spin spin whisky and gin i suffer for my art

I've had Lloyd Cole songs going through my head all day. jodie wears a hat although it hasn't rained for six days she says a girl needs a gun these days hey on account of all the rattlesnakes -Rattlesnakes…

I’ve had Lloyd Cole songs going through my head all day.

jodie wears a hat although it hasn’t rained for six days
she says a girl needs a gun these days
hey on account of all the rattlesnakes

–Rattlesnakes



This guy is one my all-time favorite lyricists.

There are a few out there. The guys who make me say “how can it be that easy”. Who make me wish I could do it.

Cole. Andy Partridge. Matthew Sweet. Mark Eitzle. Others, but those are the first who come to mind.

How can they toss it off that way?

It sounds so easy. And yet the entire thing escapes me. Prose, I can mange. But poetry, song lyrics, they defy me completely and I can’t figure out why.

There are things I want to say that need a beat, a cadence, to make sense. I read poetry by Bukowski or Raymond Carver; By Ogden Nash. And stuff my friends write. Songs, poetry.

Prose comes to me so easily; I can do a character’s internal monolog, dialog, I can write narrative.

Why’s poetry so different?

Here are a few favorite Lloyd Cole snippets. I wish I could write songs.

well you have absolutely no common sense, yes i know that’s your charm
you spend the whole day on the phone, you say well it helps you stay calm
you cling to my arm, yes i know that’s your charm

And

oh must you tell me all your secrets
when it’s hard enough to love you knowing nothing

–Four Flights Up

patience is a girl that i hate to love the way i do, but i do
she wakes me up in the morning through squeaking in my dreams
she took her bags but she left all her clothes
she took her keys and left me out in the cold
all because of patience

–Patience

my baby left me heck ain`t that a shame
she’s over in the corner with my new best friend
I’m doing fine with my whisky and wine
and meet me in the john john meet me in the john john
lord have mercy
…what’s your bag?
spin spin whisky and gin i suffer for my art
bartender i got wild mushrooms growing in my yard

–My Bag

Louise is the girl with the perfect skin
she says turn on the light, otherwise it can’t be seen
she’s got cheekbones like geometry and eyes like sin
and she’s sexually enlightened by cosmopolitan and
when she smiles my way
my eyes go out in vain
for her perfect skin
yeah that’s perfect skin
she takes me down to the basement to look at her slides
of her family life, pretty weird at times
at the age of ten she looked like greta garbo
and i loved her then, but how was she to know that

–Perfect Skin

0 thoughts on “spin spin whisky and gin i suffer for my art”

  1. Shit yeah, Lloyd Cole is friggin’ amazing! The “cheekbones like geometry” lines in Perfect Skin were one of my first sigs.

    Oddly, the first thing I ever bought by him was his first solo album — self-titled, with a big “X” over his picture on the cover. The one with his song “Downtown,” which I *think* had been featured in a movie at the time. Didn’t wind up hearing more of his stuff until a couple of years later, when a friend lent me the Llloyd Cole and the Commotions Best Of, and I was hooked.

    And in continuing evidence that my life seems to be assembled of lots of odd, minute synchronicities, I bought the solo album (on cassette, actually) while visiting Washington state for a friend’s wedding. I was just talking about that friend’s wedding in my journal entry about travel. And here you go, suddenly quoting Lloyd Cole.

    You know, this shit all adds up to something. I’ll be damned if I know what, though.

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