56. Sad songs and Waltzes and a Pin

Posted on 25/06/2017

56 Sad songs and Walzes and a Pin

Its a wonderful title for a song: about one that cannot be successful yet is. The lyric is about a failed love, where the failed lover cannot express his fury at having been cheated by the fact that the model he has chosen (the title of this post) is commercially unviable.

The great Willie Nelson manages to make this unpromising material into a hit song:

I first heard it sung by Cake, and in fact prefer their version. But the message is amusing whoever sings it, as the singer is having his cake and eating it (nb Cake is a mistake here). He can sing about having a bad time and about how his song will not sell, while knowing that it will!

I’m writing a song all about you.
A true song as real as my tears.
But you’ve no need to fear it
Cause no one will hear it.
Sad songs and waltzes aren’t selling this year.
I’ll tell all about how you cheated.
I’d like for the whole world to hear.
I’d like to get even
With you cause you’re leavin’.
But sad songs and waltzes aren’t selling this year.

It’s a good thing that I’m not a star.
You don’t know how lucky you are.
Though my record may say it,
No one will play it.
Sad songs and waltzes aren’t selling this year.

It’s a good thing that I’m not a star.
You don’t know how lucky you are.
Though my record may say it,
No one will play it.
Sad songs and waltzes aren’t selling this year.

I dont know who the girl was but she’d have every reason to be annoyed, because Willie and Cake both make the song a success, while saying that she need not fear its success, as no-one will hear it. Quite a double whammy.

For a completely different form of humour, consider Ivor Cutlet. The following is a good example of his craft. He sang to the harmonium, not a rock and roll machine exactly, and in a droll and splendid manner. With Ivor Cutler, who never sold much of anything, you don’t get printed lyrics. But you do get a splendid and remarkable sense of humour.

He was thoroughly annoyed to have been gulled out of his return ticket and wallet by the man who offered truth at the bottom of a well, but could not resist the offer. Many of his songs are like that: about sad songs that do end sadly. Unlike ‘Sad songs and Walzes’ which ends happily: the singer can go on about how badly he has been treated and yet make a decent profit from his song!

 

 

 

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