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Accidents of God

Accidents of God

WRITING CREDITS:

Lester Bangs, The Delinquents, and Mickey Leigh

  

The sideshow freak was plain as day.
With his tailgate fins and his shrunken head.
He'd found a way to make 'em all pay.
See what they thought, if he'd better off dead.
 
Still, I thought I saw him slink behind the tent,
where tears as big as cantaloupes filled his eyes.
I asked him why and what it all meant.
and drinkin' his whisky he quietly cried,
 
"It's just an accident of God.
They're only accidents of God."
 
This Alfred Douglas[1] archetype
dragged older fellows' hearts all down the street.
With a smile that was obscenely ripened
he made them take his disdain neat.[2]
 
Well, I asked one so casually wounded,
"How can you let that little sh*t make you crawl?"
He said, "Love's worth whatever ruins it,
and, baby, it ain't his fault at all.
 
"He's just an accident of God.
That boy's an accident of God."
 
We must not speak of pointed hurts.
All these things that do not work,
no one's exempt but none own the blame,
though the skies may rain down shame.
 
As for you and me, darlin', well, I guess you know
it's true what they say, that opposites attract,
but when I sit so silently, I'm not stalling
for time; it's just, I'm hollow, and that's a fact.
 
Villainous clothes do not become us.
All we can share is mutual exclusion.
Gestures of love, they just benumb us.
Let's make our peace, and hang confusion [in conclusion].
 
Declare an accident of God.
Our love's an accident of God.
 
Accident of God, accident of God, accident of God....

 


 

APPEARS ON
Birdland, With Lester Bangs, LP, CD
Track §5
LP: Add On Records, AD#101 (1986); LP, CD reissue: Dionysus Records, Bacchus Archives 1118 (1998)

Jook Savages On the Brazos, LP, CD
Track §3
LP: Live Wire Records, LW-3 (1981); CD: Moll Tonträger [GER], Moll 6 (1995); CD: re-issue: Live Wire Records, LW-20 (2009)

Musikexpress 32, promo CD Compilation
Track §11
Clearspot / Moll Tonträger, Germany, musikexpress32 (1999)

Lester Bangs: Mégatonnique Rock Critic, 3x CD Boxed Compilation
Track CD1 §16
Tristram/Sony BMG Music Entertainment, France, 82876868972 (2006) 

SOURCES:
Jook Savages on the Brazos CD reissue lyrics insert, 2009.

Last Updated: 08/28/2016

 

ABOUT THE LYRICS:

The opening stanzas are thought to be indirectly referential of the cult classic, Freaks, the remarkably forward-looking 1932 Tod Browning film about circus performers, from which the Ramones adapted their catch phrase, "Gabba gabba hey!" in their song "Pinhead."

[1]"This Alfred Douglas archetype": Poet Alfred Douglas was the Victorian lover of Oscar Wilde. After Wilde's homosexuality became an international scandal, Douglas distanced himself from Wilde and his Uranian aesthetic philosophy. In his 1896 love poem "Two Loves," Douglas coined the phrase "I am the Love that dare not speak its name," which today is often quoted as a byword for "homosexual" but, in Douglas's time, ironically came to represent his abandonment and betrayal of Oscar Wilde.

[2] "take his disdain neat": the expression "take neat" is used to indicate that one prefers drinking alcohol without a mixer; in the U.S., the equivalent expression, "straight up," is used more commonly but, given the context of the lyric, it's understandable why Bangs chose to use "neat" in lieu of "straight." 

Although he, himself, was inveterately heterosexual, Lester Bangs did sympathize with the gay rights movement, as well as the rights of all "deviants"—with whom he closely identified. Through his adult life, openly gay men and women served as mentors, confidantes, and counselors, and transgendered individuals were regular patrons at some of the clubs Bangs frequented in New York. Perhaps one of the more formative influences on Lester's Queer politics was Jim Fouratt, a former Roman Catholic priest and music publicist who began a platonic friendship with Bangs during his time in Detroit. Just a few years older than Lester, Fouratt had been one of the original Stonewall activists and later worked with John Sinclair's gay liberation group, Rainbow People's Party. Jim also had valuable connections to the burgeoning rock music scene in New York City, where he would join Rudolf Piper to open the popular Danceteria disco, and later the New Wave club Hurrah. (Fouratt's former lover, photographer Peter Hujar—a contemporary to Roger Mapplethorpe—was considered by many to be a young man of rare beauty.) Having gone down a similar path of drug and alcohol abuses, Fouratt was one of the few people in Lester's life to empathize fully with the seriousness of his addiction: he would become Lester Bangs's Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor in 1981.

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