Mary

Mary was a real girl. At the time, too real for me, alas. It was Kristian Hoffman who urged me to use real names in my songs. He had a song called “Suddenly I Know a Lot of Dead People” where he sang, “I never thought, I never knew/Anders and Allison, to name just two.” Anders and Allison were, of course, two real dead people that he knew — or had known, I guess you should say. (I knew them too. Allison used to change my guitar strings for me.)

I have no idea what might have been going through Mary’s mind the million times she saw The Nightmares perform this song. I do know that on the very few occasions I’ve watched people sing songs that I knew were about me, I felt extremely uncomfortable, dizzy to the point of nausea. (I’ve heard that an aversion to “taking it” is not uncommon among disher-outers.)

But then, I would always say that this song wasn’t really about her. I just used her name. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but listening to this song now, it seems to me that what it’s really about is getting wasted and listening to The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society nonstop for a week.

Mary

The Nightmares

I know someday we will laugh about this thing
And I know someday we’ll be better
But until that day can be
We’ll be all right, just you see

And Mary, whatever you want to do
It’s all right with me
And Mary, wherever you want to go
It’s all right with me
And Mary, whoever you want to see
It’s all right with me
And Mary, whatever you want to wear

I hope someday we’ll be smarter than we are
And I hope someday we are better
But until that day can be
We’ll be all right, just you see

And Mary, whatever you want to do
It’s all right with me
And Mary, wherever you want to go
It’s all right with me
And Mary, whoever you want to see
It’s all right with me
And Mary, however you wear your hair

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