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Dem Frank Hayes Blues

Words and Music: © 1988 by Tom Smith
Frank Hayes, former senior IT columnist for Computerworld Magazine, is one of the gods of filk. His songs "Never Set the Cat on Fire" and "Like a Lamb to the Slaughter" have gone beyond classic to mythic status, and his most recent opus, "When I Was a Boy", is one of the funniest songs ever. However, the poor slob has become legendary for another reason as well: He forgets his own lyrics. Constantly. Sometimes even if he's looking right at 'em. Once, while recording a parody of Clif Flynt's "Unreality Warp", Bill Roper blanked on his own words, and said, by way of apology, "Hayes Disease". This song documents a strain of that dread virus. And one of the best laughs I ever got was, after spending a minute or so setting it up, completely and legitimately blanking on the song, and just going on to the next. By the way, the bit about Frank going West is not a metaphor. He didn't kack out or anything -- he just moved from Chicago, IL to Portland, OR.

Well, hey there, filkers, have you heard the news?
I'm in a terrible way from my head down to my shoes.
Got me a bad case... of dem Frank Hayes Blues.

Well, Frank's a real nice guy, everyone will agree,
But he'll forget the words to a song before he remembers the key,
It's a terrible fate, and when he went West, he passed it on to me.

Well, I...
(long silence)
... ba da dn da da n da dn da daaa...
(another long silence)

... ba da dn da da n da.

Well, I wanted to be a filker -- man, it was a terrible fight,
I sang rotten songs badly night after tone-deaf night,
Now, I'm finally pretty good... but I can't get my lyrics right.

It doesn't matter whose song it may be, even one of my one,
It doesn't matter now many hours I worked on it at home...
... (long silence) ... them words have flown.

So, hey there, filkers, please try not to abuse
That neo singin' like he's got a mouthful of Starburst Fruit Chews,
'Cause you never know when you'll be the one
Singin' dem Frank Hayes Blues.

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