Delta Burke

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A quintessential 90s song. The lyrics were cribbed from a newspaper gossip column reporting on Delta Burke’s much publicized troubles on the Designing Women set. After Delta’s return to the show following a prolonged absence, the show’s creator and producer/writer, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (who later turned out to be a powerful Hollywood friend of the Clintons) put the following words in another character’s mouth (was it Dixie Carter’s character? — I actually never watched the show, but I do remember Delta Burke crying on Barbara Walters) who spoke them to Delta Burke’s character — a comment on the real-life strife on the show:

When it’s all said and done
All that counts is what was true
And truly said
And how we treated one another.

I still have the clipping in some notebook full of such clippings. I thought I would just use it for inspiration, but I ended up not changing a word.

Delta Burke

Amazing All-Girl Band

Holiday

There was a very real, very cool, charismatic girl called Holiday. I didn’t really know her well at all, but she had grown up in Del Mar with a very close group of friends of mine in California. (I would see her around, and once she lent me her car, risky, as it was an old Volkswagen with a shift.)

The song is not about her, this real person, at all, but I was inspired (obviously) by the idea of naming a girl “Holiday,” and someone named Holiday going on holiday, by the Kinks song “Holiday,” and the idea that all of human history was just one big holiday gone awry. And mental-picture-wise, this particular (real, cool and charismatic) Holiday was easy to envision reclining devastationally, getting drunk and reading –Jim Thompson?– by the pool, so that gave me the second verse. Of course, I make it so that all the vacation in the world isn’t going to help her or the human race very much.

Holiday

Amazing All-Girl Band

While there is little left of holiday
And I have every sympathy
You’ve got to reckon that it’s far away
And there is nothing much to see

We been around for a long time
Rising from primordial slime
Clawing our way to the center of the stage

Just looking around for the right touch
Who expects to find the good stuff
Rooting around at the bottom of the cage

And I hope it don’t cut short your holiday

Balanced her vodka on a paperback
And swung her legs over the chaise
She lit a cigarette with just one hand
And tried to think of better days

And I know when all is said and done
We judge by actions, everyone
Don’t even listen to the clatter of the knife

And if she really had a choice
She’d be out, despite the noise
Looking around for a better way of life

And I hope it don’t cut short your holiday