Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday PSTSS: "I Ain't Goin' Nowhere"

Yes--the PSTSS series is back! Though perhaps we should hold off with the celebrations until I actually manage to do this two or more Fridays in a row.

None of you have ever heard this song on pop radio, and Rick Moranis--yes, that Rick Moranis, the most talented member of SCTV and the unsung hero of perhaps a dozen of what otherwise would have been at-best middling comedies--is hardly a pop star. He wouldn't want to be anyway. But what he is, or at least has become over the past three or four years or so, is a brilliantly sly, witty and sardonic country-western singer. Everyone should buy his debut album (and let there be more!) The Agoraphobic Cowboy and get into the habit of checking his website for various updates (he's got a new song--"America, My Truck"--plus a bizarre-but-funny little essay about what Nora Ephron must think of Barack Obama's neck). But truly, the one song that everyone needs to have is this wonderfully weird number, "I Ain't Goin' Nowhere." You've got to get this recording for three reasons: 1) because it's the single smartest parody of Johnny Cash's oft-parodied "I've Been Everywhere" you'll ever hear; 2) because it's just damn hilarious; and 3) because, though I'm practically certain that Moranis didn't actually intended this song to engage in any kind of sophisticated critique of American society, the fact remains that Moranis's lyrics simply crucify a particular kind of technology-obsessed, paranoid, security-crazy, over-medicated, supposedly self-sufficient (but actually pathetically media-dependent), distrustful, talk-show-addicted, mini-mansion-dwelling quasi-libertarian loser citizen, of which America has way too many of already. If there's ever to be a revolution in the name of simplicity and responsibility and community in this nation, I'll put this song--along with, say, Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death--down as one of its primary documents.

I never go nowhere, man
I never go nowhere.
Traffic’s bad out there, man
I’m savin’ wear and tear.
I like conditioned air, man
I never go nowhere.

I go
Upstairs, downstairs, backyard, lawn chairs,
Living room, bathroom, bedroom, furnace room,
Hot-tub, cedar deck, build a fire, washer/dryer,
Pantry, patio, Bartiromo video,
Cold cellar, rec room, ping-pong, mah jongg,
Beer count wearin’ thin, speed dial,
Order in.

I ain’t goin’ nowhere, man
I ain’t goin’ nowhere.
It’s dangerous out there, man
Might ‘a been a big bomb scare.
Hard to get off of this easy chair
I ain’t goin’ nowhere.

I go
Online, dsl, amazon, buy and sell,
Ebay, layaway, last bid noon today,
Plasma, Judy Judge, broadband, Matt Drudge,
J.Crew, B&N, dotcom, CNN,
JPEG, e.mail, pop-up, she-male,
Shower cam, filter spam, slam bam,
I think it’s ma’am.

I ain’t goin’ nowhere, man
Never gonna go nowhere.
It’s a bungled jungle out there, man
Some kid got mauled by a bear [that's my single favorite line].
Surround sound in my own lair
I ain’t goin’ nowhere.

I got
Perimeter, motion, doggie door, mail call,
Peep hole, Avon, wireless, strobes on,
PIN Code, keypad, relay, pepper spray,
Homebase, interface, three-zone, plug ‘n play,
Infra-red, photocell, squad car, decibel,
Choppers up, sonic boom,
Activate the panic room.

I’m on,
Ritalin, Coumadin, Zantac, Lipitor,
Diazepam, Nexium, Prevacid, Percocet,
Levitra, Levaquin, Elavil, Fosomax,
Plavix, Keflex, Next day Fedex,
Zithromax Avalox, Flexeril, Topomax,
Prozac, Ativan, Aderol,
I take ‘em all.

I ain’t goin’ nowhere, man
Never gonna go nowhere.
I’m cuttin’ my own hair, man
Nothin’ I need out there.
Outside sunny but inside cher
I ain’t goin’ nowhere.


Rob Perkins said...


John B. said...

What Rob said--it just turns the original inside-out. It is its own thing.

Anonymous said...

And at times it almost reads like you could sing it to the tune of "We Didn't Start the Fire"...