Songblog: Most People Are a Pain in the Ass

I had this song knocking around the house for a few days and had convinced myself that I couldn’t do anything with it – the ‘be a good boy’ urge in me said that I couldn’t possibly say something like that in a song.

But of course, since the Sex Pistols issued ‘Anarchy in the UK’ you can say anything you want in a song. Once I had the first line: If life was a party, then you wish you could leave them at home’, I knew I would have to repeat the couplet and get meaner each time, culminating with ‘If life was a journey, you’d slash their tyres in the driveway’.

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I’ve sung it a few times at parties where there were people who really do fit the description and I have winced a little and avoided looking at them before singing that particular line.

But most of the time people take it in good humour. I played it at Ards Arts Centre one night, and afterwards, someone in the audience shouted: ‘let me know when that’s available as a ringtone’. John Fitzpatrick is particularly lovely on violin on this one.

MUSICIANS: Anthony Toner – vocals and guitars; Clive Culbertson – bass; Peter McKinney – drums; John McCullough – piano; John Fitzpatrick - violin

LYRICS:

I need to set some boundaries.

They keep knocking on my door,

and tucking in the tail of my shirt.

And I negotiate my personal space:

They keep walking through walls and

they bug me when I’m trying to work.

Well, the ones that you love and

who love you, you got to keep them around.

But just about everybody else can get lost,

that’s what I’ve found...

Most people are a pain in the ass.

If life was a party then you wish you could leave them at home.

They keep tugging on your sleeve.

Even when they’re dead, they won’t leave you alone.

And we’ve got experts in every subject.

Cooking pasta, and how to save a fortune

on the cost of your heating.

And they boast about the price of their houses,

what they said to the boss and what

they’re going to bring up at the meeting.

Well I try to be cool at the party

while they waste my precious time.

But every time they open their mouths,

I just want to drink a lot more wine.

Most people are a pain in the ass.

If life was a movie, you’d kill them in the opening scene.

They keep tugging at your sleeve,

you try to change the channel

but their face keeps coming up on every screen.

Well I try to be patient and I try to be kind.

But with all the ears in the world tonight,

how come you keep bending mine?

Most people are a pain in the ass.

If life was a journey you’d slash their tyres in the driveway.

They keep tugging on your sleeve,

even when you sleep they won’t leave you alone.