This musical interlude is brought to you by a steady diet of Marty Robbins on my headphones recently. I sang the first line for this “interpretation” on the fly as I headed to my desk yesterday. It then turned into a full on song. I’m not partial to the word “filk,” but that’s painfully apt in this case. Sung to the tune of the Marty Robbins classic “Big Iron,” I present “The Word-slinger’s Ballad.”
The author he went writing, cup of coffee by his side
Looking for a plotline that would keep him satisfied
Eight novels lay behind him, many more he’d yet to write
And he knew that with his coffee he’d work late into the night
Late into the night.
He started with the characters in which to place his hooks
It was how he found the conflict to propel his early books
As he bound their fates together and gave them a shared past
A sound came from the kitchen; Mr. Coffee’d brewed his last.
Mr. Coffee’d brewed his last
That twenty dollar coffee maker, his companion through the years
It had seen him through the laughter, through the dialogue and tears
And even though it pained him, he knew he’d have to walk
To the late-night coffeehouse that was open down the block
Open down the block
He walked up to the counter to get a venti cup
Then the author found a table and fired his laptop up
If he wanted to get writing done, he knew he couldn’t stop
Drinking paper cups of coffee for which he paid two bucks a pop.
Paid two bucks a pop.
He dove into the writing, throwing words up on the screen
But several pots of coffee caught up halfway through the scene
And he knew he was in trouble, that his bladder was full up
And he’d have to use the restroom before he drank another cup
Drank another cup.
The author left his laptop and he scurried for the door
Of the coffeehouse’s bathroom that’d not been cleaned since ’94.
But after dealing with the restroom for as long as he could stand,
He came out to see a thief, the author’s laptop in his hand
Laptop in his hand.
It wasn’t just the hardware had him shaking like a pup;
It was the twelve unfinished manuscripts he’d neglected to back-up.
As the thief prepared to run, and crouched into his shoes,
The author made a quick assessment of what would his hero do?
What would his hero do?
The fury of the author is still talked about today
And if you touch his babies, then he’s sure to make you pay.
For if you take the written words that he has yet to save
Then with a scalding pot of coffee, he’ll send you to your grave.
Send you to your grave.