Nice Jewish Guy?

This is an excuse to post the entire lyric from Tommy Womack’s “Alpha Male and the Canine Mystery Blood from his “There, I Said It” CD release.

Although I make frequent reference and allusions to lines from the lyric, I hadn’t posted the whole until today. Whether it’s a liberal response to a loose-cannon president or UK Labour tearing itself apart, the whole world is in this one song. The anti-semitism embedded in Western Christian cultural tradition thanks to a “nice Jewish guy” who preached love. Arabs and Christians, Pepsi and Coke. When it’s a band gig it’s rockin’ or “When it’s solo, people talking while I’m singin’” how I remember Tommy from 2007/08 (before car accident and cancer turned his life upside down.)

Alpha Male and the Canine Mystery Blood
Copyright Tommy Womack

Alpha Male and the Canine Mystery Blood
came to town with Death Cab for Cutie
I stayed home with my wife and my child
And six pack of beer.
I pondered that name for fifteen minutes
after I saw the poster stapled to a phone pole
On the corner of Grand and Twenty First.

That was a couple of years ago,
I was already in my forties then
So I didn’t go out on a whim just to see a band called
Alpha Male and the Canine Mystery Blood
Just because I liked the name,
Just because I’m twenty-five
And every day’s a stoned summer’s day

My band was always giggin’ then,
REM was still kickin’ then
I drove that Ford Granada Mom and Dad gave to me
after they got ‘em a Ford LTD
And there was music on MTV
I smoked my manager’s pot and got laid quite a lot.

Planes hadn’t flown into towers yet
And we didn’t have a loose cannon president
Didn’t have all this credit card debt
Hanging over the house like a cloud
Ensure there’s not much more drugging allowed
The body won’t take it, the wallet can’t hang it.

Singin’ all the songs I’ve sang for years
When it’s a band gig it’s rockin’
And when it’s solo the people are talking while I’m singin’
They make me depressed, you’d think I could take a hint
My time came and went
Hell, there’s many nights I came and went

In a manner of speakin’
My conscience is leakin’
The world is changed and the good times are gone
We get to be the folks who greet the dawn
Of an age of mistrust, surveillance and sleaze
And bombs in shoes and way too many enemies.

I bet their name was Menstrual Blood
And the A&R guy said that’s no good
Make it Mystery and then we can target
a broader-based goth dog-loving market

I love my boy he’s becomin’ a drummer
Got a drumkit from Santa at this rate by summer
He’ll be keepin’ a beat in a world
That needs a metronome shoved up its ass so hard
That all voices’ll raise in a heavenly choir
Shit’ll get straight; bothers’ll hug
We’ll dance like we did in the decades of drugs

I’m spittin’ my genes in an ocean that’s risin’
Clingin’ to Jesus with some compromisin’
About what was handed to me from my Mom
And Daddy the preacher
Who watched all that TV in a cream recliner
Frownin’ thru life like a stone hard liner

You couldn’t phase him
He knew Jesus died for his sins
And was raised from the dead
And I’ve always wondered why can’t he stay dead
It doesn’t change any good thing he said
What matter is his life and not how he died

Why can’t he just be a nice Jewish guy
Who was super clued-in and showed us the way
To salvation from sin
And that doesn’t mean that you’re not quote-unquote “saved”
You fry like a piece of country ham in your grave

It’s a great big world and life is a joke
Arabs and Christians, Pepsi and Coke
People so gorgeous it causes ‘em pain
And nobody gives any sympathy for somethin’ like that
You suffer in silence or form a band
With a name that appeals to goth dog-lovers everywhere

On a poster that’s seen by a forty-ish bastard
Walking to work at eight-fifteen,
Eleven an hour for all that he does
Can’t be a has-been if you never was
Going all day-long without eatin’
Till all my nerve endin’s are seriously overheatin’
My legs get wobbly walkin’ down the stairs
To smoke me a cigarette out in the cold fresh air

Wonderin’ why I do the things I do
And I do ‘em everyday
And it can’t turn out good living this way
But live this life I must
And in some fuzzy god I’ll trust

I’ll kiss my wife, I’ll kiss my son
And maybe someday I’ll go for a run
And may some day a song’ll stick
And I’ll walk around like I got a big … boat

And maybe someday my boy’ll drum
In a hippy jam band that plays out some
He’ll take after Daddy and get in a van
Go somewhere only young people can

Doing things only young people do
Banging those skins at Bonnaroo
Rockin’ the dreadheads dancin’ in the mud
Before Alpha Male and the Canine Mystery Blood
God go with him,


[Lyrics above from the original CD / T-Shirt version.
Slightly cleaned-up and updated variations in later broadcast versions.]

[Tommy is most active on Facebook these days. As well as experiencing his poetry through his music, you should read him too. “Cheese Chronicles – the true story of a rock’n’roll band you’ve never heard of.” is full of humanity and wit. And from 2018 his “Dust Bunnies” memoir fills out more of his story in similar style.]

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