Pigs Will Fly (on writing song lyrics)

Pigs will FlyI wanted to be a musician in a past life. The problem was that my lyrics were too personal, and I couldn’t be bothered with casting myself in a positive light. I subscribed to John Lennon’s philosophy of songwriting, “Gimme some truth.” My favorite song writers always gave me a jolt, like they pulled the words right out of my head. Their lyrics were honest and self-deprecating. They turned the thing that made me feel isolated into a universal experience. Their humiliation numbed my own.

They couldn’t be bothered to write songs about dancing or how young they were. Their words would never fit into a car commercial, with kids with sparklers, oh no. They told it like it was and gave the rest of us something to relate to. They didn’t care how pretty their voices sounded, and we found them all the more attractive for it.

Stark honesty was the bedrock that I built all of my lyrics on. While other kids wrote songs begging their lovers to return, I wrote songs about taking up smoking again.

There’s no one here to taste my breath
Puffing like a cancer dragon
Your absence has given me
A good reason to smoke again

While other kids wrote songs about rereading handwritten love letters, I wrote songs about building a bomb shelter.

I built a wall of newspapers
Comic books, and magazines
Headphones, bottles
And laptop computer screens
I tried so hard to lick my wounds
To imagine myself happy
Turns out that I’m the thing
That’s been eating me

While other kids wrote duets to help them see from their ex’s point of view, I wrote songs about selling out for the sake of revenge.

I’ll sell my every tear drop
And laugh at the deposit box
Teenage boys will pay the fee
You’re another song to me

I didn’t insult my audience’s intelligence by rhyming “love” and “above.” I wrote about how relationships were like perpetual motion machines. They started strong, but entropy always won. I wasn’t ashamed to use the word “thermodynamics” in a verse.

My vindictive love songs oozed with cynicism. Venom pumped from every chamber of my heartache. No one ever came back to me after hearing one of these songs. That’s okay, I didn’t write them for them. I wrote them for myself. It was my pain and I could do what I wanted with it.

While other kids smuggled their manipulative arguments into verse, I wrote songs about pigs flying. Why? Because I could.

Pigs Will Fly

Send hell an air conditioner
To keep them sinners cool
Send me all your love
Send the pigs to aviation school
Because I’ve got me some hope
In a gap in my head
Watering the dirt
In a barren flower bed
Oh, you’ll be back alright
And our love will be reborn
When you come around the mountain
On a flying unicorn
When Santa’s sleigh shows up
On a radar display
You will put your arms around me
And tell me it’s gonna be okay

Pigs will fly
When we glue ’em to the throttle
Of a twin engine jet
On cruise control

You ever hear that joke
About the hundred dollar bill
And the fairy tale creatures
Who moved in for the kill?
Well, the Tooth Fairy
And the Easter Bunny
Can go ahead
And have that money
Because I’ll be down
Another avenue
Looking to score
A hit of hope from you
Because I don’t see you
As a human being
I see you as a function
Of my self-esteem

Pigs will fly
When we glue ’em to the throttle
Of a twin engine jet
On cruise control
Sows in the clouds
And hogs in the heavens
Swine in the sky
On a seven forty seven

Our hidden love will manifest
And the pigs will fly
We’ll share a bed at Mottle Six
And the pigs will fly
There are wedding bells for you and I
And the pigs will fly
We’ll be making love until the day we die
And the pigs will fly

2 thoughts on “Pigs Will Fly (on writing song lyrics)”

  1. This is awesome!

    “Pigs will fly
    When we glue ‘em to the throttle
    Of a twin engine jet
    On cruise control
    Sows in the clouds
    And hogs in the heavens
    Swine in the sky
    On a seven forty seven”

    I just love it. Perhaps this makes me odd. Ah well. Nothing I didn’t know already.

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