A Song of Heartache

Live, 1987-Dec-04 – Teasers – Hamilton, ON

A Song of Heartache (Hated Uncles) 3:29

John Harvey (vocals) Paul Settle (trumpet) Bill Day (guitar) John Kinsella (bass) Bruce Black (drums)


Couple - Kill Your Sons Drawing by Harvey Dog

I was running through a field
containing icicles in the sun,
the burning hot rays could not melt the ice
so I proceeded to fuck a nun,
she squealed as we tossed and turned on a squeaky bed,
I got up to go, she said: “Give me one more head.”
But the inspiration was gone
I had nothing left to give,
so I said:
“I’ll come back next week,” she said: “maybe you’ll come.”
She sighed and turned her Gideon’s Bible to page one.

creation – deception – in the morning light,
screaming – abortion – in the howling night
Oh! Dear God! Won’t you give me insight!?

I was thinking of Jesus
when I saw an army tank,
the sad-eyed people got shot before my eyes
and the government laughed all the way to the bank,
I wiped my eyes, and entered a bar that really stank,
people were drinking and dancing, looking for fun,
I removed my brain and put in a gun,
I said:
“Come on little girl, let’s create a son!”
she screamed, turned, ran out the front door,
I removed my brain, fired, saw blood on the floor.

illusion – delusion – in the morning sun,
confusion – commotion – nothing gets done.
Oh! Sweet Jesus! Won’t you give me a sign?!

I was caught by surprise
when I saw a firing squad,
their rifles were aimed
right between my eyes,
I screamed and cursed the name of God
then I woke up,
sweat was dripping down my back
I got out of bed, then I saw you,
you were stark naked, like in the magazines,
I wondered who you were, then I saw him,
He smiled very coyly
as he told me to raise my hands,
and as I did he pulled out a gun
and I heard a shot.

confusion – confusion – what’s happening to me,
illusion – confusion – what have i seen,
Oh Dear God! won’t you give me your mind?

I came back to earth
with a toupee on my head,
my nerves are shot
and I throw up all I’m fed,
then I saw a mirror, and the person wasn’t me,
I smiled, he frowned, so I turned off the TV,
I can’t remember the last thing I thought,
was it profound or stupid, illusion or reality?
Then I felt your touch and froze immediately,
I looked into your eyes and saw only emptiness,
I disregarded my thesis and took you to bed,
we tossed and turned but nothing was said,
I got out of bed and turned on the TV
and was accosted by crass commerciality,
I went back to bed
but you had gone…

heartache – backache – give me my relief,
heartache – headache – where’s my belief,
Oh dear doctor won’t you give me some pills!?


This piece was written before I moved out of my parents’ home. I left home a shade shy of 20. This piece was heavily influenced by Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” while struggling with the Big D. I probably wrote it around 1980 when I was 17 or 18. The earliest piece I’ll post (maybe).

I brought the poem with me into The Hated Uncles, and the first incarnation of the band added nice storytelling music to it, and it became a regular part of our set during 1986-1987.

This was written as a young person breaking away from the church he was conscripted into, in my case, the Roman Catholic church. I was also very sexually naive. It came pouring out of me in about 20 minutes. After I had finished, I was stunned at what I wrote – and pleased. I had been writing for a few years, but this was the first time a piece came tumbling out in a frenzy. I couldn’t write fast enough. It was a great feeling! So…here’s some teenage angst poetry for you.

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