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


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
“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.


  • 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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