Good Day To Die

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To a Devastationalist, any moment that isn’t abject misery is a potential departure point, a place from which to quit while ahead. Civilians may confuse this with “savoring life’s simple pleasures,” or “stopping to smell the roses,” but the truth is that Devastationalists often allow a successful first step stand in for an entire completed journey and totter off accordingly to collect their unjust rewards.

Not that there’s anything untranscendent about, say, a pretty girl smiling at you on the street. But Devastationalists savor life’s wispier offerings because they lack the emotional stamina necessary to engage anything more substantial. Why bother with courtship, a relationship, marriage when you’ve had the random smile? Surely you can just extrapolate all the rest.

I can certainly say of myself, and here I am not bragging but deeply ashamed, that although I fancied myself to be a die-hard romantic, in reality I couldn’t wait for my “relationships” to end so I could go off and get wasted and write a bunch of sad songs about them. It was always such a relief when things got bad enough that I could give up.

This song was written on St. Marks Place in the Summer of White Zinfandel, and recorded in the very early days of the All-Girl Band at Excello in Williamsburg by Gil Shuster, and mixed by me, Gil and Kris Woolsey. Which is to say, drunk, crazy people were at the controls. (“Hmmm…I wonder what this weird little knob does…”) Gil and Patty were old friends — they had been in a band called Junglefish (one word?) together — and so in the true Brooklyn Woodstock spirit, Gil contrived to give us the favor of free studio time right when Excello first opened and they were still shaking things down.

Good Day To Die

Philip Shelley and his Amazing All-Girl Band

I was wondering why something that’s three years old
Seems like the other night
Why I’d rather make a million mistakes
Than do one thing right
I was kicking it around on a stoop with some wine
And a couple of friends
Trying to draw just one straight line,
But it all depends

The breeze was blowing hard
I was watching the girls go by
Any day that’s turning out this good
Would be a real good day to die

Joyce Jillson in the News said today was clear
For travel and romance
I thought of you letting your guard down,
Of taking one more chance
‘Cause giving what is left of me to you
Is just a phone call away
But that would mean going inside now,
And it’s too nice a day

The breeze was blowing hard
Pretty girls walking by
Any day that’s turning out this good
Would be a real good day to die

The wine was flowing hard, yeah
Bright sun in the sky
Any day that’s turning out this good
Would be a real good day to die

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