29 September, 2009

The Pleasure Was Mine


John's on fire tonight.
Got a billfold and a bar.
In a state of grace,
That's as warm a place,
As John has known so far .

The tender helps get John through,
A ten and a handful of fives.
Then he gives him a couple,
Of pints saying, "John,
The pleasure was mine."

Eventually the neon sign goes,
Dark with rest of the town.
And John goes back,
To the place he calls home,
Though its not even close
To that.

John ----------wakes up cold,
By the time he falls asleep.
'Cus he's dying in the
Neighborhood of living,
And the nights on...
Outside,
And night's on...
Outside.


John sees her again,
Just like all the other times.
And buries his feeling,
In the secret space,
He's been carving all his life.

She throws her arms around him,
Buries him in her smell.
And if he didn't feel like crying,
He'd a realized... he'd fallen in Hell.

"John I been thinking
 about you,"
She'd said to him again.
"Are you ok?
Is there anything
I can help you with?"

John just wanted to tell her,
The things that he'd kept so long.
But he knew that she was trying,
As hard as she could,
To not ask him....
To not ask him......
What had gone so wrong.

Johns on fire tonight,
Got a billfold and a bar.
In a state of grace,
That's as warm a place,
As John has ever known.

The tender helps John get through
A ten and a handful of fives,
Then he gives him
a couple of pints, saying 
"John, the pleasure was mine."



What can I say.  A man fell alone in the forest and this was the sound that was made.  I cannot say more about him.

It is worth ruminating on this, however:  the meaning of this song postulates two concepts of Heaven to me.  On the one hand, in Heaven the bars might very well be empty.   On the other, Heaven could just be a bar.


2 comments:

Jenny said...

Andy,

The atmosphere you create through this song makes me almost hear the background music, country and bluesy, and imagine the scene with its people rambling about and the blueish(?) neonlights blinking. The bar comes alive.

“Eventually the neon sign goes, Dark with rest of the town” is so powerful an expression and there is such a melancholy feeling about it.

Thanks.

Andy Coffey said...

Jenny,

This song is in my top three of favorites I've ever written. I am thrilled that you can "hear" the music. I think even the songwriter is surprised, and relieved when they "hear" it too. It's like when you write a poem and wonder a little, "Why does that work so well?" Sometimes we never know. At least sometimes I never do.
A strange evening in February, singing, turned into this song a few weeks later. And the pleasure WAS mine. Still is.
Thanks.