“Subversives” by Lowest of the Low
(Words/Music: Ron Hawkins, Album: Shakespeare…My Butt, Page Publications 1991)
This is the first song by LOTL that really grabbed my attention, probably because it is such a unique song tucked in the middle of their Canadian indie classic Shakespeare…My Butt. While it only features singer/songwriter Ron Hawkins on guitar, vocals, and harmonica, it is a beautifully simple song which hearkens back to their roots and one of the band’s main influence: Billy Bragg (think Back To Basics era) with whom the band would eventually tour and become good friends with. In kind, this album and band would eventually be a major influence on such Canadian acts as The Weakerthans and pretty much any kid with a guitar in the Toronto area in the early 90s.
While I would normally point out my favorite lyrics, this is one of those songs where it’s impossible to pick, so I’ll post all of them.
There’s something subversive about you and me
'Cause there's a market-value on love and we're getting something for free
I don’t know why, but when we’re apart something makes me want to start…
Setting fires and kicking down doors
I hope we never have to resort to dividing what is mine and what is yours
There’s something coercive about the way some people smile…
Wide open as if to say, “Come on in and browse a while.”
And some time when your resistance is low
Remember that I know…
Whose your favourite Pogue
There’s a place in my soul where no one else can adore you
And like the poet-soldier says, “I would spill my blood for you.”
There’s nothing conclusive in this whole world
'Cause flags can change and martyrs die and there're many towns left to burn
But somewhere between there and here, for one night, hold me near
And sing my shallow tears
And we’ll drink but not to forget
But to remember instead
All our happy years
“Aside” by The Weakerthans
(Words/Music: John K. Samson, from Left and Leaving, G7 Welcoming Committee Records 2001)
“Terrified of telephones and shopping malls and knives,
And drowning in the pools of other lives.
Rely a bit too heavily on alcohol and irony.
Get clobbered on by courtesy, in love with love, and lousy poetry.”
My thoughts about The Weakerthans tomorrow.
“None of the Above” by The Weakerthans
(Words/Music: John K. Samson, from Fallow, G7 Welcoming Committee Records 1997)
“If you ask how I got so bitter,
I’ll ask how you got so vain”
More from The Weakerthans over the next two days.