April, 2011: I look forward to sing-sings with my cousin Brooke the same way I used to look forward to the Christmas holidays. Other members of our family are also essential to the sing-sing, but often, alas, their voices won't rise above a sotto voce murmur. We had a sing-sing a few weeks ago at my aunt and uncle's house. Brooke sang her newly-composed song 'Virgil', which I think of as the last words that go through a woman's head before she gets out her pistol and shoots dead her husband, Virgil, and perhaps also the girl in the red dress whom he's dancing with. The last lines are the sinister: "You're not much, you're not much, you're not much, Virgil, but you're mine.". Then I sang my newie, which is heavily indebted to 'Virgil': a murder ballad, my one and only, about a woman who sets fire to the hut where her ex-boyfriend and his new girl are lying in each other's arms. Brooke and I both disapprove of murder ballads. I tried to start a genre called 'rape ballads' (e.g. my 'Beneath The Bridge', and also Gillian Welch's 'Caleb Meyer'). Evening up the score with a few more murder ballads where the women do the murdering is hypocritical...but sometimes songs just come out, and that's that.
Here it is: