The Annotated “King James Version” (Harvey Danger)


  1. Track Listing
  2. Lyrics
  3. Notes (from text)
  4. Further Annotations
  5. Other References

Track Listing

  1. Meetings with Remarkable Men (Show Me the Hero) (2:53)
  2. Humility on Parade (4:30)
  3. Why I’m Lonely (3:33)
  4. Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo (3:28)
  5. You Miss the Point Completely I Get the Point Exactly (4:12)
  6. Authenticity (2:31)
  7. (Theme from) Carjack Fever (3:40)
  8. Pike St./Park Slope (4:42)
  9. (This Is) the Thrilling Conversation You’ve Been Waiting For (2:53)
  10. Loyalty Bldg. (6:06)
  11. Underground (4:39)
  12. The Same as Being in Love (3:29)


Meetings with Remarkable Mena (Show Me the Hero)

I had a lovely brunch with Jesus Christ.
He said, “Two words about inanity: Fundamental Christianity.”
The food was very nice,
but then He had to go and die for my sins and stick my ass with the check.

“Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.”b
(Go near an open window and that’ll be the end of me).

I bowed before the avatar.
He said, “The problem’s clear to me: you never got over Morrissey.”
I said “Well, right you are!”
“It’s so much harder to be underfed than under-understood,” he said.

(I can’t explain it.)

I went to see Kip Winger!
He said, “In my day we knew how to party; bands today, c’mon, not hardly.”
He had a back-up singer (doo doo doo doo).
He said, “The metal scene is a disgrace, but I ain’t got no dog in that race.”

Don’t despair, your mother loves you; don’t be proud, because she has to.
Don’t despair, your mother loves you. Don’t be proud: she gotta.
(And just because it’s meta doesn’t make it any better.)

Humility on Parade

This road leads to Rome;
that road leads to ruin.
I’m all up in the madding crowdc,
the general’s been screwin’ us around.

The land’s no longer arable:
the farmhands all feel terrible.
A river red with rebel blood
to sweep us off our feet: do you remember?

Humility on parade,
humility on parade.
The welcome was overstayed.
Humility on parade (let it run, let it run, let the river run).

The remnants of the leisure class will crumble!
Smug bastards will be humbled!
Forcible miscegenation! No bow ties, no invitations!
Goodbye to all of thatd….

You gotta look the prisoners in the eyes;
a boldness in their stare you might not recognize.
As you struggle to recall your names:
family and Christian, family and Christian,
family and Christian! Untenable position! Here comes the Inquisition!
(“Yeah, it’ll come, it’ll come, it’ll surely come!”3)

I am the mustard on the wedding dress,
the weevil in the watercress.
I lost the language, I confess.
Beyond the false horizon lies the rising up, the rising upe.

Why I’m Lonely

St. Leonard touched a philistine
a sacred tongue, a perfect rhyme—
but even he was “not much nourished by modern love.”4

So I told her that everything she does is divine,
and she replied with a blank expression
(an object lesson in making me feel benign),
then whispered, “Independence and indifference are the wings which allow the heart to fly.”f

Feelings I’ve had too often
still no plan in place
to soften the inevitable blow (the rituals we know).

And with the right revolting piety of tone,
the word “freedom”
can make you want to lock yourself in a deep dark dungeon.

But I know everybody follows pleasure,
everybody gets somewhere.
I swear, I wish I could be less aware…

Now it’s absolutely clear to me
that solitude is not the same as singularity,
But that’s not why I’m lonely.

Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeog

Not another existential cowboy, and no more “California champagne”.
Not another saddle tramp—sick, sore, lonely and out of place,
cryin’ in his coffee ice cream (come on).

Edith cannot fix another engine, nor paint another face on a rubbercan clown.
She takes another temp job, but in her secret heart she rides!

Sad sweetheart of the rodeo, not an urban legend now7.
Sad sweetheart of the rodeo.

Give it a rest, give it a rest, give it a bad night’s sleep.
Norman says that you should take a Valium (or maybe something stronger)
’cause he doesn’t understand how you get so excited watching The Lusty Men.

The Marlboro Man died of cancer, and he wasn’t a rocket scientist when he was healthy, ha ha ha.”
She took one last gulp of his soft city condescension, and blasted off from his little launch pad to parts west.

(Lonesome Cowboy Billh, where are you?)

You Miss the Point Completely I Get the Point Exactly

One awkward conversation can ruin my whole day
In the company of strangers with some vulgar shit to say.
Cocktail hour social like an obsolete machine,
Spitting anecdotes and boring jokes from someone else’s spleen.

And I always seem to miss the point completely (and here I am again).

Culture baron trainwreck and it’s hard to look away,
But I’m yawning like a kid in a carpet store8.
Refusing to be interesting is a funny way to go,
But I guess you know your business:
You’re the one who makes the windstorm blow.

And I always say I miss the point completely
(And here I am again, here I am again).
And I always wish you’d behave more discreetly;
It’s kind of puzzling, but you’re falling into place (it’s what you do best).

You’re a popular opinion, you’re an easy thing to foster,
You’re an ostentatious tourist, you’re a predictable posture,
you are a record left on the dashboard, you’re a nasty little hang.

You miss the point completely, I get the point exactly.
You miss the point completely, I get the point exactly.
You miss the point completely, I get the point exactly.
No, you miss the point completely; no, I get the point exactly;
No, you miss the point completely; no, you miss the point-ah!


(I’ll outlive you. I’ll bury you. I’ll buy your coffin!i)

I have a stinger; I am a honeybee.
I am a razor; please cut your wrists with me.
You’re super-common; you flaunt your pedigree.
You’re clear as water…

I’m already spinning in my grave.

I am the subject of your documentary.
You have a question? I am the third degree.
I am authentic; I’m authenticity (I’m no such thing)…

I’m already spinning in my grave.
I’m already spinning in my grave.
I’m already spitting on your grave.

(Theme from) Carjack Fever

There’s a bright white light
to shine shine on all the dim bulbs in the crowd tonight,
and there’s a thin yellow line to separate the fast lane.

And there’s a man I know,
he’ll take apart your engine if you ask him right.
Let’s empty all the minibars and leave this town in flamesj.

He’s starving for attention; she’s swallowing her pride.
Bitter gall for bleeding ulcers, attitudes you can’t abide.
A sentence fragment city, a poor excuse for a life of crime.
This is not a road picture, we are not amused (or surprised).

You don’t need a passport to know what state you’re in.

She wore barrettes of many colors in her many-colored hair.
That’s not the point—they only notice what you wear.
She said, “The moon is a toenail, the stars are a guardrail, my heart is a sandpail…
and you’re Toluca Lake.”

Stop the traffic! Bend the time! We’re heading into territory
too ugly to explore (but they’ve both been there before).
He quotes Nathanael West; she tries her best, but can’t find a mouth to grin with,
’cause a tragedy requires a little greatness to begin with.

You are ill wind, you blow no good:
a pissant under glass, an airport neighborhood.
Earthquake survivor19, feral youngsters smoking tea.
Spit in your hands and see you splinter every (“I saw the secret Sharon Tate films”) tree.

Culver City! Beachwood Drive! Vesper Avenue!k Hey hey!

The needle on the radiator rising as the road inclines.
The scene is going nowhere fast; he’s shooting highway signs.
She carves her sorry epitaph, a carjack-fever scrawl:
“If you only live in movies maybe you don’t really live at all.”

You don’t need a passport…

Pike St./Park Slope

Drive across the country, tell your story walkingl.
No one’s keeping you captive in the town that let you down (so sorry).

Blame it on the television, blame it on the company;
don’t blame it on the fundamental fact that no one owes you something.

“I’ve come about my share, I only want what’s fair.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not greedy.
Like everybody else, I wanna pay my dues.
(I only want someone to tell me who to make the check out to.)”

“Maybe we could run away and start a little repertory movie house or something.”
She said, “Sorry, but I think you might be just projecting (but here’s the dough).”

Pike Street to Park Slope, Brooklyn.

A community of dabblers who are vain and fond of biting backs—
debate it when our friends become successful21
and a different school whose energies are spent evading income tax…
and silicone enhancements by the breastful.

“Maybe we could run away and start a little repertory movie house or something.”
She said, “Sorry, but I think you might be just projecting on to me. Why don’t you try L.A.?”

“When you like something, it’s an opinion,
but when I like something, it’s a manifesto.”
(Pomposity is when you always think you’re right;
arrogance is when you know.)

“Maybe we could start a little independent repertory movie house or something.”
She said, “Sorry, but I think you might be just protecting your investment, or else assigning blame.”

(This Is) the Thrilling Conversation You’ve Been Waiting For

There is a price tag on everything; a dying language, beat down like a featherweight, staggering.
Once you’ve had bad credit, you’ll never forget you had it.

Dim innuendos are spoken aloud, where supermodels are super-endowed.
Fashion is the art of brainwashing the proud.24

The shocking inclination (the vulgar ostentation),
the group inoculation (the sketchy motivation),
the holy exaltation (the misappropriation),
the underestimation…

This is the thrilling conversation you’ve been waiting for.

Ears down to the noise floor just to hear the sound.
The adjectives are everywhere. I stand down.

This is the fascist expurgation,
the people’s liberation,
the teen emancipation,
the tintinnabulation

This is the thrilling conversation you’ve been waiting for.
This is the thrilling conversation you’ve been waiting for.

(Disassociate if you can’t support it; don’t try on the suit if you can’t afford it.)

Loyalty Bldg.

Slow to marry, swift to die,
we leave disasters where they lie.
I know these lines look crooked on paper,
but I swear I got it straight in my head—
and if you’re looking for somebody to blame, I recommend the dead
(I recommend the dead ’cause they never answer back).

Skinny dipping in the lake,
I got the itch, I drank the wake.
Would somebody please hand me a towel?
And now we’re up on Molehill Mountain,
scraping coins out of the fountain with the retinue
of dirty old young, young men (again).

But when I get back from Nashville,
I’m renting a room in the Loyalty Building.
I’m sure that the prospects are sound in the event of
calamitous circumstance27, or great good fortune.
There must be a reason, there must be a plan.

A palace in receivership,
a jester with a busted lip,
a catalog of crooked answers….
We’ve all heard about the rapist nun:
she pulled a switch on everyone. The altar boys aren’t having fun,
and the papacy is drawing up the papers (behind closed doors).

But in the meanwhile,
I’m renting a room in the Loyalty Building.
I’m sure that the prospects are sound in the event of
calamitous circumstance, or great good fortune.
There must be a reason. There must be a plan.

Underground (written by Christopher Possanza)28

[Lyrics not provided in text.]

The Same as Being in Love

When you base your whole identity
on reaction against somebody,
it’s the same as being in—

I tend to forget when I drink.
I’m doing it again, I think.
A hand to hold, an ego to flatter,
’cause you were the wineskin; I was the bladder.

Time passes, events fall away
(I don’t think they’ll hurry). Hurry up,
I’m blacking out, high on the vapor—
’cause I was the typo; you were the Liquid Paper.

Talk it over, talk it, overtalk it;
the answer’s still the same:
It’s discontent, humiliation,
’cause you were the theme and I was the variation.

Try to take a less dramatic course of action.
This attraction-introspection-diction predilection
is breaking my heart again, breaking my heart again….31

Notes (from text)

  1. List of authors citedm
  2. Ibid.n
  3. Build the goddamn monorail
  4. Save “literally”
  5. Chicken today, feathers tomorrow
  6. The last time I saw Phyllis, she explodedo
  7. Ibid.p
  8. No ingress or egress
  9. Guns don’t kill babies, babies kill babies
  10. And you just plead for a dirty time
  11. So [said the doctor], now vee may perhaps to begin, yes?q

Further Annotations

  1. G.I. Gurdjieff’s 1963 memoir, Meetings with Remarkable Men, and/or the film derived from it.
  2. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up, Notebook E (1945).
  3. Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), and/or the 1967 film adaptation.
  4. Robert Graves’s 1929 autobiography Good-bye to All That.
  5. “Beyond the blue horizon lies the rising sun.” — “Beyond The Blue Horizon” (written by Leo Robin/Richard A. Whiting/W. Franke Harling; performed by Jeanette MacDonald).
  6. “Verily, independence and indifference are the two wings which enable the soul to fly.” — Inayat Khan, The Art of Being, II:X
  7. Cf. The Byrds’ 1968 Sweetheart of the Rodeo and the Sweethearts of the Rodeo themselves.
  8. “Lonesome Cowboy Bill” is a Velvet Underground song on Loaded.
  9. Early versions and live performances of this song include this epigraph, which echoes a passage from Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: “I’ll outlive you! I’ll bury you an’ have to pay for your coffin!”
  10. Nathanael West’s The Day of the Locust features a painting called “The Burning of Los Angeles”.
  11. All located in or around L.A. As is Toluca Lake.
  12. Cf. Deb Talan's “Tell Your Story Walking” from A Bird Flies Out. See also Jonathan Lethem’s novel Motherless Brooklyn.
  13. “It will come, it will come, it will surely come.” — Brian Eno, “King’s Lead Hat” (Before and After Science).
  14. “Saint” Leonard Cohen voiced this complaint in “Queen Victoria” (Live Songs).
  15. In the 1959 black comedy A Bucket of Blood, John Shaner’s character Oscar claims to have once seen a statue called “The Third Time Phyllis Saw Me, She Exploded.”
  16. Cf. Morrissey’s “We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful” (Your Arsenal, 1992).
  17. The last line of Philip Roth’s Portnoy's Complaint.

Other References

On 2 August 2001, a user with the handle “peter quilpe” posted an apparently authoritative list of references in KJV to the official Harvey Danger forum. That list was used as the original basis for these annotations; some of the references, however, could not be located in the text: