A Polymath’s Lament for Postmodern America

izaak's picture

A Polymath’s Lament for Postmodern America



Liner Notes: 

This one has been knocking around my head for a few days. Just a simple guitar and voice demo since my condenser microphone and interface are still unavailable. I'm trying to rebuild my technique, but even guitar, which has long been my primary instrument, feels strange and unwieldy after seven months of mandolin. Multi-track demos will happen soon, I promise. Smile

EDIT: As per @colgoo 's comment, I now do agree 1766 is a better year than 1666 for hellish hangovers. So just imagine it that way as you listen, if you would. Smile


Doot doot
Benjamin Franklin
Was the ambassador to France
From America
As if thrift, hard work, education, and tolerance
Were still enough to see us through
To our enlightenment
Doot doot
Benjamin Franklin
Found electricity in a bolt of lightning
Doot doo doot doot doot
I wish that I could too
But the simple fact is true
That I’m too frightened

Doot doot
Benjamin Franklin
He said god loves us and wants us to be happy
Doot doo doot doot doot
I wish that I could too
That beer and wine were proof
But it just can’t be
Because It all comes with a price
A headache like your skull caught in a vice
The fire is nice until it burns you
Yes it’s another lesson learned
The sun rises surely
Without pity
Right on time
Like it’s sixteen hundred and sixty-six
And the hell is in the hangover
God’s will be done
As it ever was

Doot doot
What else can we do
In this age of rage and ruin
But sing a drinking tune for Benjamin Franklin

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


colgoo's picture

This is really cool. Your voice is great and the tune is nice. The historian in me is wondering how the date 1666 got in there, since B. Franklin was kicking around in the 18th century....Overall, a very fun song and a great performance for Week Two's challenge.

sam sorrow's picture

this is really nice. I love your playing it's really soothing. and I love the vocal it's a really pretty song with cool thoughtful lyrics. I love your multi track stuff too but this is just as interesting. also "this age of rage and ruin" is a pretty amazing phrase too.

mike skliar's picture

Poetic and fun and freewheelin' and what a neat idea... well realized!

Arthur Rossi's picture

Very nicely written and presented... I especially like the lines "That beer and wine were proof-But it just can’t be-Because It all comes with a price-A headache like your skull caught in a vice-The fire is nice until it burns you". The melody is tender and so enjoyable... Very lovely!

levesinet's picture

Few people are talking optimistically about the future. Few people feel confident about it. I'm afraid the economic system is failing, almost globally. So how can one make plans and take any risks? I mean it would be nice to be able to assume a continuation of an income and that savings in general would tend to retain their value. But I look at these paper assets, fiat currencies, inflated bubbles, fractional reserve banking, mere bits on computers... I don't see integrity. Have we come to the point where with one bad decision a government can mess up tens of millions of lives?

I'm afraid it takes a painful reset and a long time to recover before common people can really really restart innovating and building with passion and wide-spread optimism wonderful things which the next generation will then take even further. That's the way it should be.

I love those old novels by Jules Verne, that spirit of liberty and innovation and optimism. Creative and strong individuals instead of managed "human resources".

Good luck to everybody. I suppose in a difficult scenario people will have to learn to deal with each other locally in communities despite not sharing the same values, in order to survive. I mean in a real economy people do meaningful things for a living.

Whereas in a postmodern world people begin to fail to find purpose in what they do. For some, it's all a coincidence and in the end nothing matters so try to enjoy the ride...

No. So if it takes a systemic failure, bring it on. Then we'll see who's got integrity and what's valuable in life, and folks will feel more alive than in a long long time. People can't take things for granted but they can take more responsibility and control over their destiny. Family is important.

Still I hope I'm terribly wrong. If I'm right, woe to the sick politicians who -and they've studied this to become real professionals- will try to control their "human resources" by declaring a war. Making people fight against each other, while historically an effective means of distraction and putting blame elsewhere, does not solve the problem of failed governments, their corruption, fascist collusion with a banking cartel, overregulation, overstandardization, monopolies and all kinds of dehumanization that stifle the individual.

Anyway it's a nice song, the title caught my attention, and I suppose it could have been much more pessimistic.

katpiercemusic's picture

This is awesome! I love the almost free association feel to the lyrics. I love the sort of easy going bright melody for what is essentially a lament. A drinking song for Franklin! What a great idea!

Fuzzy's picture

Great playing.
"Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may happen. Keep in the sunlight!"
- Benjamin Franklin.

Adnama17's picture

Love how you can always throw a walking bass line in. My fave!
The lines about lightening and frightened are killer. What if you changed it to frightening? It would rhyme awesome, but does change the connotation, so just a thought.

tsunamidaily's picture

good character sketch, and it resonates with the quotes of his. no reference to his womanizing and carousing tendencies, but otherwise a well-rounded assessment of franklin.