Monday, May 17, 2010

Lonesome Al

Way back in 2001, when the release of the various song-poem CD's had still be fairly recent, songs were being posted to the ASPMA website on a regular basis, and more CD's were but a few years away, I asked one of the main guys behind those releases if he knew what the most popular song, out of all of those which had been released. He didn't hesitate for a moment; it was not a close call. The answer was "Do You Know the Difference Between Big Wood and Brush", by Gary Roberts. Indeed, the "greatest hits" compilation would later be named after this song.

With that in mind, I was surprised to realize that I've never featured a Gary Roberts song here. I guess it's not that unexpected - compared with many of the other song-poem stalwarts, he didn't make all that many records, and I have only a relative few of those. On the other hand, the percentage of his records that score high on the weirdness scale is remarkable.

Here's a good one that might just make your mouth drop open. How could it not be special with a title like "Lonesome Al Down on the Farm".

On the other side is the equally amazing "I Am a Six Wheel Man". The words come fast and furious here, and maybe it's just me, but I've listened to this several times without quite being able to follow the convoluted storytelling. The end of the story, in particular, seems grafted on and completely out-of-left-field.

1 comment:

LoreNZo! (From NZ) said...

Another couple of beauties!

The thing I always enjoy about song-poems is how unpredictable & bizarre the lyrics usually are, and this one's no exception, with the reference to Lonesome Al's long hair "being the style nowadays" - totally apropos of nothing!

It's also hugely enjoyable hearing how the musicians try to fit lines that more often than not JUST. DON'T. SCAN into a workable song format. Almost as if there was some kind of instant karmic retribution for these companies preying on the (mostly) hapless rubes with stars in their eyes - lol!

The flipside's good, too, though I also share your confusion about the storyline - too closely related to the writer's own experience to translate concisely into 2 mins-plus, perhaps? I do like the out-of-left-field ending, like the lyricist thought: "Hmmm, I better find a good way to wrap this up that'll surprise my listeners. I know, I'll off the dame." Brilliant! Also smacks of a (possible) revenge fantasy?

Anyway - thanx again for sharing!