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You Won't Like the Answer

by Buggy Jive

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1.
“FOUL RAG AND BONE SHOP!” “What?” I got every right to be right. Every right to be wrong. I got every right to sing this song. I got every right to grieve At the stations of the cross. Every right to grieve for what we've lost. I am full with pride I am full with art I done lost my mind But I found my heart. I got every right to be smart. Every right to be dumb. I got every right to fight for crumbs. So I'mma get proud! I'm finna get loud about what we've lost. I'm finna grieve at the stations of the cross. Down the rabbit hole For the sake of art I done lost my soul But I found my heart. I am cruel to be kind We are what we are I done lost my mind But I found my heart We are what we are. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry for all my sins, Because by them I have offended Thee And I’d rather die than offend Thee again. When doing good Is performance art I fell for a fool For a fallen star I done lost my cool Almost lost this guitar I lost it all When I found my heart. I lost it all When I found my heart. My cold, cold heart. My cold cold heart. My cold, dark heart. My busted ass heart. My cold ass heart.
2.
She sho don't feel like no criminal But sho nuff it's a crime She don't believe it's political When she speaks her mind And the words she aint allowed to say And the jokes she aint allowed to make She ain't woke but she's wide awake To her persecution. I can give no absolution. She has no amends to make, cuz Some of her best friends She can't wait to transcend this race stuff She so tired of pretending And the words she aint allowed to say And the jokes she aint allowed to make She ain't woke but she's wide awake For the colorblind revolution. I can give no absolution. That ain’t my job. When she get mad she disturbing the peace Waving black and blue flags for the Thought Police She think she ain't bad but I got the receipts I got the receipts I gots all of the deets I might take ya to school for a literature class But I ain't not here to absolve yo ass. I ain't here not to absolve yo ass. That is not my job. Henry and Alex all up in each other's faces As I recoil from the words on the pages I'm tryna sing to make louder the silence But David feels threatened by "rhetorical violence." Apologias for those who wrote these books, For those who’d be shocked to see me in this room And Marlow sees darkies at the river bed And Orlando swings swords at a blackamoor's head Remember what F Scott's letter said Remember what Eliot's letters said Faulkner fights for M-I-crooked-crooked-letter-I Long before he was asking "If I, If I…” They were men and women of their time. They were men and women of their time. Poor little victims of their time! And they beg off retribution. I can give no absolution. That is not my job. RADIO GUY: Conrad wrote, “My task is, above all, to make you see.” CHINUA ACHEBE: This is absurd! RADIO GUY: Conrad wrote, “My task is, above all, to make you see.” ACHEBE: This is absurd! If someone without knowledge, without any inside knowledge of the people he’s trying to describe, can get away with it, I’ll try my hand at it. RADIO GUY: “The horror. The horror.” ACHEBE: This is absurd! RADIO GUY: Conrad wrote, “My task is, above all, to make you see.” ACHEBE: This is absurd! RADIO GUY: Or was he, as the Nigerian writer China Achebe put it — ACHEBE: This is absurd! RADIO GUY: — guilty of “preposterous and perverse arrogance in reducing Africa to the role of props for the break-up of one petty European mind.” SUGGESTED READING https://polonistyka.amu.edu.pl/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/259954/Chinua-Achebe,-An-Image-of-Africa.-Racism-in-Conrads-Heart-of-Darkness.pdf https://softmorningcity.wordpress.com/tag/f-scott-fitzgerald/ https://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2008/02/wallace-stevens-after-lunch https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/30/william-faulkners-demons https://www.girlsatlibrary.com/a-woolf-in-progressive-clothing https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1995/11/06/the-trouble-with-heart-of-darkness
3.
Memento Mori 03:44
I’ve been beaten down by time. Crushed by calendars. Tick tock tears. I’ve been beaten down by time. More specifically? Just last year. Where oh where is paradise and When oh where am I? I’ve been tryna rise on up to glory. Alighieri allegory. I’ve been tryna rise on up to glory. Life in Limbo. Twisted territory. I been tryna rise on up to glory. Leaving Virgil's dead ass in Purgatory. Where oh where is paradise and When oh where am I? Time is coming for you baby. I been tryna rise on up to glory. I've seen the promised land. It’s kinda corny. I'm just tryna tell a story. Beatrice. Memento mori.
4.
When he didn't like what he'd seen, what he'd seen, on the TV screen. He put an end to what he seen, on the TV screen, with a bullet machine. Shoot em up go bang! He got a 22 to hit it with. Well I can get just as angry, but when I do, it hits different. I be watching but: I can't stop crying. I'mma po’ little baby I'm gon’ push it deep inside And keep on, keep on, grinding. When I was a much younger man, I had a plan, to write a book. Little poems and paragraphs, like a gunman, without a 22. To capture all of little things, the subtleties, for the ages. Quiet comments and loud laughs — ha ha! — I ran out of pages. I'm still writing but: I can't stop crying. I'm a big ol' baby. I'm gon’ push it deep inside And keep on, keep on, grinding. I'm gon’ sang, hallelujah. But I'm feeling every ways tired. I’m so tired. Lancelot gets the words wrong to these dreams impossible Mangled banner for this song, on the TV screen, with no remote control So Lancelot, gets shot between the eyes Pretender king who stole the soul until the day he died. For different reasons: I can't stop crying I can't stop crying Y'all is terrifying And I'm a grown ass baby I'm gon’ push it deep inside And keep on, keep on, grinding. And keep on keepin' on, keep on grinding.
5.
Tiptoes 04:53
Tiptoes. I love to see you on your tiptoes. Tiptoes. I love to see you on your tiptoes. You afraid to move? I love to watch ya try to get your groove. You afraid to speak? It turns me on, makes my knees weak. Now that you're aware You can never be too careful You can never be too scared — ha ha ha This is how it's always been for me. Tiptoes. I love to see you on your tiptoes. Jim Crow. Look atchya tryna to ‘splain a shit show. Lemme see ya dance. Shake that splainin ass in ya hot pants. Wanna take it higher? Don't look now but your pants on fire. You need a polygraph? Don't look now cuz I'mma hafta laugh. Let me tell you bout the newly woke noisemakers Loving all the sounds but they don't know the song Let me tell you bout the newly woke noisemakers Loving all the lyrics but they won’t sing along. Now that you're aware You can never be too careful You can never be too scared — ha ha ha This is how it's always been for me. THE MAN: Yes, Buggy, so glad I got you on the line. We were having some, difficulty regarding that third paragraph. We can say "Negro," in this instance, right? I mean, it's clearly, clearly being used as a quote. And of course we have the best intentions here: we're quoting MLK, after all, and everyone knows that he's the greatest Negro of all time, so I don't think it should be a problem. So please validate my thinking here; otherwise it will be very uncomfortable and awkward between us going forward, but mostly, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, mostly we just want to get this right, because as you well know… When in the Course of [REDACTED] events, it becomes necessary for [REDACTED] to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to blah blah blah blah the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of [REDACTED] requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. Because as you well know… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [REDACTED] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness blah blah blah whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the [REDACTED] to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Their safety and happiness.
6.
What’s this song you been singing Standing over tumbled graves With whiskey and wishful thinking To suffer the end of days I could try to ‘splain it But you won’t like the answer Friendly banter Can quickly go wrong What’s this noise you’re making Like wind beneath the door What's this noise you are creating Is it a civil war I could try to ‘splain it But you won’t like the answer Friendly banter Can quickly go wrong So I don’t splain These songs. I want you to picture a world Where everythang is not about ya I want you to picture a world Where shit goes down even without ya Some things You don't need to understand. Some things You may never understand. You got to know what you don't need to know To get it You got to know what you don't need to know To forget it You got to know what you don't need to know To let it be. Ain’t got’ be no answer. So let it be. But you won’t like the answer Friendly banter Can quickly go wrong So I don’t splain These songs.
7.
I said to keep on grinding But I'm so fucking tired. Tired of all this bullshit. I'm so tired I ain't gonna write this chorus. La la la la la la la I done toldt ya. It ain't about class or cash. It's the benefit of the doubt. It's the shit you ain't worried about. Privilege is all of the ways society gives you the benefit of the doubt. I'm so tired I ain't gonna write this chorus. La la la la la la la I done toldt ya. So now I lay my black ass down to sleep. La la la la la la bleepity bleep. I said to keep on grinding But I'm so fucking tired. Tired of all this bullshit.
8.
Pretty boys with bushy beards they mock me Pretty boys with bushy beards they got me Bushy beards hide perfect skin and Perfect cheeks and chiseled chins Pretty shit beard boys stay looking beautiful If I let my beard go it's delusional If I let my beard go it's inexcusable This face is immutable Barely constitutional If you think that I look doable You must be on pharmaceuticals But pretty shit beard boys stay looking beautiful PSALM 133: Behold how good it is for brothers to dwell in unity. Like precious ointment there upon the head Running down upon the beard Even Aaron's long ass beard That went down to the skirts of his garments As the dew that descended Up on the mountains of Zion For there the Lord commanded blessing Even life forevermore. Pretty boys with bushy beards they mock me Pretty boys with bushy beards they got me
9.
I had not seen her so beautiful. I had not see her so like you before. I had not seen her so pretty. I had not seen her so close to gettin' with me. Caught me off guard. Did not believe her. I must have not been looking too hard. I had not seen her. I had not seen her so excited I had not seen her so close to crying. I had not seen her so close to tears. I had not seen her in all these years. Caught me off guard. Did not believe her. I must have not been looking too hard. I had not seen her. Silent standing next to me. She loves in similes. Silent walking out the door. She screams in metaphor. Say it in plain language You don't need to couch it in pretty prose Show don't tell, I'm a visual learner Love is like a blah blah rose Love is like a simile Literary Pickleberry Loaf of bread stick of butter whim Love is like a huckleberry Hackensack black hack Huckleberry Pseudonym Jim I have not loved her… so sweetly. I have not loved her… so completely I have not loved her quite like you suggest I have not loved her ever before I guess I have not loved her I have not loved her I must have not been trying to hard I have not loved her I betta get the Cliffs Notes.
10.
Are you as bad as you are on your worst day? Should you pay for the rest of your life for your worst day? The answer is: yes. But we keep on grinding.
11.
We are ruled by wishful thinkers. Wishful thinkers rule us all. Bully fools and cocaine dreamers. Fall of man again. Man will fall. I don’t ever wanna hear you talk about love again. You ain’t earned it. I don’t ever wanna hear you talk about love or the Lord above or who you judging again. You ain’t earned it. You will never learn. We are ruled by wishful thinkers. Wishful thinkers rule us all. Bully fools and cocaine dreamers. Fall of man again. Man will fall. Super model business model. Life is easy when you're mean. You gots to be mean to all the right people. You gots to be mean to all the right fools. You gots to war. No time for peace. You gots to rule. Wouldn't it be easier if they didn't have to deal with us? Wouldn't it be easier if we were all gone? But how would they get by if they could no longer steal from us? How would they manage if we were all gone? I don’t ever wanna hear you talk about love again. You ain’t earned it. I don't want ever hear you talk about love or the lord above or the body and blood or your drink and drugs or your petty grudge or deez nuts or who you judging again. You ain’t earned it. You will never learn. We are ruled by wishful thinkers. Wishful thinkers rule us all. Bully fools and cocaine dreamers. Fall of man again. Man will fall.
12.
Hot damn it feels good to be hiding from all y'all. Hot damn it feels good. I ain't even gonna call y'all. I'm a couple three short of 1-3-6-9 light bulbs. But hot damn it feels good to be in it for the long haul. I could leave but I don't dare. Red white and blue got me too scared. So my black ass ain't goin anywhere. Hot damn it feels good to be staying home day and night. Hot damn it feels good to turn down gigs left and right. Every now and then I wanna leave but I can do without it. I luv y'all but I don't need to never ever ever hear ya talk about it. I could leave but I don't dare. Red white and blue got me too scared. So my black ass ain't goin anywhere. I gots no need for to engage with y'all When everything I need is in my basement y'all I got a signed Diltz print of Joni I got a Joni book signed by Joni I got a real deal passport of a Mynah Bird I got the best damn rekkids that you never heard I got a planet ape rekkid book prophecy I got Richard Pryor stand-up philosophy I gots Paisley Park mementos I gots Jennifer's six inch stilettos I gots 12 guitars and three chords I got 700 pedals on my pedalboard I gots that laptop interface upgrade I got the Casio keys I bought in 8th grade I gots a Rubik's Cube cuz I'm clever I got Wakanda T'Challa forever I don’t need to see no sunrise When I got that 4th grade Saturday poet prize. I don’t need to see the sun drop Cuz I got a 6 million dollar man lunch box. I don’t need to see clouds in heaven? When my guitars can go louder than eleven I don’t need to see the sky? One day we're gonna all die. I could leave but I don't dare Red white and blue got me too scared I could leave but I don't dare Red white and blue got me too scared I could leave but I don't dare Red white and blue got me too scared I got a green screen that'll take me anywhere. I've looked at clouds from both sides now From up and down and still somehow It's cloud's illusions I recall Hot damn it feels good to be hiding from all y’all.

about

"You Won't Like the Answer" by Buggy Jive. Most of these songs were written and recorded in January and February of 2021 because the sadness of 2020 just won’t quit. Can't stop crying but I'mma keep on grinding even though I still ain’t going anywhere. Like Black Sisyphus. And so it goes. Stay safe and be well, y’all.

credits

released May 11, 2021

All songs copyright 2021 Bryan Paul Thomas except: "She Screams in Metaphor" (c 1997) and "Ain't Going Anywhere" (c 2020), which contains a verse of "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell. Guitars and keys and vox and stuff performed by Buggy Jive. All beats courtesy TheLoopLoft.com are samples of bad ass drummers, including Nate Smith (tracks 1, 9), Matt Chamberlin (tracks 2, 5) and Omar Hakim (track 11). Mastered by Troy Pohl. The music video for "Ain't Going Anywhere" was directed by Jean-Luc and produced by Jennifer, with animation by Hank Russo. Cover art by Hank Russo based on "Hell, Canto III" by William Blake from his illustrations of Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia cuz Buggy Jive is pretentious AF.

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Buggy Jive Albany, New York

PROFESSOR BUGGY JIVE is a soul rock singer-songwriter quietly uploading music from a basement somewhere in Upstate New York.

Equal parts Zeppelin and D’Angelo and Prince and Joni in sound and sensibility, his lyrics often mine the literature of the past to make sense of the present – from Ellison to Morrison to Eliot to Didion.

“Literary Kravitz,” as some say.
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