Sunday, May 26, 2013

Born Loser

It's always a nice day around here when I get to spin a Norm Burns record. And today's selection even goes for a bit of comedy, and while it's hit-and-miss on that score at least, it's fun to hear Norm fooling around with a country bumpkin accent and singing goofy lyrics. This song seems to be at least a cousin, of sorts, with another Norm favorite, "I Ain't Got No Nothing", a song which actually ends with the lines "when the time arrives, I just know that I will be shot". This one doesn't go quite that far, but it's also perhaps a slightly better constructed lyrics, without some of the rhyming reaches of "No Nothing". 

And plenty of moments here work as Jackie Vernon-esque self-depreciating comedy, from the singer's mother's comments when he was dropped on his head, to the meaning of the principal's statement that he was "the most responsible kid in school", to where he went to find a wife.  Other moments are clunky in terms of writing, fitting the words to the backing, or both. 

I don't have much to say about the flip side "Dreamer of Dreams" (perhaps it was the lead track on Norms "Speaker of Speech" album, or maybe it was to be called "Hummer of Hums"). It's not very good, as a song or a performance, and it's not bad enough to be interesting. The only thing marginally curious about this song is the repeated reference to the belief that we'll reach the moon at some point in the future. The thing is, that that AS/PMA discography for Sterling does a decent job of indicating when which records came out, and based on this one's label number, it's fairly clear that this record was made in late 1970, nearly 18 months after the first moon landing. Ah, well, the mysteries of the song-poets, and of the song poem industry in general.

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