Introduction
Promiscuous Stories
Promiscuous Songs
Who's Doing What
Further Examples

THE PROMISCUOUS SONGS

These song lyrics are free for songwriters, musicians, and bands to use. Feel free to adapt or revise them in any way, in full or in part.

The lyrics were written sporadically over the past twenty years, sometimes for a specific band or performer, sometimes not. On the whole, they strike me as strongly influenced by Lou Reed and early Talking Heads ( when they're not just plain silly). I don't make any great claims for them, but they may be useful to somebody.

Selected sound files of completed songs will be posted (along with a list of musicians who've used the lyrics) in the Who's Doing What? section of this site. If you'd like to report results, contact jonathansassistantlucy@gwi.net

Sort of True

Well, it's sort of true
And it's nice of you
To mention it
But don't believe a word
Of what you've heard
No it's purely an invention

(chorus)
Because you don't have anything
But sizzling secrets to tell
No you don't have anything
But sizzling secrets to tell
And we all agree
No, it's not just me
That talking to you is like ringing a bell

Well is that a fact
That you take it back
Regretfully
Well don't you see
It's not up to me
Regretfully

(chorus)
Because you don't have anything
But sizzling secrets to tell
No you don't have antything
But sizzling secrets to tell
And we all agree
No, it's not just me
That talking to you is like ringing a bell

Nobody's above it
In fact, we all seem to be right in the thick of it
Nobody loves it, but we all like it,
And I guess that's the trick of it

(chorus)
Because you don't have anything
But sizzling secrets to tell
No you don't have anything
But sizzling secrets to tell
And we all agree
No, it's not just me
That talking to you is like ringing a bell

 

Girl in Landscape

You go places to lose people
You go to people to lose places
You go to the drugstore for cigarettes
You go to the mirror to lose faces

(chorus)
But try as you might, you just can't lose the girl in landscape
She's there, the pinpoint of desire
The unextinguished fire
And you know, you can never lose the girl in landscape

Plant a flag on the rocks if you're lost
Blow your pants up and float back to shore
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands
If you're leaving the room close the door

(chorus)
But try as you might, you just can't lose the girl in landscape
She's there, the pinpoint of desire
The unextinguished fire
And you know, you can never lose the girl in landscape

There's no way to see the horizon
There's no need to get out of the car
Unless you need to go the bathroom
You could try to go here in this jar

(chorus)
But try as you might, you just can't lose the girl in landscape
She's there, the pinpoint of desire
The unextinguished fire
And you know, you can never lose the girl in landscape

You can't fill the gap with landscape
You can't but pick her out of the scene
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear
Her presence in landscape is sort of obscene

(chorus)
But try as you might, you just can't lose the girl in landscape
She's there, the pinpoint of desire
The unextinguished fire
And you know, you can never lose the girl in landscape

Girl in landscape
Girl in landscape
Girl in landscape

 

Vaster Than Charlotte

I tell you you think about Charlotte too much
It's taking your edge off, you're losing your touch
You think about Charlotte any time you're alone
Forget about Charlotte, get a gig or your own

(chorus)
If you spend all your time being vaster than Charlotte
You'll never wake up, no you'll never see
If you spend all your time being vaster than Charlotte
You'll never be vaster, be vaster than me

Anyway, Charlotte's too tall
You'll never be that tall
No, you'll never be Charlotte at all

If I don't bring her name up i can bet that you will
You call her a harlot, you call her a pill
I wish you would drop it and leave it alone
Forget about Charlotte, get a gig of your own

(chorus)
If you spend all your time being vaster than Charlotte
You'll never wake up, no you'll never see
If you spend all your time being vaster than Charlotte
You'll never be vaster, be vaster than me

Anyway, Charlotte's too tall
You'll never be that tall
No, you'll never be Charlotte at all

You're walking like Charlotte, you're faking her walk
I think I hear Charlotte anytime that you talk
You don't want to hear it but I fear that it's true
Charlotte does Charlotte much better than you

(chorus)
If you spend all your time being vaster than Charlotte
You'll never wake up, no you'll never see
If you spend all your time being vaster than Charlotte
You'll never be vaster, be vaster than me

Anyway Charlotte's too cool
You'll never be that cool
No, you'll never be Charlotte, you fool.

 

The Moth of the Bee of the Birds

Pollinate? I'd prefer not to
I'd prefer anything
to being
the moth of the bee of the birds

Find a mate? I'd prefer not to
I'd prefer anything
to bee-ing, to bird-ing
the moth of the bee of the birds

Molest a bud? I'd prefer not to
I'd prefer circling
I'm hardly working
but that doesn't mean I'm having fun

It's not that I don't know about that stuff
I read that book
I heard that song
I know the words but I'd rather hum
I'd rather play dumb
I'm the moth of the bee
the moth of the bee
the moth of the bee of the birds

Unfortunate? I'd prefer not to
I'd prefer anything
to buzzing
and nuzzling
and fumbling with catches
and hotel room latches
I'll muzzle my powers
ignore all your flowers
and play dumb

Not one of the birds
Not one of the bees
Not one of the buzzers and lovers
I'm the moth of the bird of the bees

 

Fail My Test

Well I don't wanna hear another long denial.
If you tell another lie you'll only make me smile.
It's impossible to rewind impossible talk.
If you tell another lie you'll only make me walk.

(chorus)
What make you want to fail my test?
What makes you think I want to hear the rest?
You can only backpedal so fast.
You can only bury so much of the past.

Because the past is like a roller coaster
And memory is like a pop-up toaster
So don't stick a fork in it and don't try to fuck with it

Because the past like venereal disease
And memory I guess is like swiss cheese
You gotta keep it cold or it'll grow mold

Because the past is like an old leather shoe
And memory is like a lot of worn out glue
You better make it fit tight or it won't hold right

So I don't wanna hear another long denial.
If you tell another lie you'll only make me smile.
It's impossible to rewind impossible talk.
If you tell another lie you'll only make me walk.

(chorus)
What make you want to fail my test?
What makes you think I want to hear the rest?
You can only backpedal so fast.
You can only bury so much of the past.

Because the past is like a worn-out cassette
And memory is something like a stale cigarette
Burns a hole in the rug and it's a pretty weak drug

Because the past is like that old movie we saw
And memory is something like the long arm the law
Throws you in the clink, wishing for a drink

Because the past is like interstellar gas
And memory turns out to be a pain in the ass
So tell it to me straight, come on, don't make me wait

(chorus)
What make you want to fail my test?
What makes you think I want to hear the rest?
You can only backpedal so fast.
You can only bury so much of the past.

Because, etc. etc.

 

Rock Dead

What I wanna know is
Is rock dead?
Or has it only suffered a blow to the head?
Is it under a spell?
Is it wandering dumb in the wilderness?
If I call it will it heel?
What I wanna know is
How does rock feel?

What I wanna know is
Is rock dead?
Or has it just gotten up on the wrong side of bed?
If I poke it will it moan?
What if I called it on the telephone?
If I pinch it will it squeal?
What I meant to ask is
How does rock feel?

What I wanna know is
Is rock dead?
Or is only suffering from a blow to the head?
Is it sulking in its room?
Is it listening with an ear at the keyhole?
Does it hold out any hope?
What I wanna know is
Can rock cope?

 

If Wynton Marsalis Had a Toy Boat

If Wynton Marsalis had a toy boat would it sink or mutiny or rebel?
Would it journey to a darkened shore with Humphrey Bogart and Walter Brennan aboard?
Would they drink or would they fish or make a wish?

If Henry Kaiser had a pointer would it hunt, or would it sit back and smell?
Would it trace skunks to a neighbor's door and root them out of Robert Lowell's garbage cans?
Do skunks smell yogurt or cottage cheese in the breeze?

 

The Second Longest Night

Emily at the Continental Divide
Saying, "Why don't you bring your friends inside?"
You tell that you'd like to, of course.
But your friends are down drinking at the White Horse.
Paula says "That girl's got a crush on you."
And you say "I know, but there's nothing I can do."
The one that's on your mind is dancing with her friend
And she's telling the joke from Alphaville, again.

(chorus)
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love.
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love, no, no, no, no.
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love.
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love, no, no, no, no.
Telling jokes in cars, memorizing names of bars,
That's how you spent the second longest night.
Bumming cigarettes, taking hopeless bets,
That's how you spent the second, the second longest night.

Rachel bogged down at The Tragic Muse,
Saying, "I forgot to wear comfortable shoes."
She adds, "My life is something like a cartoon."
You swear you'll meet her at eleven at Hank's Saloon.
Paula says, "Hank's gives me a migraine head."
And you say, "By then you know you'll be in bed."
The one that's on your mind is dancing with her friend
And she's telling the joke from Alphaville, again.

(chorus)
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love.
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love, no, no, no, no.
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love.
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love, no, no, no, no.
Telling jokes in cars, memorizing names of bars,
That's how you spent the second longest night.
Bumming cigarettes, taking hopeless bets,
That's how you spent the second, the second longest night.

(outro)
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love
That's how you spent the second longest night.
You can't get anywhere, staring at the one you love
That's how you spent the second, the second longest night.

 

Fragments and Titles

These song fragments come from my novel about a band, YOU DON'T LOVE ME YET. I'm not inclined to finish these songs myself, but I'd be happy to see others try.


Monster Eyes (fragment)

Before my eyes destroy you
Better run, better run
Can you feel my eyes abhor you?
Better run, better run

(chorus)
Best thing I ever did for you
Was get you out of range of my monster eyes

 

The Houseguest (fragment)

I'm the houseGUEST
I can't get no REST
In your guest BED
I'll sleep when I'm DEAD

 

Astronaut Food (fragment)

Am I just astronaut food for you?
Are you gonna take me along to the moon?


Song Titles

There are other song titles mentioned in the novel, without lyrics. Again, these are up for grabs:

Dirty Yellow Chair

Temporary Feeling

Hell Is For Buildings

Secret From Yourself

Tree of Death

Crayon Fever

Canary In A Coke Machine

Actually Quite Funny