Sunday, May 10, 2009

Apropos of Nothing

Ever wonder where the lyrics from Sheryl Crow's song "All I Wanna Do" came from? Not really? Well they came from a poem "Fun" written by poet Wyn Cooper in the above book, The Country of Here Below.

“All I want is to have a little fun
Before I die,” says the man next to me
Out of nowhere, apropos of nothing. He says
His name’s William but I’m sure he’s Bill
Or Billy, Mac or Buddy; he’s plain ugly to me,
And I wonder if he’s ever had fun in his life.
We are drinking beer at noon on Tuesday,
In a bar that faces a giant car wash.
The good people of the world are washing their cars
On their lunch hours, hosing and scrubbing
As best they can in skirts and suits.
They drive their shiny Datsuns and Buicks
Back to the phone company, the record store,
The genetic engineering lab, but not a single one
Appears to be having fun like Billy and me.
I like a good beer buzz early in the day,
And Billy likes to peel the labels
From his bottles of Bud and shred them on the bar.
Then he lights every match in an oversized pack,
Letting each one burn down to his thick fingers
Before blowing and cursing them out.
A happy couple enters the bar, dangerously close
To one another, like this is a motel,
But they clean up their act when we give them
A look. One quick beer and they’re out,
Down the road and in the next state
For all I care, smiling like idiots.
We cover sports and politics and once,
When Billy burns his thumb and lets out a yelp,
The bartender looks up from his want-ads.
Otherwise the bar is ours, and the day and the night
And the car wash too, the matches and Buds
And the clean and dirty cars, the sun and the moon
And every motel on this highway. It’s ours you hear?
And we’ve got plans, so relax and let us in—
All we want is to have a little fun.

Copyright © 1987 by Wyn Cooper


Jane Singleton Paul said...

I've always liked that Sheryl Crow song, so learning that the lyrics were written by Wyn Cooper was a very satisfying discovery. Thanks for writing a propos de rien!

Mike said...

Yeah, and it was written in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here's the folk slower version:

Kelly said...

That is an interesting tidbit that this music lover did not know!

Yat-Yee said...

Huh! And I always thought the lyrics seem somewhat...less sunny and upbeat than the music suggests.

laurasalas said...

Seriously? I don't care for the song much though it gets stuck in my head after hearing it. (Thanks, Douglas.) Interesting that most of the lyrics come from someone else--I just assumed she had written them.

Now I'll have to go listen to the Billy Collins poem about the song stuck in your head.

poemhome said...

think nothing of it

Anna Alter said...

The tone of the poem and the tone of the song are so completely different! What a difference a little pop music makes.

poemhome said...

too bad she took out the guy who works in the "genetic engineering lab". I guess the phrase doesn't exactly roll off your tongue.

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

I had no idea. Does she credit Wyn Cooper in the album notes? Thanks for the info!

poemhome said...

I don't know if she credits him but i do know he now gets royalties for the lyrics

Kelly H-Y said...

Wow ... I didn't know that! Very cool tidbit of info!

tess said...

I really liked reading the poem w/o the music -- just as language. Thanks for bringing it back to its original form.

Anonymous said...

Nice poem to read..Thanks for the link..
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