Baby Was a Friend of Mine


Mythic super-anti-heroine alert. Yep, it’s yet another Baby song.

Like Prometheus, half-man and half-god, chained to his rock and feasted on by birds of prey day after day only to be magically restored the next, ready to be tortured and maimed again… forever (for the crime of sneaking the gift of fire to Man… those “full” gods could be downright mean), the increasingly mythic Baby, child-woman, goddess-whore, seems doomed to appear endlessly in my songs.

Who is Baby? I asked in an earlier post.

I suggested that, while there were undoubtedly aspects of old girlfriends and love interests, Baby also probably represented a willful, destructive part of myself, as well.

I also noted that when I had just started playing guitar and writing songs as a 20 year old failed academic poet I swore I’d never use the word “baby” in a song unless I was referring to an infant. The Brian Eno song, “Baby’s On Fire,” however, opened up my mind and gave me new license to rise above pretense and embrace pop music as an idiom. Yo.

Anyhow, moving right along, we don’t really know much about Baby — at this point — except that she is apparently in the permanent past tense. A song not yet on AYoS, “When Baby Can’t Go On” seems to suggest that she may have written her own coda, perhaps by taking one final moonlight swim. (Not to be confused with the also upcoming “Swim or Die.”)

The nice thing about writing her out by swimming her out to sea is that it has an open-ended lack of finality… what I like to think of as a disturbing lack of closure.

Because Baby is not at peace and she never will be… she’s a restless, hungry soul, doomed to move through my songs, bringing lust, longing, and ultimate sorrow to our hapless hero again and again.

You’d think the poor sap would learn.

Baby Was a Friend of Mine

the first time I saw her
I knew it was too late
a shadow fell across my soul
I asked her for a date

Baby was a pistol
way too hot to hold
baby was a big mistake
some things you cant be told

but baby
was a friend of mine
baby was a friend of mine
she couldn’t keep from cheating
she never did stop lying
but baby was a friend of mine

Now, Baby drove me crazy
for almost seven years
then she drove away one day
with a repo-man from Sears

I found her in a Motel Six
out in San Berdoo
she was watching Lucy re-runs
and sniffing airplane glue

but baby
was a friend of mine…

Now the last time I saw her
she said that it was fate
I thought for sure you’d save me
(she) said as she turned away

I thought i saw a tear
slide across her face
I thought I saw forever
just as it slipped away

but baby
was a friend of mine
baby was a friend of mine
she couldn’t keep from cheating
she never did stop lying
but baby was a friend of mine

(C)1992, TK Major


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