Works in Progress #2

Washing dishes, by hand, is the second best way for me to work on a song. The best way is to drive from Saint Paul to Fargo, but that demands far too much time and money to be practical on a regular basis. Plus, there seems to be a never-ending wealth of dishes at my house. Someday, when I am crazy, I will have a friend throw our plates into the air and I will shoot them. From that day forward I will dine on paper plates or eat out of non-conventional dishware (soup in a hat! pie on a magazine!).

So, being Thanksgiving, we had some dishes that needed washing. I managed to tie together one of my songs that had a lot of neat parts, but lacked any semblance of flow. This is a problem that must plague more people than just me because my attention span is that o…squirrel!

“Sweet Potato Pie” is about sweet potatoes prepared in the holiest of food vehicles: the pie crust. Food inside of food. If Lao-Tzu ever ate a homemade apple pie (especially one from the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook) he never would have spouted off the Tao te Ching — he would have drawn a pie.

“Who wants sweet potatoes?

I want some sweet potato pie,

With marshmallows piled five miles high.

I might regret it,

But probably not.

When you’ve got a sweet potato pie,

You’ve got to love what you’ve got.”

And on some level, isn’t that what it’s all about? The awesomeness of a perfect pie? It’s a rhetorical question.

I’ve been thinking about unicorns lately. This is from “Kill a Unicorn.” I double-dog dare you to guess what it’s about.

“You don’t have to be smart,

Don’t have to be well-bred,

You can try to make fire

With the rocks inside your head.

Don’t curse the day you were born;

It’s time to take life by the horn.

Hey ho, let’s go kill a unicorn.”

Do you have a daughter? Do not sing this song gently to her as she nods off to sleep. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

– Jeff


All of this particular material is copyrighted ©2011 Jeff Nelson.