Thursday, March 31, 2011

A great song by Steely Dan

I heard this song this morning, one of my all-time favorites--Deacon Blues--a phenomenal song by Steely Dan. The lyrics are pure poetry. As someone who writes poetry, I take my hat off and acknowledge ‘best in class’. “I crawl like a viper through these suburban streets; Make love to these women, languid and bittersweet.” And the end of the song—“I cried when I wrote this song, sue me if I play too long; This brother is free, I'll be what I want to be”. And finally, "I want a name when I lose". You can just imagine them writing and living the song—taking their experiences and weaving them into a song that perfectly captures what they’ve experienced. Wonderfully inspired and nothing I could write here could do these lyrics justice—they’re perfect (at least to me), as is the rest of the song. It’s interesting to read about the different sources of inspiration for Steely Dan on Wikipedia (

I grew up listening to Steely Dan’s music, but never got a chance to see them in concert before the year 2000, when they played at the Oslo Spektrum concert arena. And what a terrific concert that was. Their music has aged well, considering that the song Deacon Blues is from the 1977 album Aja. Listening to their music was not just a trip down memory lane. Their music and lyrics are as relevant now as they were when they first appeared. You can find the song on YouTube, as always. Here is one link to the song:

Deacon Blues

This is the day
Of the expanding man
That shape is my shade
There where I used to stand
It seems like only yesterday
I gazed through the glass
At ramblers
Wild gamblers
That's all in the past

You call me a fool
You say it's a crazy scheme
This one's for real
I already bought the dream
So useless to ask me why
Throw a kiss and say goodbye
I'll make it this time
I'm ready to cross that fine line

I'll learn to work the saxophone
I'll play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whisky all night long
And die behind the wheel
They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues

My back to the wall
A victim of laughing chance
This is for me
The essence of true romance
Sharing the things we know and love
With those of my kind
That stagger the mind

I crawl like a viper
Through these suburban streets
Make love to these women
Languid and bittersweet
I'll rise when the sun goes down
Cover every game in town
A world of my own
I'll make it my home sweet home


This is the night
Of the expanding the man
I take one last drag
As I approach the stand
I cried when I wrote this song
Sue me if I play too long
This brother is free
I'll be what I want to be


No comments:

Post a Comment