Wednesday, September 01, 2004


We're only in it for the money.

The Absolute Beginners anthem
(or, more accurately, MY Absolute Beginners anthem...)

You hear it every time
a poet spins high words
of love's delights
and passion's heights
and souls that sing like birds--
a noble strain
taints each refrain
with hyperbole absurd.

But I've a different story,
one that’s not so touched by glory,
and with a little help
from the muse herself,
I’ll trust my song is heard.

Don’t get the wrong impression--
my muse, she’s no great beauty,
she gets uptight
about cellulite
and diets like it's duty.
But if you'll lend an ear,
I'll offer this confession:
my humble lyric
ain't stratospheric--
it's earthbound, full stop, honey.
There's just one thing
that makes me sing—
I'm only in it for the money.

Some say I'm nothing but a hack--
my sights aren't set on greatness--
but you'll be stuck with the blues
if you court my muse
with a pitch marked by ornateness.

My muse, she likes a poet
who can keep his books in black,
and the way she burns
through the money I earn,
that takes a lot of jack.

She isn't shy--she likes to sing,
and she can really belt it out,
but it takes a poet with a lot of scratch
to make that come about.
She don't mind kissin', or being held,
cuz a good man’s hard to find,
but if love's your thing, and you got no geld,
you're not what she has in mind.

No "wand'ring lonely as a cloud,"
no "mermaids singing each to each,"
no "walks in beauty like the night,"
she's heard it all before.
My muse ain't pretty, she ain't proud,
she's done with boys who like to preach
of beauty that confounds the sight
--she thinks that mob a bore.
It's not that she's fickle, or mean or untrue,
she's just got a keen sense of what she likes to do,
and after "services rendered" comes "payment due,"
cuz she don't put out for love, honey,
she's only in it for the money.

Now, I hope you've been listening closely,
and you understand my song,
cuz if I've done the counting right,
I don't think I'm alone tonight
when I advance the proposition
that what really matters
ain't the strength of your chatter
but the state of your wallet's condition.

You might not think I'm serious,
though I've tried to be perfectly clear,
so if you think it’s a joke
put the question to the folks
from whom you have the most to fear:
ask the judges for their position,
find out just how low they'll sink:
will they make you a winner
if you slip them a tenner,
or will they settle for a drink?
I've got a hunch
you'll find that bunch
to their duties quite devoted--
but as you sing your song,
pay heed to their sensitive ears:
they've got perfect pitch
and you'll encounter no hitches
if your song's been properly noted.

I'd like to say just one last thing
before I end my ditty:
I know my song’s not very good--
where it's true, it isn't pretty.
But since I've thoroughly spilled the beans
by offering this confession,
I'd like to ask each one of you
to ask yourselves this question:
Can you really say that payday
doesn't give your spirits a lift?
Now be honest, can you tell me
full pockets aren't a gift?
As long as you're not greedy,
why mire yourselves in "shoulds"?
The root of all evil may be money...
but it's exchangeable for goods!
So if you've got the notion,
and you understand my song,
I'd like to humbly ask you
if you'd please sing along,
because love might be a grand thing,
and though beauty's free, it's true,
when you spot a friend a beer,
it's money gets you through.
That's why I say, let's cut the crap,
and state it baldly, honey,
this ain't about nobility...
we're only in it for the money.

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