Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Naughty Bits: Cum Stains On The Pillow

David Allen Coe: Cum Stains On The Pillow

Out of print

David Allen Coe is a country musician who hit a peak with is Outlaw-inspired music in the 1970s and ’80s with hits such as “Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile”. He also wrote a couple of stone-cold classic country songs, such as Tanya Tucker’s lovely “Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone)” and Johnny Paycheck’s defiant “Take This Job And Shove It”. Like Merle Haggard, he spent time in jail as a young man; it was fellow inmate Screamin’ Jay Hawkins who encouraged Coe to write songs.

Later Coe was friends with Shel Silverstein, the poet and all-round renaissance man who wrote hits such as “A Boy Named Sue”. And Silverstein’s brand of humour is evident in a collection of songs Coe recorded over some years for his Nothing Sacred (1978) and Underground Album (1982) LPs – both made available only by mail order – and eventually released in 1990 as a compilation titled 18 X-Rated Hits.

And when he says X-Rated, he means it. Titles include “Don't Bite The Dick”, “I Made Linda Lovelace Gag”, “Pick 'em, Lick 'em, Stick 'em”, “Whips And Things” and the timeless anthem to anal sex, “Fuckin’ In The Butt” (and it is at this point that we welcome the accidental visitor from Google. Please, make yourself comfortable and stick around. The dirty teens you’re looking for won’t get any older while you can listen to and read about some very good, and this week naught, music).

Mostly they are in good humour, outrageous rather than salacious. Importantly, there is some good musicianship; so good that you’re apt to sing along with lines “I’d like to fuck the shit out of you” from “Fuckin’ In The Butt” (dedicated to the members of the Mickey Mouse Fan Club).

Because of the X-rated songs, Coe has been accused of all manner of bigotries, from racism to misogyny to homophobia. He certainly is not a racist; in jail he was victimised for being friends with black inmates, and he has recorded non-satirical anti-racism songs. Yet, a title like “N***er Fucker”, stripped of its ironic tone, is alarming and even as a satire ill-advised and offensive, especially if one imagines a gang of rednecks singing along to it, much as the crowd sang along to Borat’s “Throw The Jew Down The Well”. The racist singers-along will neither know nor care that the drummer on the song, Kerry Brown, is a black man married to a white woman.

“Cum Stains On The Pillow”, from the Nothing Sacred album, is a traditional country lament. His woman has left him, so now, seeing as she’s gone, there are ejaculation stains on the place where his woman once laid her head. It probably is not the sort of talk that will persuade her to return to our friend.

blog comments powered by Disqus