Monday, August 18, 2008

Mountains o' Things

Some people will post anything. Last night I worked out Tracy Chapman's 1988 classic on the emptiness of consumer culture. The great thing about only half remembering how a song is supposed to sound is that it becomes more your own. To my ear, Mountains of Things played straight is a lot more dull than it needs to be. While this was one of the more lyrically appealing songs on Chapman's hugely successful first album, it wasn't one of the big hits. Maybe if she'd just skewed it a little more.

So, here's my version. I start off a bit rough, but hit a pretty cool groove about a third of the way in. There's one point where I remind myself of William Shatner. I still haven't figured out how the chords really go. All the TAB cheat sites give me Am Dm F G all the way through, which is wrong. The first bridge works well enough with Am C G. I messed with the second one for awhile and still wound up faking it. Life is about faking it. Art is life. Life is art. Rock on.

The life I've always wanted
I guess I'll never have
I'll be working for somebody else
Until I'm in my grave
I'll be dreaming of a live of ease
And mountains
Oh mountains o' things

To have a big expensive car
Drag my furs on the ground
And have a maid that I can tell
To bring me anything
Everyone will look at me with envy and with greed
I'll revel in their attention
And mountains
Oh mountains o' things

Sweet lazy life
Champagne and caviar
I hope you'll come and find me
Cause you know who we are
Those who deserve the best in life
And know what money's worth
And those whose sole misfortune
Was having mountains o' nothing at birth

Oh they tell me
There's still time to save my soul
They tell me
Renounce all
Renounce all those material things you gained by
Exploiting other human beings

Consume more than you need
This is the dream
Make you pauper
Or make you queen
I won't die lonely
I'll have it all prearranged
A grave that's deep and wide enough
For me and all my mountains o' things

Mostly I feel lonely
Good good people are
Good people are only
My stepping stones
It's gonna take all my mountains o' things
To surround me
Keep all my enemies away
Keep my sadness and loneliness at bay

I'll be dreaming, dreaming...

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