Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Pause That Refreshes

My very favorite pause in popular music right now comes near the end of the chorus of Mary Gauthier's 1999 song "I Drink." Miss Gauthier, for the uninitiated, is sort of a female John Prine, singing her wistful lyrics as slow as a 90-year-old grandma in a Buick LeSabre, which makes the trek toward the final line of this Dorothy Parker-ish chorus seems like forever. It goes like this:

Fish swim
Birds fly
Daddies yell
Mamas cry
Old men
Stop and think
. . .
. . .
I drink.

The irony here is that Gauthier doesn't drink, at least not anymore. Back in 1990 she opened a restaurant in Boston called the Dixie Kitchen, and after the opening-night party got a little bit raucous, she got picked up on a DUI, and decided that her drankin' days were over. Fortunately, she remembered them well enough to write this song. Hey, here she is now:

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