Bits & Bytes: Loudon Wainwright III


We’ve been covering poets and novelists in our Friday Bits & Bytes series. So why not open it up to songwriters? Loudon Wainwright III has been one of the best for many years. I saw him in concert a few nights ago at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, opening for Hot Tuna. In concert, he’s a charmer, funny and touching and smart.


loudon


I don’t know of any computer-related lyrics of Loudon’s, but he played a new song at the Aladdin that’s certainly in keeping with the times, if not directly with Microsoft products and our Microsoft Press books. You can hear it for yourself on the NPR Music site. Here are the words:


Times Is Hard


Times is hard. Times is tough.
Nothin's easy. It's all rough.
There's not much right; so much gone wrong.
All I can do is play this song.


You're watchin' the news. It all looks bad.
The worst half-hour you ever had.
What in God's name is goin' on?
All I can do is play this song.


You're losin' your job, your house and your car.
Hittin' rock bottom don't feel that far.
Nothin' good is gonna come along.
All I can do is play this song.


Folks are scared watchin' that news.
Folks feel bad. They're gettin' the blues.
My poor stomach, it ain't that strong.
All I can do is play this song.


Times is rough. Times is hard.
Take a pair of scissors to your credit card.
Circuit City just said, 'So long.'
All I can do is play this song.


Who's at fault? Who gets the blame?
Let's string up Bernie what's-his-name.
And ask Alan Greenspan to come along.
All I can do is play this song.


They want your gold, and they'll pay cash.
The only silver lining is the price of gas.
Money's short and the odds are long.
All I can do is play this song.


The factory's closed. The bank is bust.
On the money it says, 'In God We Trust.'
So pray for all your stocks and bonds.
All I can do is play this song.


Outta luck. Outta hope.
I'm wonderin' why I even cast that vote.
I took that sign offa my front lawn.
All I can do is play this song.


There's a new man down there in D.C.
They say he's gonna help you and me.
They sure know how to bang the gong.
All I can do is play this song.


Last man in D.C., he had eight years.
Now the whole damn country is in arrears.
We got two, three, four wars goin' on.
All I can do is play this song.


Times is hard. Times is rough.
I guess you folks need some cheerin' up.
Well it ain't me babe. You got that wrong.
All I can do is play this song.


You heard it here. I sang it first.
Don't feel so bad; things are gonna get worse.
Consider yourselves all strung along.
All I can do is play this song.


Comments (2)

  1. Following in the tradition of covering poets, novelists (and now songwriters…if you missed it, check

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