Lyric of the Week: 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.
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.