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Lyric of the Week: HESHY'S BLUES

Firing cannons in the desert heat

What a way to spend your summer, oh yeah

Firing cannons in the desert heat

What a way to spend your summer, oh yeah

But Shabbat[1] on the base, darling

There’s no bigger bummer, oh yeah

When the segel[2] plays the Boss, man

I have to strain hard to hear the sound

When the segel plays the Boss, man

I have to strain hard to hear the sound

But we’ll listen to the music all we can, baby

When that vacation comes around

Writing blues songs on guard duty is not beseder,[3] oh no

Writing blues songs on guard duty is not beseder, oh no

But I gotta write it all down now ‘cause I’ll forget them later, oh no

They play that ZZ all the time but I just can’t hear that sound

They play that ZZ all the time but I just can’t hear that sound

But we’ll boogie to those three boys from Texas

Soon as that vacation comes around

I’m standing by the highway trying to hitch a ride

I’m standing by the highway trying to hitch a ride

I’m trying real hard to get home now

Please people don’t just pass me by

I’m one half of Heshy and Isser, man

But I never get a chance to make a sound

I said I’m one half of Heshy and Isser, man

But I never get a chance to make a sound

But we’ll blow that big beautiful world in half, mister

Soon as that release date comes around

[1] Shabbat=lit. “Sabbath,” i.e. the weekend, when a soldier would normally have leave. [2] Segel=staff, consisting of officers and NCOs. [3] Beseder=in order, in shape. ©2020 The Hesh Inc.

What a way to spend your summer, oh yeah.

This is one of the dozen or so songs I wrote during basic training, to vent my frustration and to keep myself sane. I can even remember where I was when I wrote it ... on guard duty around the perimeter behind my platoon's tents that surrounded the base's quad, early on a Friday morning, while anticipating being let off base for a weekend's leave in a few hours (I was). Few things are as maddening as being "chosen" to stay behind for the weekend, whether as punishment or just because manpower needs require the drawing of what is popularly called the "number of death" from a hat in order to choose who gets to stay on base.


The Springsteen and ZZ Top name checks come from the times I would pace back and forth on guard duty late at night while the officers and NCOs blasted said acts' songs from the stereo in the staff club. It was like the "real world" was right there, but just out of reach. In the last verse, I yell out to the world that my musical partner and I are waiting for the day when we both finish our respective stints and get to make some noise again.


I mention ZZ Top, but musically speaking, I was thinking more in terms of a Captain Beefheart riff ("Sho' 'Nuff n'Yes I Do"). I never recorded this song, but if I ever get around to recording my army songs, this is sure to be on the track list.


#originallyrics #IDF #IsraelDefenseForces #armyservice


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