”
She said “You seem a man who’s lonely in a crowd.”
“That’s because I’m old,” I said,
“Though I’m not ready for the shroud.”

Then she and I, those two lads, Tullamore and Ballyna
We sang Ryan’s rafters down until the final call.
Then we walked toward the docks to watch the sun arise,
Where Tullamore
Said she forgave me,
and hot tears
welled in
                my eyes.

I was always taught of one Apostolic Church
And I’ve seen religion leave many in the lurch
But redemption, kindness, decency, these things give me hope
That God loves little children and every misanthrope
And protects the pure of heart and those who cannot cope
And those who make a fortune selling Daddy’s dope.
And one day will make straight every slippery slope
And that He even loves twelve Tesco boys
Still shouting “Kill the Pope!”
He even loves twelve Tesco boys,
Still shouting “Kill the Pope!”

Kill the Pope!



2018-0805 – inspired by a tweet by Caoimhe Ní Dhónaill, first line of this song.
2018-0814 – completed work on lyrics

NOTES: the good Dr Dhónaill is, for the purposes of this song at least, from Derry.  She may or may not be from that lovely town IRL (which stands both for Ireland and also means “In Real Life” in ‘netspeak, interestingly enough).

The woman from Tullamore is real, and everything about her in verse three is true (as well as the last line in verse 4).  However, I do not know if Tullamore truly has a lover from Ballyna.  That town was chosen merely for its rhyming capability.

Verse 5, line 2, is also a nod to the good Dr, as she once sent Verble a song by the Wolfe Tones.

Verse 5, line 3, is inspired by her paper, “Emotions and Masculinity”

Verse 7, line 6, is an homage to the Ramones’ “Happy Family” which seemed oddly appropriate for this song.

The phrasing of the song is 4/4, and while writing it, I had in mind both Bob Dylan’s “Motorpsycho Nitemare” and “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.”  I also imagined the chords of those songs being played in the same guitar style as The Clash’s “London Calling.”  Additionally, the song should also be considered played in the style of the Pogues album Red Roses for Me.

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