Thursday, May 07, 2009

Regarding Yesterday's Poem

Though it serves well as a poem, "The Smartest Person I Know's" original function was as a song. To provide some additional information that readers asked about, Chris Butler was the songwriter and band leader of a musical group, the roots of which stemmed from the same Akron/Kent State, Ohio, scene that produced Devo and The Pretenders. Butler's intention was to create a band with a strongly opinionated female lead singer. A personal friend of his named Patty Donahue agreed to take the role. Butler did such a credible job of writing from a female perspective that many people assumed Donahue had written the lyrics herself.

The early 1980's experimental New Wave group Butler formed was subsequently named The Waitresses. These days, everyone recognizes the outfit for exactly one song, (posted below) which was regrettably its only real hit.

This song, clever though it is, unfairly cast the band as some kind of snotty novelty act, when a survey of The Waitresses' entire catalog finds many lyrical gems and songs of great quality, such as "The Smartest Person I Know", which I included on my previous post. And as for this whole "fifth wheel" business mentioned in the text, your guess is as good as mine. Unsurprisingly, Butler is also a blogger. Perhaps you can ask him yourself?

So now you know the rest of the story.

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