Sunday, July 29, 2007

How To Make Gravy

Paul Kelly. Odds are, you've never heard of him. I never had. He was a weird-looking, polite guy in a weird-looking polite hat who I met in the VIP lounge at a concert venue while the main attractions, friends of a former rock star who invited me back there, were tuning up and planning out their set. The polite guy, standing in the corner and planning nothing, aimed his uneven eyes at us, nodded his head and said in a thick accent, "Heya. You mates look like you could use a drink." He served us, we had a drink together, and that was about it with the man of few words. Then he picked up his guitar and left, and one of the younger guys in the room grabbed me and said, "Do you know who that was?? [I arched my eyebrows, and shook my head no.] It's Paul Kelly! He's a legend. You've gotta c'mon on down and hear him!"

Paul Kelly's set, before the main attractions played, knocked us for a loop. There were a lot of folks from Oz in the audience, and every time Paul Kelly sang, they went wild. He played 5 or 6 songs, maybe, and because it was before Christmas, he closed out the set with 'How to Make Gravy.' Here are the words to the last song Paul Kelly sang:
Hello Dan, it's Joe here, I hope you're keeping well
It's the 21st of December, and now they're ringing the last bells
If I get good behaviour, I'll be out of here by July
Won't you kiss my kids on Christmas Day, please don't let 'em cry for me
I guess the brothers are driving down from Queensland and Stella's flying in from the coast
They say it's gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe, but that won't stop the roast
Who's gonna make the gravy now? I bet it won't taste the same
Just add flour, salt, a little red wine and don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang
And give my love to Angus and to Frank and Dolly,
Tell 'em all I'm sorry I screwed up this time
And look after Rita, I'll be thinking of her early Christmas morning
When I'm standing in line

I hear Mary's got a new boyfriend, I hope he can hold his own
Do you remember the last one? What was his name again?
(Just a little too much cologne)
And Roger, you know I'm even gonna miss Roger
'Cause there's sure as hell no one in here I want to fight
Oh praise the Baby Jesus, have a Merry Christmas,
I'm really gonna miss it, all the treasure and the trash
And later in the evening, I can just imagine,
You'll put on Junior Murvin and push the tables back
And you'll dance with Rita, I know you really like her,
Just don't hold her too close, oh brother please don't stab me in the back
I didn't mean to say that, it's just my mind it plays up,
Multiplies each matter, turns imagination into fact
You know I love her badly, she's the one to save me,
I'm gonna make some gravy, I'm gonna taste the fat
Tell her that I'm sorry, yeah I love her badly, tell 'em all I'm sorry,
And kiss the sleepy children for me
You know one of these days, I'll be making gravy,
I'll be making plenty, I'm gonna pay 'em all back.

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