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Will You Be My Dirty Girl?

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 28 Oct 2023


“A man's face is his autobiography.
A woman's face is her work of fiction.”
Oscar Wilde

 

I've been juggling the sun & moon dichotomy my whole life.  Not in an occult, mystical way.  I'm talking about hair color.  Shall I choose light, or dark?  Sun or moon?  Brunette, or Blonde?

For whatever reason, and in spite of my preference for girls with darker hair, I have usually chosen the blonder of 2 evils.

I wrote "Will You Be My Dirty Girl?" in Austin, TX in the Spring of 2007.  It is a love song to the beautiful evils that plagued and inspired me at the time.  I lived down the street from Oakwood Cemetery, and used to break into it at night.  It wasn't difficult.  All you had to do was lift the chainlink fence and slip through the gap.  There was enough room that your clothes never got caught on anything, and once you were in, it was like being in an amusement park after business hours.  All the carnival rides had gone dark, and all that was left were the graves and the trees and the dead. 

I used to bring the darker of the 2 evils there; we'd wander the tombstones that glowed white in the moonlight and get high off the vibes we bounced off each other.  The Darker of Two Evils was totally straight-edge, and all I did at the time was smoke weed whenever it was presented to me (I never had any of my own), so it wasn't debauched at all, hanging around with her.  We never got much farther than shaking hands.  I think I danced with her once to "Bottom of the World," back in my shotgun shack.  We slow-danced in the main, moldy room, the kitchen with a couch, the giant console TV from the 1960s with a dark picture, sitting in the corner like a vulture, or a disapproving relative.  I called it "The Dark TV," because the picture was so dark you could only ever make out general shapes on the screen, no details whatsoever.  It was like a giant radio with a magenta-colored crow blocking the view, a radio you could "watch" shows on.  Whatever you could catch with the rabbit ears...  network TV, maybe some PBS, but no cable.  There was a broken beer clock on the wall that served as a lamp, an illuminated 18-wheeler that didn't tell time, but which shed the light of an empty saloon into the stark and empty room.  There were probably some amplifiers.  I sat on the floor of that shack in the dark for 2 months straight doing nothing but writing, sleeping on the couch like an underfed dog.

 

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At Headhunters with The Darker of Two Evils

 

So me and The Darker of Two Evils danced to Tom Waits on the ceiling of the existential dream like morbid, merry bats, careful not to step on any of the exposed and crooked nails that stuck out of the unfinished floor at random intervals.  I had nothing to really "entertain" her with.  Just the CDRs of the latest Tom Waits album, and a boombox to play them in.  And my journals, and my guitar.  There was nothing to do, and I never kissed her.  She kept the door of her heart closed like a mausoleum.  Her heart was chained and welded shut, and the cobwebs and thorns had overgrown her soul, and were completely impenetrable.  She was damaged.  You could tell.

I met The Blonder of Two Evils in that same cemetery, in fact.  It was daytime, and she was hanging out in there alone doing her weird, artsy thing.  I was sitting there digging the vibe, minding my own business, probably writing, and all of a sudden a strange, elfin head popped up from behind a mossy stone wall.  She introduced herself, and we walked around for awhile, but I was nervous.  There was danger in the air.  There was nothing wrong with her, nothing particularly intimidating, and she wasn't unattractive.  But the situation was going to get messy, you could tell.  Not dramatic.  Nothing stupid.  Just entangled.  Shall I choose The Blonder of Two Evils, or the dark one?

Who shall I write the song about, tonight?

 

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Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.  Photo by The Blonder of Two Evils

 

Nick Cave once said something to the effect that his songs know more about what's going on in his life than he does.  It's true.  My last article was all about graduating from inspiration to intent, but there's a lot of gray area there.  I hesitate to get into it, because I don't want to hear the tiresome, prefab indictments of the writing process by people who can't write and are therefore experts at it, and I'm tired of the presumptuous assumptions that any piece of writing that isn't pre-emptively burdened with an AGENDA (of any quality, or morality, or kind)(any) is some kind of exercise in DEMONIC AUTO-WRITING, because, like car-making or cake repair, "songwriting is an act of sorcery," and to be a poet is to be an automatic witch, and it is necessary to commune with cryptic deceivers on the astral plane to squeeze even "Louie Louie" out of the concentrated orange juice glacier that is threatening to melt in the hearts of all of us, condemning us to an eternity of death and hellfire, for simply having something to say that isn't limited to the great agenda, as beautiful and glorious as it may be.

Never let the freezer in your heart thaw to a reasonable degree.  That would make you human.  Citrus thoughts were created to be frozen, segregated from life, and whipped into a bitter paste that needs to be diluted to be drunk.  Our concentrated deficit of concentration must be adulterated with purity of motive and/or thought, for us to even think of drinking it.  The oranges must be slaughtered like lambs, ground into a frozen mash of unfulfilled emotions, like the sense of purpose and joy that has become increasingly difficult to maintain in this world of pointless, unholy pain.  What once came from a tree, now comes from a factory.  Joy, music, milkshakes, reason, love, chickens, bread... even meaningful relationships... all have been commodified and turned downward toward hell, conscripted into the service of the great, overriding, mechanical AGENDA.

But I didn't know that when I wrote "Fabulous Dream," which wasn't about who it was actually about.  I wasn't aware of it at the time, but the song was written for one of the two evils, but is actually about the other.  I did forget to speak the first time we spoke, one of the beautiful evils and me.  We did dance in the gutters like butterflies aimlessly, with a friend of hers on Manor Street.  We did circle the sparkling ruins of a city of luminous stones, bleeding gently to death just as everything finally starts to make sense.  Did we kiss at the top of a spiraling staircase of fireflies littered with stars?  In my dreams, perhaps.  But cars did not fall from the sky.  The constellations did not take a bow.

That's coming later.

But this isn't the point.  This story is just the backdrop, the humid, central-Texas setting upon which the purpose of this article may, hopefully, be found.  Which purpose is.... To encourage you to see through your own agendas, however beautiful, righteous, and maybe even moral they may be.  Cuz God help us, if there's anything the agenda always is, it's righteous.  Unequivocally moral.  Holy, high, and strong.  Maybe even true.

But forced and weighted-down with bags of other peoples' stolen feathers, to be sure.

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I uploaded the 2012 version of "Will You Be My Dirty Girl?" on my YouTube channel recently, and this guy left a comment.  It's not a bad comment.  In fact, not only is it well-meaning, it's complimentary.  I appreciate it.  But look at it.  It comes straight from a place of being trained to see an agenda.

"Will You Be My Dirty Girl?" is a love song.  It was directly inspired by "Bottom of the World," to the point that I was afraid people were going to think I was plagiarizing Tom Waits the first time I played it.  The song is clean, like the pain from a blowtorch.  Unbearable, but clean.  Like love.  Whether you're dancing in the cemetery, on the ceiling, or in the gutter.  "Will You Be My Dirty Girl?" is a love song.  There is no agenda anywhere near it.  No great layers of meaning from the overbaked lasagna of political philosophy.  No cobwebs of Ricotta, waiting to be peeled back from the door of the mausoleum of the self-condoomned heart of the beloved.  No values to either embrace or dispose of.  Just a simple, painful cry.  "I love you."  That's it.

Nothing more.  Nothing less.

Keep it in mind, the next time you hear a sound of blissful torment, ringing through the cemetery gates like a telephone of fire.  The ringing sound might not be demonic.  It might not indicate an agenda.  The sound might even be a gift from God, trying to get the attention of a bunch of beautiful fools, would-be angels slow-dancing their way off the tracks of an oncoming train, for all you know.

For all they know.  Which, probably,

They don't.

 

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Live in Austin with The Blonder of Two Evils

 

Also, if the singer sings, "the prosperous life is not out of reach," it's possible he's not opposed to "bourgeois values."  Perhaps, finding the beauty in a toy ring from a vending machine is an exercise in finding beauty, rather than an act of abolishing private property.  An exercise in finding beauty, of seeing the love story through the Dark TV, maybe even in hoping for the possibility of one day being able to replace the broken beer clock, and stop using dusty plastic trucks to illuminate the room.

I mean, really.  How much longer shall we spend beating the world over the head with the same old burnt, political lasagna?  How much more time shall be spent gleaning every last microgram of social agenda from things whose only "agenda" is to be beautiful?  How long shall we squeeze the tube of frozen beauty concentrate?  Shall we pursue the agenda of world-changing willful blindness until we render ourselves incapable of even seeing beauty?  To the point that nothing is ever beautiful again?

How much longer?  How much more time?

None?

None.  It's settled, then.  Not a minute too soon.

Better late than never.

 

Will You Be My Dirty Girl?

Under the stars we'll dance all night
you look so pretty in the cool moonlight
your hair is straight
and your lips are curled
will you be my dirty girl?

   Oh will,
   will you be?
   Oh baby
   will you be?
   You're the most beautiful woman
   in the whole wide world
   Baby, will you be my dirty girl?

We'll sleep in the shade of an old oak tree
it's a school bus, but it looks like a mansion to me
life is sweet,
and life is grand
I made you a diamond tiara out of aluminum cans

   Oh will,
   will you be?
   Oh baby
   will you be?
   You're the most beautiful woman
   in the whole wide world
   Baby, will you be my dirty girl?

3 monthly payments
and a stack of bills
it couldn't be worse if we had to live in Beverly Hills!
I may lose my mind,
but I'll never lose my keys
when I need a bath, I'll just jump in the sea

   Oh will
   will you be?
   Oh baby
   will you be?
   You're the most beautiful woman
   in the whole wide world
   Baby, will you be my dirty girl?

Dumpsters are diving
into the lake
if you say goodbye, my heart will break
our love is like a string of plastic pearls
baby,
will you be my dirty girl?

The prosperous life is not out of reach
our living room carpet is a public beach
come closer my darling
and hold me tight
we'll live happily ever after,
at least for tonight

   Oh will
   will you be?
   Oh baby
   will you be?
   You're the most beautiful woman
   in the whole wide world
   Baby, will you be my dirty girl?

 

©2007 Nathan Payne

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket. http://www.pablosmoglives.com


pablosmoglives
pablosmoglives

Replacing my blog at http://pablosmoglives.wordpress.com

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