Hickory Sticks

broken drumstick close up dark dirty
Photo by abednego ago on Pexels.com

 

Hickory Sticks

A.
Why do I hate Phil Collins ?
Well, I try not to hate anymore
But why do I so dislike Phil Collins ?
Do I ?  I’m not so sure.
I still think Air Tonight is a classic,
At least, till the kit kicks in –
The rest, I mostly could leave ’em,
But if you dig ’em, I guess you win.

No, the reason I hate…no, never hate,
But maybe biting my thumbs,
Is all because he single-handed killed the 80s
With his drums –
His thudding, crushing, reverb-hushing,
Stop-and-starty gated drums !
His all-commanding, corp’rate-branding,
Undecaying zombie drums !

It’s not all of Phil Collins’s fault, of course,
He only rubbed the lamp,
And soon the genius was loose
To spread itself through desk and amp –
Producers loved its soulless beats
That never swing or soothe,
And ev’ry engineer beheld
The emperor’s new groove.

It took us all the decade to wake up,
Ten years too late,
To suss the subtleties we’d lost
When drumskins don’t vibrate.
How many tunes that now sound dated,
Could instead have sounded great ?
So this is why I curse Phil Collins –
Cos he opened up the gate !

B.
But what do I know, and what does he care ?
He’s loved by thousands ev’ry day –
So he’s the famous millionaire,
And I’m just the whinging, self-smug square
Who cannot even play.
So I don’t like his drums ?  So what ?
Is that the best I’ve got
To think that I can moan away ?

You know what I hate about Phil Collins ?
I hate how he makes me hate.
How all of my petty ugliness
Is rising to the bait.
He lets me let myself off the hook
And lets my mouth run free –
As if my taste is the only taste,
And I dare you to disagree.

So sing it, Phil !
Sing it inspite of me,
Sing it to frighten me,
Out of my combative them-and-us cry.
Ignore my stridency,
Forgive my overkill,
Try to enlighten me –
Live and let live till we die.

I guess this is where the toms come in,
The final chorus beckons, I see.
Could we just let them ring out for once, do you reckon,
Just for me ?
Ungate my heart, take me out of the 80s,
And into a decade of long decay –
Or else let’s part, and never be haters.
Bang the drum – not fade away.

 

 

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