“Monkey” Live at Rose Street

Tell me this hasn’t happened to you: You break up with someone –maybe you’re the breaker, maybe you’re the “breakee”–, and you think you’re getting along just fine, when one day you notice that…you can’t stop thinking about them. More than that, daydreaming has turned into to brooding has turned into obsessing has turned into nightmare.

I think of “Monkey” as my version of a Stephen King story (or maybe another writer I discovered within the past year, Etgar Keret), where a metaphor has so much emotional energy invested in it that it becomes willed into physical incarnation. And then what ya gonna do, just will it back out of your life? Oh, no. Not so easy.

Monkey

If I had a dime for every time
I had nightmares about our breakup,
Rich as a Kennedy, still even then I’d be
Far too frightened to wake up

What am I going through? Who am I talking to
Here in this haunted house all alone?
Is that what I seem to see swinging ahead of me,
making me shake-a right to my bones?

What was that sound?
I can’t turn around. . .

   ‘Cause there’s a monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   On my back
   Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   In my lap
   Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   On my head
   Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   In my bed

Started out really small, wasn’t too much at all
Tame little ape with your face
Hanging out happily, growing up rapidly,
Making a mess out of my space

What did I want to see? Who did I want to be
After I told you that we were through?
Testing a theory that nothing mysterious
Ever could happen apart from you

But it never ends. . .
It’s your revenge. . .

   ‘Cause there’s a monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   On my back
   Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   In my lap
   Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   On my head
   Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   In my bed

      You crept up so unexpectedly,
      Disaffectedly, to me
      You knew your blue eyes would ever be
      Like a jungle scene in me

   (Monkey, yeah)

Need some sanity, need humanity
No telling where I’ll find it
With hidden material, gibbon ethereal
Dragging its knuckles behind it

Trash truck whining and sunbeam shining are
Finally waking me from this dream
Over at last, but I’m feeling a draft, and I
Tug at the blanket and start to scream

Lying beside. . .
Black fur and blue eyes. . .

   And there’s a monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   On my back
   Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   In my lap
   Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   On my head
   Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey
   In my bed

© Copyright 1999-2012 Nate Orshan

“Monkey” was recorded on Friday, July 6, at the Rose Street Artists’ Cooperative and Gallery Coffeehouse. The camera’s mic did a heroic job capturing the tune, but between the noise of the multiple fans, the laughter of multiple children (completely unrelated to my song…uh…right?), and the soft-LOUD-soft dynamics of the song’s multiple verses…well, the guitar gets a little buried in the mix. I hope the song shines through regardless.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>