It’s a Wonderful Lie

Get up from a dream and I look for rain
Take an amphetamine and a crushed rat brain
How am I feelin’, better I suppose

How am I lookin’, I don’t want the truth
What am I doin’, I ain’t in my youth
I’m past my prime or was that just a pose
It’s a wonderful lie, I still get by on those

I’ve been accused of never opening up
You get too close, then I keep my mouth shut
Gonna run to the wind where the big bad city blows
It’s a wonderful lie, I still get by on those
It’s a wonderful lie, by on those

Now you can dress to the eights, you can dress to maim
They make you feel great, this fortune and fame
Wearing too much makeup, not near enough clothes
It’s a wonderful lie, I still get by on those
It’s a wonderful lie, I still get by

So don’t pin your hopes or pin your dreams
To misanthropes or guys like me
And the truth is overrated, I suppose
It’s a wonderful lie, I still get by on those
It’s a wonderful lie, I still get by

It’s a Wonderful Lie by Paul Westerberg.  I always loved this song for it’s perfect and simple melody, the wordplay invovled, and the way it takes the piss out of fame.  Often great song titles, and I do believe song titles are important, can be made by changing an existing title.  Morrissey famously changing Heaven Knows I’m Missing Him Now to Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now is a great example.

Westerberg, because of the Replacements, will always be seen as the poet of the beautiful losers, but I always felt his solo stuff was criminally overlooked.  Suicaine Gratifaction, the album that this song is from, is full of really great writing.  But unlike the Replacements who could be enjoyed by pretty much anyone with a six pack, despite having a great deal of intelligence in some of their material as well, Westerberg’s solo work was for adults.  I don’t mean in a safe adult contemporary way.  I mean that he was often dealing with the harrowing themes that one faces as they grow older, as the illusions of youth slip away one by one.  Yet their was and still remains a duality to his work perfectly highlighted by his Stereo and Mono albums.  Both albums were released at the same time.  Stereo was an album of mostly bleak folk ballads.  Mono is a perfect summer album of extremely fun guitar rock with great pop melodies and guttural playing.  He can make you laugh and cry in equal measures, something most of those following in his footsteps never got.

Here is a link to the original recording:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEm7pUwlGXQ

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