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Daily Lyric: SCHMALTZ


Musical filet mignon

to lull the jet set to sleep at night


A kind of aural Perrier fizzing through the headphones

on a transatlantic Concorde flight

Melts the hearts of young investment bankers

Makes the Monte Carlo yachts drop their anchors

Say James, another line of cocaine?

Hey bartender, another glass of champagne!


And as you step into your chauffeured car

oh excuse me, your limousine


The kind of stuff that you hear in a hotel bar

comes oozing up onto the scene

Glamour, glitz, and showbiz

That’s where it’s really at

And all it really is

Nothing but chicken fat!


I always thought the stuff was used

to pickle Mama’s herring


Oh it isn’t? I must be excused

I must be erring

Sensuous vocals, twenty-four tracks

Quasi-jazz rimshots, vaudeville sax

Piped into Fifth Avenue elevators

Entertainment for smooth operators!


So run out and enlist the band from the cabaret

and you’ve got yourself a whammy


So buy yourself a ticket to LA

You’re sure to win a Grammy

Fade away now

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

"Schmaltz Lounge" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
So run out and enlist the band from the cabaret, and you’ve got yourself a whammy.

This song, written in the mid-1980s as I was still in the thick of my IDF service, was another attempt of mine to write lyrics to a tune by Booker T. & the MGs. The words are a good-natured stab at the cocktail-lounge pop music, exemplified in those halcyon days by the likes of Sade, whom I actually liked ... but a review I read of her album and the mini-genre that came in its wake was so full of one-line zingers that I had to construct a lyric out of them. In the middle of the song, right after name-checking Sade's first big hit, the music shifts gears into a chord progression lifted right out of that song, with hints of George Gershwin's "Summertime," and returning to the "Booker T" verse by way of a turnaround nicked from ELO's "Evil Woman." If it all sounds confusing, believe me, it isn't ... I played the song numerous times with my musical partner Izzy Kieffer in our bands Freedom Is Priceless and Reality Shock and as a duo, and it worked quite well. There are a number of soundboard recordings that exist from those gigs but I probably can't publish them without jumping through some copyright hoops first, so you'll just have to use your imagination for now.

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