Vic Chesnutt - The Salesman and Bernadette

Vic's Superb Albums



Duty Free

No chocolate in the duty free shop
Two drops of scotch gonna end up on his crotch
Tonight, all alone
Sitting on the throne
Some native tongue on the TV
Blaring like an old Peavey.

He don't aim to be rude.
He's fighting with his Inner Prude.
Some pommes frites and you know its gonna drip onto his lap
Yes see the man slapping it off.

Travellin' will do him in
Trudging through the waves of people
Till his heart is cluttered and feeble.
If you take him out of his loop
He may be very easily duped.
Still he beats the stampede for the duty free
He's using up all that old currency.



I was shivering I'll admit it.
I had nothing better to do.
Except to wheeze my lazy wheeze.
"Bernadette where are you?"

She gets much acclamation
for such a self-ordained Faustian
Bernadette doesn't like doubters.
She wants to fight in the coliseum!

What can you tell me of Therese and Isabelle?
Was it just fate that brought them together
or did they will their usual union?
In cahoots or love or all of the above?

I was sputtering.
But I got over it after hours of tireless review
under the gracious and analytical hand
"Bernadette I honour you."
"Bernadette I love you some."



Sitting in the breakfast nook, flipping through a saucy book,
Browsing for a bit of titillation.
Morning is warming on your mouth
Last days of direct sunlight for this part of the house.
Move into the great room.

Get the clean corn broom, sweeping up a sad old pillar of salt.
You're feeling glummer as summer dies off.
Something was released with autumn's first cough.
Matter seems immaculate until it is consumed or distressed.

See her with her kitchen soap.
Cleaning up the breakfast she knows
It's never finished 'till the other's replenished.
Propped up on the mantel piece, trophies stuffed in a life that flies.
A couple of seconds can be a long time if'n its froze.



Dogs are barking. Birds are chirping.
The only thing better if I was squirting.
But there's no one here to love on me today.
For the maiden's on holiday.

I'm a sorry sorry knight in a horrible castle
Hoping to avoid certain societal hassles.
I ain't nothing but chivalrous
Ain't never been nothing nasty between us.

She knows where she stands
On the heart of a broken man.
It's gonna be bad no matter what
So I might as well go ahead and act like a butt.


Until The Led

Knowing what I know now, I should've had a cow.
I didn't realise you were to be despised.
I must have been one of history's stupidest men
Cause everything was perfect in my head
Until the lead started hitting me.

With benefit of hindsight, I can see your ass wasn't right
Maybe I'm mighty dull, but you're pathological.
I never guessed you meant "no" when you said "yes".
Everything was perfect in my head
Until the lead started hitting me.

It didn't take long at all until the Zen started to fall.
All of the people you faked suddenly saw their mistake.
You never thought that I would survive the shock.
Everything was perfect in my head
Until the lead started hitting me.


Scratch, Scratch, Scratch

Scratch, scratch, scratch goes the cat on the carpet.
She stepped in the blue water bowl.

Twitch, twitch, twitch goes my eyelid
My tongue in a cavity hole.

I lost my passport one hairy night.
I think they found it in the bald-bulb light.


Mysterious Tunnel

I just could never say,'good-bye' or 'adieu'
But the years,they have been so kind to you.
Theres some skills that i have learned to do
And i would certainly like to share them with you.

You're outside hanging wet linen and
I am giving a van dyke listening.
If you need a little stretching that canvas
If you need a shaky ride to laurence, kansas.
If you need a little help hauling that big, fat stack,
I'll be sitting right here beside my stone age fax machine.

You're there amongst the mountains and
I am drinking from a nasty water fountain.
I just never could never lay a beed on you
I took a sad envelope of seed from you
I just never could get something to take root
One just never can tell about the growth shoot.

I am crouched with a weak shovel and
You are tending the mysterious tunnel.


Arthur Murray

She's so musical. look at her dance in a flurry.
Who gets to lead?
Do know its not arthur murray.

Emasculate me with your biology.
Break me. Bend me. i'm worthless.
One wicked band from your torturous hand
You laugh when i tell you you're gorgeous.

She has an answer for everything.
She's so smart in the raw, and well educated.
That's a double fisted draw.

Cotton breathes between her cheeks.
Spin me. weave me. i'm willing.
One finger prick, i know i'll take sick.
She'll chalk up a killing.

She's so fashionable.
She's a nazi when she's shopping, but wholly democratic,
You should see who she's been bopping.


I was shaking with laughter
scared the bratty children
did I destroy the ambience
I'm sure for that hoity-toity patron

It wasn't pretty when I looked into the face
oops, into the eyes, ruptured icy chaos
what's the, what's the, who's the prick

We was hidden in the potted plants
I know and we was no obnoxious
but I could see, there in the sun room
the growing storm of disapproval

It wasn't pretty when I looked into the face
oops, into the eyes, ruptured icy chaos
what's the, what's the, who's the prick

I ain't supposed to laugh
can't let your children see that
I ain't supposed to wonder
what's the, who's the prick
what's the, who's the prick
what's the, who's the prick
what's the, what's the, who's the prick


Woodrow Wilson

She said her father looked like Woodrow Wilson
Presiding from behind prescription lenses
She said her father looked like Woodrow Wilson.

She said her mother act like a First Lady
She'd been having those problems lately.
She said she's going to the clinic on Wednesday.

She said her brother wished he was negro
Went to school in African-American studies.
Once he had his picture taken with Adam Clayton Powell

She said her father looked like Woodrow Wilson
I saw him once and thought he looked a little bit like Truman
I know for a fact he has an Eisenhower ashtray.



Where did you go after the parade
I wandered, searching for about an hour
then I parked it on a bench
shifting and sulking
those pesky little mosquitoes
they nearly, nearly, nearly, nearly drained me

then a man dripping with vitalis
said I looked like Joe Namath
he asked me did I used to be famous
and I said "neighbor, I'm famously late"
and I said "neighbor, I'm famously late"

Where did you go after the parade
You never even appeared to enjoy it
I came out of it with a slight experience
Drinking and howling at the natives

You're a great at disappearing
You left me with an ear ache
I spit into the swan lake saying
"what a hideous review"
saying, "what a hideous rewiev"

Weather, barometric pressure
Push me to the ground
My stomach is growling
I always heard this was such a festive town
But everybody over ten years old is frowning
everybody over ten years old is frowning

Where did you go after the parade
I didn't expecting you to be bolting away
Remember the time you took me to see Harold and Maude
'cause I didn't know the meaning
of the word catharsis?

We are busy weaklings
poking around for reasons
we are happy little heathens
it's just time we both admit it
it's time we both admit it


Blanket Over The Head

We will remain ignorant
Incapable of knowing.
Insoluble is the problem.
Curiosity, sleeping, killed the caterpillar.
Curiosity, empty, is a blanket over the head.


Square Room

Sitting in a square room
My voice is freezing
And the beams that are bouncing off the moon
are hanging from my window like icicles

Just a tired old alcoholic, waxing bucolic
shivering and homesick
staring at a wooden floor
staring at a wooden floor

last night I nearly killed myself
chasing rum with rum
there were crows flying all around my head
and I sure caught and ate me some

it's funny how I alienated
those who I was trying just so
so hard to impress
now half those fuckers hate me
and I'm just a fool to all the rest

why do I insist on drinking myself to the grave
why do I dream about cozy coffin
I had all these plans of great things to accomplish
but I end up purely pathetic more than often


Old Hotel

I can see my old hotel down amongst the smells.
I'm up above that ancient city river
It's filtered by my lousy liver
It's filtered by my wilted lily liver
And I can see my old hotel

It ain't even a hotel
5am there came some sleet or hail
It was signal taps on the great window
Solemn taps on the wavy window

Well I can see my old hotel
Hear those old touristy bells
Soon i'll be down the hill a shopping
Giddy like a tipsy Mary Poppins
And i can see my old hotel

It ain't even a hotel
I'm scheduled to ride the rails
And if i wish i'd stay on in this tower
Things would deranged given just another hour