I Write Cheques

“Variety Show” cassette, 1989 – Hamilton, ON

John Harvey, John Kinsella


Live, 1989-Dec – Rathskellar – McMaster University – Hamilton, ON

John Harvey, John Kinsella


Hated Uncles "Variety Show" cassette booklet

drawing by John Kinsella for the “Variety Show” booklet 1989


Lyrics

I write cheques to my creditors,
as the world sleeps and dreams
of rich bungalow houses
and beautiful lawns
surrounded by golden pavement,
emanating from the soiled earth.

I write cheques to pay my debts
as people starve in the streets
and fight for survival
a warm place to sleep
as the world comes crashing
down around them.

I write cheques to my friends
to pay off old drinking debts
as people’s throats are slit
and the blood oozes out from
severed veins
screaming:
“I’m going to die,
I’m going to die.”

I write cheques to support
this crooked government
whose mouth is gaping wide
begging for more cheques
to satisfy its permanent hunger.


Notes

  • I recall writing this at the Beverly Hills apartments.
  • It was recorded for The Hated Uncles “Variety Show” cassette in 1989. This was during the duo days of John Kinsella and myself.
  • The video is from The Rathskellar at McMaster University in December 1989, shortly after John & Paul joined the band, and before Dave joined and we became a rocking teen combo.
  • In the video, you may catch that the second verse is the same as the first. Someone forgot the lyrics to the 2nd verse…* cough * Am I complaining about my sore throat after the song finishes, while getting ready to light another cigarette?
  • JK and I did a radio interview with Mole (aka/ “Bruce Mowat”) on CFMU during the summer of 1989 and we did an in-studio version of this song. I know the interview was recorded since I recall hearing it at Paul’s, but the copy has probably long dissipated into the ether of time. Maybe just as well?

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