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With a little help from the turtle dove above

Country Musings by Robert Loy, October 1997

You know, I don't just spend my days waiting for Ed McMahon to knock on my door and present me with an $11 million check. (If you see him, tell him I'll be home on Tuesday about 4.) My wife insists that I seek gainful employment - which I interpret to mean the easiest job I can find.

For a while I thought songwriter might be just the ticket. I mean, how hard can it be penning little 100-word ditties about love going bad, love gone bad or love as moldy and hairy as whatever's in that Tupperware container at the back of the fridge nobody will go near? That is, until I sat down and tried to actually write a song.

The problem? Everybody wants to sing about love, but there's only a couple rhymes for that word. There's "above" (as in "window up above"; "a gift from above") and of (as in "the one I'm dreaming of"). Oh, I guess if you want to write an S&M song, you can use "shove," or if you really enjoy your prostate examination you could use "glove." (I'm not even going to mention "dove" because that rhyme always sounds, well, flighty.) But generally it's either "above" or "of."

You can hedge your bets by talking about your heart instead, but that doesn't help much because the only thing you can do with that is write about how somebody "tore it all apart." (Unless of course love gives you gas.) Come to think of it, that's probably why most country songs are so sad. Maybe if our word for "heart" rhymed with "ecstasy" we'd have happier songs.

Meanwhile, if you see Ed McMahon, tell him I'm here in the back room, banging my head against the wall and chanting, "Buv, cuv, bart, cart..."