The Random Griffith

Sing for my supper

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson Griffith on 24/02/2010

Beautiful rainy windy nights in Sacramento. Funny how the nasty weather no longer gets me down. I guess it’s because I’m so hunky-dory these days, what with the millions rolling in from my creative efforts, and the new Bentley I just paid cash for, and the groovy restored Craftsman pad in a pristine garden setting where I can wake up mid-morning next to one of the most beautiful women in the world, sometimes two, after a late night of playing music with my pals while sampling a cornucopia of sweet and savory earthly and garden delights. Funny how living such a good life can put a man in a gosh-darned swell mood.

But a while back, things weren’t so excellent. I was riding around town on a bicycle that was in woeful need of repair, and sleeping on a massage table in an unheated flat two floors above a club, which on discotheque nights often made the floors and walls shake like a jackhammer. Drunks and screaming bouncers on the sidewalk kept me awake almost every night. I suffered from a chronic lack of sleep. I would come to waking consciousness dreaming about comfortable beds, not to mention gorgeous women making love with me in them.

Still, the weirdest thing was, I was content, happy even, and I was grateful I was still sober and breathing, and I was especially grateful for the kindnesses of friends and even strangers who had helped me out.


Probably the hardest part of my life back then was my food intake, or lack of it. When people would tell me they thought I was wasting away to nothing, I would joke with them, telling them I was on a diet. I would refer to it as “involuntary fasting,” alluding to vague religious reasons I wasn’t bulking up like the rest of America. The worst moment was when my ex-wife saw me before she left town, and asked me if I was dying of cancer or something. Well, not that I’m aware of, I told her, but one never knows; without the wonderful access to quality government-subsidized health care enjoyed by, oh, butthurt obstructionist Republican lawmakers and their families, I could be dead and not even know it.

Still, even in my darkest moments, I kept creating. It was the only thing I knew that would sustain my spirit. I would pick up my guitar and write songs, and I would go sing them at open-mic nights, even when performing to the audiences there sometimes was not unlike warbing to an aquarium full of tropical fish.

Now that life is wonderful, I still write songs, and that act still sustains me like no other. Tonight, in memory of the time when my belly was not full, and I had no money to fill it, nor did I have sharp clothes to throw on before leaving my abode to sample the fine restaurant fare this city has to offer, I wrote a song about, well, being so broke I was willing to sing for my supper. It is titled, rather unimaginitively: “I Will Sing for My Supper.”

I’m proud
But not too proud to turn a night out
At your place down
Cupboards been bare for so long
That I will trade supper for songs
And I don’t care, there’s nothing wrong
Or unsound

I say
Desperate times call for desperate measures
And anyway
If I can sing and you can cook
It doesn’t matter how it looks
It’s not like I’m some kind of crook
It’s fair trade

So I will sing for my supper anytime you’d like to have me over
And I will bring my guitar and songs to entertain the best I know how

Someday
I’ll be working again we’ll go out I’ll pay
Yours and my way
And I will take great pleasure there
When I can repay you for sharing
What you had with me and caring
This day

But now
I stand before you pockets turned inside out
I don’t know how
I ended up in this strange place
A veteran of the rat race
Who doesn’t care if he’s lost face
Or spun out

So I will sing for my supper anytime you’d like to have me over
And I will bring my guitar and songs to entertain the best I know how

I will sing for my supper
Yes I will sing for my supper
Yes I will sing for my supper
For you

I’m proud
But not too proud to turn a night out
At your place down
Cupboards been bare for so long
That I will trade supper for songs
And I don’t care, there’s nothing wrong
Or unsound

So I will sing for my supper anytime you’d like to have me over
And I will bring my guitar and songs to entertain the best I know how
Yes I will sing for my supper anytime you’d like to have me over
And I will bring my guitar and songs to entertain the best I know how

I will sing for my supper
Yes I will sing for my supper
Yes I will sing for my supper
For you

I will sing for my supper
Yes I will sing for my supper
Yes I will sing for my supper
For you

I don’t drink, but if I did I’d crack open a bottle of the Napa Valley’s finest and toast my erstwhile period of hardship. Yes, I like to think that starving helped shape my character, and I’m a better person for it — more generous, loving, compassionate, giving. And I hope you enjoyed my song, even though the subject matter is now a distant memory, and it’s somewhat disingenuous for me to sing something like this with my belly so full that I’m going to need my clothing let out by the tailor once again. Sigh.

Hey, let me buy you dinner. Where would you like to go? It’s on me. —Jackson Griffith

Advertisements

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Brother Dan said, on 25/02/2010 at 02:41

    So Jackson – does this mean you’ve found a job? If so, congratulations!!

    • jaxong said, on 25/02/2010 at 03:36

      No, Dan. I was being stupidly ironic. I’m still ready and willing to sing for my supper. I’ve got freelance work and opportunities, but no job just yet.

      How’ve you been? I was at open mic this week, and wondering in your absence how you’re doing.

      Best, Jackson

  2. Brother Dan said, on 25/02/2010 at 15:21

    Ahhh . . . stupid irony. I thought perhaps it was merely sarcastic exaggeration, and was hopeful that there was an underlying reason . . . oh well . . .

    I was in Nevada last week, so missed stuff down here. I’m kind of limiting myself to just two nights out a week, for both health reasons and financial considerations. I made the Torch this evening, and will do a few songs on Friday at Coffee Garden, opening for JD Valerio.

    Next Saturday, the 6th, I’ll have a go at a full one-hour set at Luna’s in celebration of my birthday. No cover, JD and Sandra Dolores opening, and a LOT of friends/fans from Reno/Tahoe in attendance. It’ll be early, 6:00 – 8:30pm, and I’d love to see you. I’ll be joined be a couple of my bandmates, and I think you’ll really enjoy it as they ratchet my music up a couple of notches.

    Although I don’t always comment on your blog, I check it daily. Keep up the good work.

    Brother Dan
    http://www.brotherdanpalmer.com
    http://www.caringbridge.com/visit/danielpalmer (my healthcare blog)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: